Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Planning Commissioner Quits in Anger, Disappointment - Pacifica, CA

Submitted by Jim Alex


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BJ Nathanson, now former Pacifica planning commissioner. Credit Camden Swita
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Longtime Pacifica Planning Commissioner BJ Nathanson announced her resignation on Monday after an internal commission debate about approving a use permit to build a new wireless communication facility near Ocean Shore School. Other commission members did not know she had been planning to resign since the previous meeting a month prior.

Although the commission eventually voted to approve the use permit for the installation of the communications facility, which is legal, Nathanson was upset by the reasoning behind two commissioners 'no' votes and the absence of another.

"When I first joined the commission about eight years ago it was very, very different," Nathanson said Tuesday night. "The people who were on that commission represented a wide range of political opinion and I feel that was good government. They were all awesome people who understood their roles as commissioners. As years went on, however, new people came on, the tenor of the commission just kept changing and changing and changing and not for the better, It completely tilted in one political direction and lately, the current commission...I have found a few commissioners who are just refuse to follow the rules."

By "rules," Nathanson said she meant the idea that commissioners should vote on planning issues based on what is legal or illegal, not on whether they like a development or not, which was the case in the two 'no' votes Monday night.

"I can't count the number of times I voted for something I personally didn't like," she said. "By law, that's the difference between being an activist and being a planning commissioner."

What do you think of Nathanson's resignation? Tell us in the comments.

Anonymous said...

I am proud of her. She can't put up with Vreeland order's anymore. Enough is enough.!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad she resigned too! Her "Palin-esque" departure and nasty comments says a lot about her.

Kathy Meeh said...

BJ was one of the best planning commissioners this city has had. She came-in prepared, understood the issues, and tried to moved projects forward. That would be clear to anyone attending or watching any planning commission meetings, including the meeting of last Monday.

BJ has served as planning commissioner for many years and deserves respect (as do others) for that important citizen effort.

However, over the past 8 years the planning commission has changed from being a more balanced citizen representation (as BJ mentioned, and including commissioners such as Tom Clifford) to being overweight with "environmental advocates".

Planning commissioners are appointees of the existing city council. The existing city council as failed to appoint balanced citizen representation on our planning commission in favor of their own "our environment is our economy" representation.

Anon 5:51pm (as I understand it) the cell tower installation was a formality (access for a legal utility), not an issue for debate, alternative consideration or new ordinance/legislation decision making. And not an issue to drive this city toward another lawsuit. The vote should have been 100%. Duh.

Just something for you to think about Anon 5:51pm. Your comments say a lot about YOU and no one else.

Kathy Meeh said...

Scouting's a link to the original article and the further blog conversation about the cell tower issue on Pacifica Patch".

So, that's what those aggravated comments between Jim Alex and Todd Bray on a different article on this blog were about.