Sentinel staff report–
Want to be part of the decision-making process at City Hall? The City of Citrus Heights is currently accepting applications from residents to fill five seats on the city’s Planning Commission and two seats on the Construction Board of Appeals.
The seven-member Planning Commission meets up to twice a month and is tasked with making decisions on land-use related proposals, as well as holding public hearings and reviewing proposed ordinances. The commission also makes recommendations to the City Council on major development projects.
The five-member Construction Board of Appeals meets rarely and only on an as-needed basis to hear complaints from those aggrieved by a decision of the city’s chief building official. The board also “assists in determining suitability of materials and methods of construction, as well as interpreting technical codes.”
Historically, the Planning Commission has served as a stepping stone for leaders to gain experience before moving up to an elected position on the City Council, which was the case with Mayor Porsche Middleton, as well as Vice Mayor Tim Schaefer. Commissioner Michael Nishimura will also likely join the council, if his five-point lead holds in the current election.
What are the qualifications?
The only qualifications listed for serving on the Planning Commission or Construction Board of Appeals are that the member be at least 18 years of age and be a resident of Citrus Heights. Appeals board members must additionally be “qualified by experience and training to pass upon matters pertaining to building construction.”
Are the positions paid?
According to the City Clerk’s Office, Planning Commissioners receive a nominal stipend of $70 per meeting.
What is the time requirement for the Planning Commission?
There is no time requirement given by the city, other than that commissioners are expected to show up to Planning Commission meetings, which are held in the evenings 1-2 times per month on the second and fourth Wednesday, and last 1-2 hours on average.
Several current and past commissioners have said they spend 8-10 hours per month on Planning Commission business, primarily reading documents in preparation for the meetings.
How long is the term in office?
Five members of the Planning Commission are nominated to serve four-year terms, with each City Council member nominating one commissioner. The remaining two positions on the commission are two-year at-large positions, nominated by the City Council as a whole.
Commissioners are limited to serving no more than eight consecutive years on the Planning Commission. However, the city’s municipal code says “An individual who has previously served eight consecutive years on the planning commission is eligible for reappointment to the commission after two years have passed. Partial terms are not counted for the purpose of determining if a member has served eight consecutive years.”
Construction Board of Appeals members are appointed to terms of four years.
To be considered for appointment to either the Planning Commission or the Construction Board of Appeals, applicants must fill out a three-page application form. All applicants will also take part in a short video interview, which will be made available to the public and City Council prior to councilmembers making appointments.
Applications for all positions are available online at citrusheights.net. The deadline for submitting an application is 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16, 2022.
The City Council is slated to make appointments during their Jan. 12, 2023 meeting.
Download an application form: click here