Tabling the Planning and Zoning Commission
With the ouster from the council of Jerry Wade and Karl Skala, both former Planning and Zoning Commissioners, the zoning-review body could wane in influence.
Over the last three years while those two sat on the council, the body’s recommendations seemed to carry more weight than in the past. Wade spearheaded a change to the city zoning procedure that gave the commission more power by making a unanimous vote by the body go straight to the council’s consent agenda, which is usually automatically approved. Both members had substantial experience on the commission and took its recommendations seriously.
As it has been related to me anecdotally, in the past, rezoning applicants focused on getting the council votes, and the commission was mostly a formality.
“I never had a problem with (the council) voting against our recommendations,” Commission Chairman Jeff Barrow said. “I had a problem with them voting and not explaining why.”
And as members of the commission come up for reappointment, the dynamic on the commission may change with the new dynamic on the council. Glenn Rice and Ray Puri’s terms expire at the end of May, and that may be the indicator of what the new council’s direction truly is.
Rice, for instance, is married to Tracy Greever-Rice, one of incoming councilman Daryl Dudley’s opponents in the Fourth Ward race. Rice has been an active member of the commission, but whether he is reappointed remains to be seen.
“If someone’s reapplying and they contribute (to the commission), they usually get reappointed,” Barrow said.
Categories: City Politics.