Council Affirms that Planning Commission Members Must Be City Residents

Citrus Heights, CA  |  Story by Shaunna Boyd

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - At the Citrus Heights City Council meeting on February 14, City Clerk Amy Van described a proposed amendment to the Citrus Heights Municipal Code that would require Planning Commission candidates live within city limits. The current code does not specify a residency requirement, so staff recommended that the Council formalize the requirement as a necessary condition of eligibility for the Commission.

The Citrus Heights Planning Commission is comprised of seven members appointed by the City Council. Each Council member appoints one Commission member to serve a four-year term. Through majority vote, the Council also appoints two at-large Commission members to serve two-year terms. 

The Citrus Heights City Manager’s office revitalized the recruitment and application process for the Planning Commission in October 2018. Staff increased community outreach using e-newsletters, service group announcements, and social media to inform local residents of the opportunity to apply for consideration for Commission appointment. The new recruitment process resulted in increased applications for the Commission, and the new application process includes convenient candidate video interviews for the Council to review.  The revitalization process revealed that although residency within city limits is an expected condition of candidacy, there was no formal requirement.

Vice Mayor Jeff Slowey said he supports the amendment, stating, “It should be a minimum requirement that board members be residents of the city.”

Councilmember Bret Daniels also supported the amendment, but he did ask whether all the current members of the Planning Commission live within Citrus Heights. Van responded affirmatively, so the proposed amendment will have no effect on the current Commission membership.

Mayor Jeannie Bruins called for a vote and the measure carried unanimously.

An eight-month long project to redesign the City’s website is now complete, and Van presented the new design to the Council. She said, “The website serves as the hub of all things Citrus Heights.” The redesigned website highlights the “Solid Roots, New Growth” slogan in a modern, clean style.  The navigation section has been simplified and new components have been added to the homepage.

The website features numerous vibrant photographs taken at different locations within the city, and links within the photos take visitors to a description of where the image was taken. Van said, “All the photos are representative of Citrus Heights and help tell our story.”

Mayor Bruins thanked everyone for their hard work on the new website, stating, “It looks like it’s much easier to navigate and will help showcase the brand of the City.”

During public comment, Sheryl McCormick voiced concerns about the traffic outside of Carriage Elementary School on Carriage Dr. McCormick has been working traffic safety at Carriage Elementary for two years and has witnessed many near accidents as students cross the street to get to their parents’ cars. McCormick has seen numerous drivers take left turns out of the school from a right-turn-only lane. Additionally, the cars lined up to get into nearby Mesa Verde High School block traffic for the elementary students and their parents.

Major Bruins thanked McCormick for bringing this issue to the attention of the Council and said that members of the Police Department in attendance at the meeting would follow up on the matter.

Arthur Ketterling brought forward another traffic-related concern, stating that when the signal at San Juan Ave. and Greenback Ln. changes, the crosswalk sign doesn’t always change to allow pedestrians to cross. When it does change, the sign doesn’t give much time for pedestrians to get across the street. Ketterling stated that he has seen kids riding bikes through the crosswalk to make it before the signal changes, and he is concerned that that could cause the kids to get hit by a car.

Mayor Bruins said the Council will look into the timing for the signals and ensure pedestrian safety.