Atascadero City Council to hear from planning commission applicants

Nine applicants are vying for two seats today on the Atascadero Planning Commission. The City Council is slated to interview the applicants and select two citizens to serve on the seven-member commission. Once selected, planning commissioners advise the council on land use planning and development proposals.

The two vacancies are considered “at large” seats, open to Atascadero residents for two-year terms. These positions are different than the other five commission seats because the public can apply for them while City Council members directly appoint the others. Appointees hold four-year terms that coincide with the council member who chose them.

The November general election and two commissioner resignations prompted several shifts to the commission last year. Only one commissioner from last year’s board remains.

Incumbent “at large” Commissioners Chuck Ward and Dennis Schmidt are among the nine applicants.

Others include Atascadero residents John Euphrat, a retired land-use planner; Dennis Javens, general manager for Oak Shores Community Association in Bradley; Tom Zirk, a retired vice president of sales; Susan DeCarli, Paso Robles city planner; Harry Hamilton, civil engineer; Sharen Bloechl, freelance writer; and Christian Cooper, a high school teacher.

Commissioners already appointed are:

Beth Wingett, to replace Brian Sturtevant because he was elected to the council in November.

David Bentz, appointed in 2008, remains seated.

Len Colamarino’s term ended last year when former council member Ellen Beraud’s term expired. Sturtevant reappointed him in December.

Mark Dariz replaced Chairwoman Heather Moreno, who resigned last year.

Councilman Jerry Clay appointed Sandy Jack in 2008. Jack resigned from the Planning Commission after losing in the November general election for a City Council seat. Clay still needs to appoint a replacement.

The council is also scheduled to interview and select four candidates for the city’s Parks & Recreation Commission. Two seats are available on the seven-member board.

Interview process is open to the public

The public is invited to watch the Atascadero City Council interview applicants for the city’s Planning Commission and Parks & Recreation Commission. The meeting is planned for 1:30 p.m. today at City Hall, 6907 El Camino Real, in Conference Room No. 4, located across the lobby from the council chambers.