Torrey Hills planning board adds resident seat

The Torrey Hills community will now have one more resident representative on the planning board.
(Karen Billing)

The Torrey Hills Community Planning Board voted to add a resident seat to its group at its Feb. 10 meeting to give more people the opportunity to represent their community.

Board member Todd Saier proposed that they shift one of the property-owner business seats to a resident seat, leaving the total number of board members the same at 15.

There has been a business seat vacancy for a long time, and the change leaves four business seats on the board: two retail/commercial seats, one property-owner business seat and one permanent SDG&E seat.

“Opening up the seat is a way to encourage people to show up and get involved,” said board member Jim Casale.

The change passed 8-3, with Brad Fagan, Peter Gilchrist and Suzanne Hall voting against it.

Chairwoman Kathryn Burton said the switch will not require a bylaw change, but a simple administrative edit.

The proposed change was a result of Burton reviewing the bylaws of neighboring planning boards, finding that Torrey Hills has fewer seats. The Carmel Valley Community Planning Board has 17 seats — 12 residential and five business seats — and the Torrey Pines Community Planning Board has 16 seats — 13 residential and three business seats.

Torrey Hills had 15: 10 residential and five business seats.

Hall said she didn’t see the need to add a seat when they have never had problems getting a quorum for meetings and there wasn’t even enough interest to foster a competitive election this year.

Burton said that a resident had expressed interest in running for one of the seats this year but didn’t want to cause a contested election or disrupt the board.

Hall stated that is simply the nature of an election.

At the meeting, the board took nominations for the seats that will be up for election on March 17. Nominations included Casale, Kim Walker, Guy Ravad and Burton for resident seats, and Mark Lee and Teresa Henning for business seats.

“I appreciate what a good board we have and how we work together to resolve issues,” Burton said.


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