I would call it a coup conspiracy. Commissioners Berkbigler, Jung, and Lucey realize that the Citizens Advisory Boards and the Planning Commission are no longer approving the non-conforming projects. Their response is not surprising: take power from the organizations that diligently represent the residents and examine compliance with the master plan requirements. Here’s my summary of the different commissioners’ positions. Commissioner Hartung was absent while Commissioner Herman did not express an opinion.
- She didn’t understand the roles of the Planning Commission (PC) or the Board of Adjustment (BOA).
- She emphasizes that the County Commissioners are elected as opposed to the members of the Board of Adjustment who are appointed.
- She claims that the County Commissioners always over-rule the Board of Adjustments on appeal (not true in Colorock case).
- She worries about the cases the BOA denies that are never appealed.
- She wants the staff to “work” with the BOA on the Incline area plan.
- She’s worried about how confusing and difficult it is for developers.
- She has “huge goals that we need to meet”.
- We could avoid extra meetings if we consolidated the superfluous quasi-municipal agencies such as regional planning, the RTC, the Flood Authority.
- She suggests that Washoe County could assume all these roles with some subject matter experts under the county manager.
- She’d really like to see if we could legally collapse all the agencies under one umbrella. She doesn’t consider collapsing the county commission.
Commissioner Lucey (It’s hard to discern his point through his “word salad”)
- He emphasizes that the County Commissioners are elected while the PC, Citizens Advisory Board (CAB), and BOA members are only appointed. They “try to potentially do the work of commissioners”.
- He expresses a lot of concern for out-of date ordinances. It looks like he’s referring to the area plans.
- He wants to be efficient and “help the process along” for the benefit of the community.
- He thinks appointed board members may not use their positions to benefit the community but rather to advance their own agendas.
- He is committed to have Washoe be the county of “yes” to development.
- He thinks the County Commissioners should be more involved with the Planning Commission to address “challenges”.
- Commissioners Berkbigler and Lucey are not happy that the PC, BOA and CAB’s are looking critically at the developer plans and the staff reports and acting with due diligence.
- Commissioners Berkbigler and Lucey think the solution is for the county commission to require the subservience of the PC, BOA, and CAB’s or eliminate them.
- Commissioners Jung thinks Washoe County should take control of all the regional governmental bodies. It sounds like tyranny to favor the developers.
- Commissioners Berkbigler, Jung, and Lucey all express concern about delays to developers with no reference to addressing the concerns of residents.
It looks like a coup attempt to take over all the regional governing bodies from the regional planning board at the top, down to the CAB’s on the front lines. No commissioner hides the pro-developer bent shared with Mayor Schieve. None of the comments recognize the role played by the CAB’s and PC’s to deny irresponsible development. Remember that Commissioners Berkbigler and Lucey are in real estate.
But, don’t take my word for it. Watch the meeting video online https://www.washoecounty.us/bcc/board_committees/index.php#meetingList
or see my transcript of the discussion BCC_Quotes_re_PC_&_BOA_072418 .