The City is looking for people to fill one of these seats as Planning Commissioner


Hosea Mitchell’s term on the Charlottesville City Planning Commission is coming to an end, and the City is looking for a replacement. Applications are being accepted through July 3, 2008.  If you’re interested,

you can apply for the position online

.

As soon as Council is satisfied there is a sufficient pool of applicants, City Council Clerk Jeanne Cox will schedule a special meeting to interview each one. That meeting will be open to the public, though only Councilors will get the chance to ask questions.  Council will reach a decision and announce before September 1, 2008, when Mitchell’s term expires.

The Commission is charged with maintaining the City’s Comprehensive Plan. Members of the Planning Commission typically attend two meetings a month. The first is a long business meeting at which rezonings, site plans, and  special use permit applications are considered.  The second is typically a work session at which Commissioners discuss the finer points of the City’s zoning and building codes. Every five years, the Commission helps update the Comprehensive Plan, a process which won’t begin again for a few years given that the Commission endorsed a new plan in July 2007.

Charlottesville City code says that a planning commissioner must be a City resident and must be “qualified by knowledge and experience to make decisions on questions of community growth and development.” Other than that, there are no set requirements or qualifications for joining the Commission,  though Cox said Council’s decision is usually made on a set of informal principles. The Commission should not be over-represented by anyone neighborhood, and the Commission should be made up by a mix of laypeople and professionals.

What will Council be looking for in a new Commissioner? Mayor

Dave Norris

told Charlottesville Tomorrow that there is no set criteria for picking a new Commissioner, but that the successful applicant will be able to work as part of a 7-person team, will have some familiarity with neighborhood and City planning issues, and will be willing to put in the long hours required.

“These tend to be pretty competitive positions,” Norris said.

Two new commissioners have joined in the past year. Genevieve Keller is a historic preservationist who places a key emphasis on protecting the existing fabric of Charlottesville.

Dan Rosensweig

is a former director of the Soccer Organization of Charlottesville-Albemarle who told Charlottesville Tomorrow in March 2008 that he would be an advocate for neighborhoods.

Rounding out the current Commission are Architect Michael Osteen, Police Officer Mike Farruggio, Attorney Cheri Lewis and Chairman

Jason Pearson

. Pearson, who runs the non-profit Green Blue Institute, took over the leadership of the Commission from Bill Lucy in March.

Sean Tubbs

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Charlottesville Tomorrow

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