The Pasco County Planning Commission got a makeover but several of its newly appointed members will have familiar faces.
The Pasco County Commission on July 10 approved an ordinance that revamps an existing two-step process for previewing land use and zoning applications.
Commissioners disbanded a long-standing advisory board, known as the Development Review Committee, or DRC. That committee generally reviewed applications and made recommendations to the County Commission.
The DRC was made up of county department heads and the county administrator.
The county’s new ordinance also reduces the size of the Planning Commission from an 11-member board to seven voting members.
Six planning commissioners are county appointments, with the seventh member appointed by the Pasco County School District.
While the configuration has changed, five of the county’s appointees were members of the outgoing board. They are: Michael Cox, Jaime Girardi, Charles Grey, Peter Hanzel and Kevin Ryman.
Roberto Saez is the only new face on the board. He formerly was Pasco’s senior construction project manager for Pasco.
Chris Williams, the school district’s planning director, has been approved by the school district to fill the seventh slot. He, too, served on the outgoing board.
The new planning commission will have its inaugural meeting on July 26. It will be the only board making decisions and recommendations to county commissioners on development-related issues.
County commissioners unanimously approved the ordinance and new appointees.
The streamlined approach, which took years to become reality, initially was recommended by a study conducted by The Urban Land Institute in 2008.
Pasco staff members culled through 29 applications for the new planning commission, including seven current members.
They presented county commissioners with a list of 15 applicants, from which six candidates emerged with sufficient votes to make the final cut.
County commissioners also initially approved Dennis Smith – a current planning commission member – as an alternate in the event that Cox had to decline his appointment.
Cox was waiting to hear if he would be appointed to a state ethics commission, which would make him ineligible to also serve on the planning commission.
The ethics commission appointment didn’t happen, so Cox will serve on the planning commission. And, the appointment of Smith as alternate became moot.
Published July 18, 2018