Council to name four new planning commissioners

Residents interested in serving can apply
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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The Loomis Town Council will be naming four planning commissioners for the upcoming term and are seeking residents interested in serving. Each councilmember makes an appointment to the commission, which is approved by the entire council. The commissioner’s term coincides with the appointing councilmember’s term. After each election, the new councilmembers and those re-elected can name their appointee. Councilmembers Walt Scherer, Miguel Ucovich and Sandra Calvert will each be naming commissioners. Councilmember Gary Liss will appoint a replacement for his appointee who recently moved out of the town limits. Mayor Rhonda Morillas’ commissioner, Jean Wilson, will remain in her commission seat. Ucovich said he does not plan to reappoint his previous appointee, commissioner Jo-Carol Arisman, who recently ran in the council election and lost. “I want to open it up and let everyone apply,” Ucovich said. Scherer said, “Planning commissioners generally reflect the views of the councilmember that appoints them.” Scherer said he plans to reappoint his commissioner, Janet Thew. Thew has served on the commission since 2004 and is currently the chairperson. “Janet has been really good. We agree on a lot of things and when we don’t, we discuss it,” Scherer said. Planning commissioner Greg Obranovich will vacate his seat after serving eight years. He was first appointed by councilman Guy Fuson, then re-appointed by councilman Russ Kelley. Obranovich served as commission chairperson for four years. Obranovich said he enjoyed serving with his fellow commissioners and learning about the city government processes. During his tenure, the real estate boom hit its peak and then declined. “We saw a lot of real estate developers coming in. The economy shut down a number of the building projects. Many projects were approved, but never built,’ he said. Obranovich said three of the projects he and the commission worked on were Divine Desserts, the Loomis Basin Chamber of Commerce building and the new firehouse for the Loomis Fire District. The commission also worked on the Homewood Relocation project, which is now under construction. According to Obranovich, the lull in building gave the commission time to work on the agricultural ordinance, the tree ordinance, affordable housing, the downtown master plan and the bike trails master plan. Obranovich said the planning process for commercial buildings and home developments is not a speedy one in Loomis. To the credit of the town, Obranovich said, projects are put under scrutiny in Loomis. “The town puts pressure on developers to see that projects are ultimately a good fit for Loomis,” he said. Prior to being elected to the council, Ucovich served on the planning commission and is familiar with appointees’ duties. Ucovich described a potential applicant as “someone that understands the function of the planning commission and can contribute. Someone who understands those principals.” “For commercial development, we want to maintain the small-town feel we’ve had over the years,” Ucovich said. “The planning commission has quite a bit of influence on how the community looks.” For applications or more information, call town hall at 652-1840. --------------------------------- LOOMIS PLANNING COMMISSION What: Five-member commission reviews applications for use permits, variances, and tentative maps. Makes council recommendations on adoption/amendments to specific plans, general plan, zoning map, development agreements, environmental documents, and other applicable policy or ordinance matters related to town’s planning process. Term: Four years, coincides with appointing councilmember’s term. Requirements: Must live within Town of Loomis boundaries. Meets: 7 p.m., the third Tuesday of the month. Additional meetings held as needed. Pay: $50 per month stipend. Deadline for applications: Feb. 1, 2011. Information and applications: Town of Loomis, 652-1840.