Lafayette Planning In Upheaval
Developers processing applications in Lafayette should expect delays after five of the seven planning commissioners resigned and the City Council must do the while it finds replacements. The five commissioners resigned in late March after the City Council on a narrow 3-2 vote adopted an ethics policy that requires members to resign rather than recuse themselves on an issue-by-issue basis if a matter comes before the panel that poses a potential conflict of interest. The policy applies to the city’s advisory boards but exempts the members of the City Council. Tonight, the council is expected to name itself the acting Planning Commission. In the interim, it will reduce the commission from seven members to five — this allows the council to quickly appoint at least one new member and achieve a quorum of three people. The council will then recruit and interview people to fill the vacancies and ultimately move to restore the full seven-member commission. Processing delays could last weeks or months, depending on how long it takes the city to seat a new commission and how quickly the new volunteer members learn their complex jobs. Those who resigned were not necessarily required to do so under the new policy but felt compelled to leave under what they called a prejudicial and discriminatory policy. They included Tom Chastain, Patricia Curtin, Peter Gutzwiller, Will Lovitt and Jeanne Ateljevich. Click here to read the agenda and associated staff report and attachments. For comments or questions, contact BIA|Bay Area East Bay Executive Director of Governmental Affairs Lisa Vorderbrueggen at 925-348-1956 or firstname.lastname@example.org.