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home : current news : current news May 26, 2018

5/8/2018 1:10:00 PM
Sisters needs planning commissioners
By Sue Stafford

One of the single most important volunteer positions in which a community member can serve is as a member of the Sisters Planning Commission. In June, two commission seats will be open, and one of those may be filled by a resident of Sisters Country, residing outside the city limits but within the school district boundary.

"This is an important time for the Planning Commission in the city," said City Manager Brant Kucera. "There are critical land-use applications and subsequent decisions anticipated for Planning Commission review soon. Additionally, the Planning Commission will be working with staff to update the City's Comprehensive Plan and Development Code in the near future."

The commissioners recently reviewed the regulation of short-term rentals in Sisters as well as revisions to the noise ordinances for the City. The proposed 199-unit Hayden Homes development on the former McKenzie Meadow property will work its way to the Planning Commission, as well as any other new developments proposed for the city.

No financial remuneration is received for time given to the position, and a full-term appointment is for four years. The commission meets the third Thursday of each month at 4 p.m. Sometimes there is a second meeting during a month if the workload is heavy. There are several joint meetings with the city council.

The Planning Commission consists of seven members, two of whom may be nonresidents of the city but reside within the Sisters School District. The mayor appoints the commissioners, with the consent of the City Council, from among applicants (application available on the City website).

No more than two commissioners may be involved in the real estate industry or engaged in the same kind of occupation.

The commissioners select their chair and vice-chair, and each serves a two-year term. Tim Clem is serving as the chair and Jeff Seymour is the vice-chair. Other commissioners include: Dave Gentry; Jack Nagel; Daryl Tewalt; Roger Detweiler; and Bob Wright.

The responsibilities entrusted to the Planning Commission are far-ranging and have a significant impact on the development, look, and feel of Sisters. Their areas of responsibility include making recommendations to the City Council and other public authorities concerning streets and sidewalks, relief of traffic congestion, housing and sanitation conditions, and the establishment of zones and districts throughout the city.

Commissioners review and make recommendations regarding future growth, development, and beautification of the city. According to Chapter 2.65 of the Sisters Municipal Code, commissioners in general "study and propose such measures as may be advisable for the public interest, health, morals, safety, comfort, convenience, and welfare: of the city and of the area for six miles adjacent to the city."

In other words, the Planning Commission is involved in making decisions and recommendations that affect all resident of Sisters Country.

The Planning Commission is responsible for reviewing maps, plats, and replats for study and recommendations before City officials can grant approval. The commission holds public hearings to receive testimony on proposals that will be considered as they make their recommendations.

Commissioners must recuse themselves from participating in any proceeding or action in which they or family members hold a direct or substantial interest.

Before each meeting commissioners are provided with all pertinent materials related to agenda items, which require reading, review, and study, to be adequately informed regarding the issues coming before the commission.

To learn more contact Kerry Prosser, 541-323-5213, or Community Development Director Patrick Davenport, 541-323-5219.

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