Well, actually, the Lemon Grove Planning Commission was scrapped in 2015.
But…now, it’s back!
On a new Facebook site, The East County Enquirer, the three Democrats on the City Council are being excoriated for resurrecting the planning body, just a couple of years after the prior council majority axed the commission to reduce bureaucracy in the city. The posts at The Enquirer are generating a lot of interest.
On Tuesday, a post challenged readers to take note of the City Council agenda item for the next day…
“In 2015 the Lemon Grove City Council voted 3-2 to eliminate the Planning Commission. The Commission was only meeting, on average, 5 times a year. The thought was to eliminate the Planning Commission in order to save staff time and shorten up the entitlement process by at least the 30 to 60 days it takes to get though the Planning Commission process. That time can be longer depending on what conditions may be imposed by a Planning Commission and how many times they send staff and applicant back to the drawing board. In addition, hoops in the form of professional services and time to meet the conditions of a Planning Commission can drive up costs that, in the end, may be overturned by a Council anyway. In a small city like Lemon Grove where the council does have the time to do the work of a Planning Commission there is value to businesses and developers in having direct access to the Council and shortened entitlement times.”
The Enquirer goes on to say that the 2016 election brought a new Mayor and Council majority, now moving to reinstate the Planning Commission. “It is important for those Council members to understand the value that this direct access and time savings have for businesses, the building industry and affordable housing,” the post reads, while encouraging attendance at the City Council meeting.
Following the meeting, The Enquirer railed on the Council decision…
“Well, they did it…the Lemon Grove City Council opted for more bureaucracy! So the three bureaucrats of the bunch decided to bring back the Lemon Grove Planning Commission after the City got rid of it two years ago.
“Never mind they don’t need it and just make things more bureaucratic. And look at Santee, they haven’t had a planning commission for years and look what they have done!
“So while it’s good to have citizen input, they always could do that directly through the City Council. And what do they say, ‘sometimes less is more.’ In this case less was more!”
Any of the Council Members are invited to weigh in with their thoughts here, as always.