Springfield Seeks Applicants for Planning Commission

November 19, 2018
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The City of Springfield is accepting applications for one position on its seven-member Planning Commission. All Commission seats are volunteer, at-large positions with no ward restrictions. Applicants may be residents of the city or may reside between the city limits and the city’s urban growth boundary. No more than two appointed members shall be engaged principally in buying, selling or developing real estate for profit as individuals, or be members of any partnership, or officers or employees of any corporation that is engaged principally in buying, selling or developing of real estate for profit. There is already one Planning Commissioner who is engaged in the sales or development of real estate.

Planning Commissioners generally serve a four-year term and are eligible to serve two consecutive terms at the discretion of the City Council. The Planning Commission is appointed by the City Council and is vested with the authority to make final decisions on a variety of land use matters including zone changes, variances, and discretionary use requests. The Commission conducts public hearings for all discretionary staff decisions contested under the City’s appeal process. The Commission also serves as an advisory body to the City Council on legislative matters such as comprehensive plan amendments; transportation and infrastructure planning; refinement plans and special area studies; and amendments to the City’s Development Code. In most of these matters, the Planning Commission works with City staff in drafting the analysis, findings and conclusions needed to advance amendments of the Metropolitan Area General Plan, the City’s Comprehensive Plan, local refinement plans and development regulations to the City Council for final action.

The Planning Commission serves as the City’s Committee for Citizen Involvement, a program intended to support and enhance the opportunities for Springfield residents to understand and become involved with the development and implementation of policies that direct and regulate the use, re-use and development of all land within the city and the city’s urban growth boundary. This responsibility is a requirement of state law and typically includes a public review and approval of the formation of planning advisory committees and strategies used to provide opportunities for community participation in planning studies and plan and code revisions.

The Planning Commission reserves the first and third Tuesday evenings of each month for public hearings and work sessions as the need arises. This translates to about 4-6 hours of meetings monthly and approximately an equivalent time spent in preparation for each meeting. Each commissioner is also expected to attend City Council meetings on a rotating basis, and to participate on special committees or other Council appointments as needed. The total monthly commitment may exceed 12 hours.

The City provides training for new Planning Commissioners as they adjust to and learn their roles and responsibilities as appointed officials. Commissioners may attend training sessions on meeting protocol, conflict of interest, legal issues and quasi-judicial decision-making. The Development and Public Works Department serves as the primary staff to the Commission by providing reports, meeting packets, training opportunities, meeting minutes and other information requested by the Commission.

Regular meetings of the Planning Commission typically begin at 6 or 6:30 p.m. with work session items; public hearings are scheduled for 7 p.m. commencement. Work sessions are normally conducted in the Jesse Maine Room adjoining the City Council Chambers and regular sessions are held in the City Council Chambers at City Hall. Commissioners are required to attend these meetings and are responsible for reviewing the agenda material in preparation for performing their duties. Commissioners may be excused from attendance when their presence is required elsewhere; however, two consecutive unexcused absences may result in the vacation of the position. The next regular Planning Commission meeting is a work and regular session and will be held on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 and December 18, 2018 6 p.m. work session 7 p.m. Regular Session.

Applications are available in the City Manager’s Office and the Development and Public Works Department in City Hall, 225 Fifth Street, during regular business hours. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m., Friday January 11, 2019.

City Council interviews will be held January 22, 2019 during the work session and appointment to the Planning Commission will take place February 4, 2019 during the City Council regular session.

For more information contact Planning Commission Liaison Brenda Jones at 541.726.3610 or bjones@springfield-or.gov.