Springfield Seeks Applicants for Planning Commission

The City of Springfield is accepting applications for two positions 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.

Planning Commissioners generally serve a four-year term and are eligible to serve two consecutive terms at the discretion of the City Council. Planning Commissioners are appointed by the City Council and are 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 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 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 community members 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 Community Development Division staff support 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 6:00 or 6:30 p.m. with work session items; public hearings are scheduled for 7 p.m. Commissioners may attend meetings in person at City Hall or virtually via Zoom. 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 Planning Commission meeting will meet at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, August 16. See https://springfieldoregonspeaks.org/ for more information about that meeting or review previous meeting packets and watch videos of past Commission meetings.  See https://springfield-or.gov/city/development-public-works/planning-commission/ to learn more about the charge and membership of the Commission.

Applications are available at https://springfield-or.gov/city/city-managers-office/boards-commissions-and-committees/ and in the City Manager’s Office and the Development Center, 225 Fifth Street, during regular business hours. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m., Friday, September 16, 2022.

City Council interviews are tentatively scheduled for September 26, 2022 during the work session and appointment to the Planning Commission is scheduled to take place on October 3, 2022 during the City Council regular session.

For more information contact Planning Manager Sandy Belson at 541.736.7135 or email: sbelson@springfield-or.gov.