Yesterday we noted that since being reconstituted the Planning Commission (PC) has cancelled more than 20% of their meetings because they thought they had nothing to do. We noted further than Commissioners Fuentes and Hamilton had missed more meetings that the other members, and that both of them recently offered the thought that they could do nothing unless specifically instructed to do so by the staff or the Council. That launched a search of the City and State codes governing what a PC can do, to see whether or not there was any foundation to the remarks made by Fuentes and Hamilton. Here are the results -
“The City of Lake Forest Planning Commission is a decision-making body tasked with reviewing matters related to planning and development in the City….The Planning Commission is also responsible for making recommendations to the City Council as to whether a project or action would be consistent with the General Plan.”
Nothing to support Fuentes or Hamilton here! In fact, if anything, it contradicts their assertions.
“The Planning Commission shall act as custodian of the visual character of the City and shall also have the following general functions:
A. Planning for the physical development of the City;
D. Making recommendations to the City Council for the establishment of appropriate zoning boundaries;
E. Reviewing the General Plan and making a report thereon annually to the City Council;
F. Periodically reviewing the zoning map and the text of the Zoning Code and making recommendation to the City Council for change;
G. Periodically reviewing the Subdivision Code and making recommendations to the City Council for amendments or additions;
H. Rendering disinterested and diligent service to the public in the interpretation of public needs and necessities in the development of the City and its environs.”
Once again, nothing to support Fuentes or Hamilton. And once again, if anything, paragraphs A and H seems to completely contradict their excuse for why they do no planning.
“65103. Each planning agency shall perform all of the following
(d) Endeavor to promote public interest in, comment on, and
understanding of the general plan, and regulations relating to it.
(e) Consult and advise with public officials and agencies, public
utility companies, civic, educational, professional, and other
organizations, and citizens generally concerning implementation of
the general plan.
(f) Promote the coordination of local plans and programs with the
plans and programs of other public agencies.
(g) Perform other functions as the legislative body provides,
including conducting studies and preparing plans other than those
required or authorized by this title...."
Once again it seems pretty clear that Fuentes and Hamilton’s claims that they could do no planning are not only baseless, but contradicted by City and State codes, not to mention what I must assume are the wishes of the people.
Fuentes and Hamilton’s reluctance to do any planning seems strange for people who wanted to be on a Planning Council. It’s even stranger, since the Quarterly Attendance Records kept by the City Clerk reveal that Fuentes and Hamilton had more absences than all the other Commissioners on both Commissions combined. So here we have a pair of Commissioners who sit on a Commission than cancels more than 20% of their meetings because they think they have nothing to do, proclaim against all the evidence that they shouldn’t do any planning unless specifically instructed to do so by the Council, and lead the charge in missing meetings.
Can anyone explain this?