By BOB NORBERG
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Sebastopol has an opening on its planning commission, which will be playing a pivotal role when the city begins rewriting its general plan next year.
“The general plan update is a major undertaking that will take three years to accomplish,” said Planning Director Kenyon Webster. “The commission will have a critical role in that. It is a major policy document for the city.”
The opening on the seven-member committee was created by the election of architect Patrick Slayter to the City Council. He will take the council seat on Tuesday.
The planning commission has met less than a dozen times this year because of the downturn in the economy and lack of new building, Webster said.
“Development activity will continue to be low for a year or two, but at some point it will pick up,” Webster said. “Next to the City Council, the commission has the most important role in reviewing development projects in the city.”
Since Sebastopol no longer has a parks commission, the planning commission has taken on the task of overseeing the plans to renovate Ives and Skategarden parks and design Village Park next to the Laguna de Santa Rosa.
Webster said that a land use or construction background is helpful but not essential for the applicant, who will be chosen by the City Council.
“It is helpful to have background in land use issues, in development, but it is also good to have ordinary citizens as part of the mix to have some diversity of expertise and experience,” Webster said.
The applications are due Dec. 16. Applicants must be residents or own a business in Sebastopol.