A meeting by the Irvine city Planning Commission was held on the first Thursday of the month of April which was date 3rd. The meeting took place at the civic center in the city of Irvine, California. It was chaired by the Commission Chair Kuo, who was the presiding officer. The issues discussed during this meeting were those affecting the planning of the city.
During the meeting, an overview of the active transportation plan was given by Mike Davis, the Transit Programs Administrator and his peers. Public hearings were held on a conditional use permit for the installation of a permanent standby emergency generator at a Verizon wireless communication facility. After discussions, Commissioner Smith moved to adopt the resolution to allow the generator, was seconded by Commissioner Gaido, and unanimously approved.
Public hearings were also held on a conditional use permit for a 161-room homewood suites extended stay hotel as well as a 3,100 square foot retail pad building located at the Irvine Business Complex (IBC). The project architect, Dan Patton, and DKN Hotels representative, Kiran Patel, were on hand to answer questions from the audience. Commissioner Smith moved to adopt the resolution to allow the building, was seconded by Vice Chair Schott, and unanimously approved.
Commissioner Smith requested discussion on the IBC park requirements and fees for the residential area, particularly addressing parks within the IBC. Lana Weiss, senior planner, gave a presentation on park amenities in response. Discussion on Merv filters was requested by Commissioner Liss. To this end a meeting had been scheduled between the city and Irvine Company to discuss policies, fees inspections and possible standard of approval when Merv filters are required.
An issue that was a bit confusing to me was the remark that the city website was responding slowly after a recent earthquake, since I do not think there is any correlation between the two issues. An issue that I would need more information on is the authority of the planning commission since it seems that its mandate is broad.
Conclusion and Recommendations.
I liked the issue of citizen participation on matters concerning developments within their city, and hope that in future this increases. A point to note is that the commissioners are also local citizens and as such have the community’s best interests at heart. I’d also have liked to have see more participation from local citizens in the process since these are issues that cannot be taken for granted as they affect the lives of those within the city and its environs. The people need to be sensitized on the necessity of participation, and perhaps better education is necessary in order to ensure that they do participate more.