10/03/2008: "Staff Recommends Against PC Recommendations"
A public hearing will be held Tuesday by the Council (SJ County Council) to hear additional comment on CD&P (Community Development and Planning) recommendations that the CC ignore three key elements of the Planning Commission Recommendations on making changes to the UDC (the land use regulations contained in the Uniform Development Code) more frequently than once a year.
The PC (Planning Commission) and members of the public who testified against the proposal expressed concerns about making changes that would give CD&P freedom to submit changes to the UDC outside of the current requirement that all changes to the UDC and the Comprehensive Plan be done at the same time, and -a key point- only once a year.
When the proposal first came before the PC, they failed to pass motions to approve the CD&P request, but then were able to pass a compromise motion with a narrow majority. But the hesitancy to embrace the full recommendation failed to please CD&P Director Ron Hendrickson.
When it became clear the PC was not fully supportive of the Hendrickson’s proposal, he told the Commissioners that if they did not support his proposal, then “in a way it’s good, because I just won’t have to deal with it, somebody else will. But if you really want to get these things done, we got what, fifty years experience here telling you this is what you have to do to get this done.”
The County Council has heard the public’s concern in a prior public hearing on the subject, but they shown a tendency to go with staff recommendations over those of their commissions and advisory groups. In this case County Administrator Pete Rose has sided with his planning director, and suggested the Council give Henrickson the authority he has requested.
It is expected the County Council will vote on the proposal after the public input and deliberations by the Council on Tuesday (9-23-8).
For those who oppose the proposal, the request by Councilman Rich Peterson for information from the Prosecutor’s office on “what constitutes an emergency that would allow changes to be made to the UDC” more frequently than once a year, indicates there may be a way to deal with emergency needs for changes, while still allowing the current time table of once a year changes.
Councilman Alan Lichter asked for additional “clarification” of the Planning Commission’s recommendations, and that has been provided in the form of a copy of the PC Minutes of the meeting that resulted in their split vote.