Covington’s Planning Commission needs a new member, and soon.
A vacancy opened up recently and with a series of important issues to consider, explained commission chairman Daniel Key in an email interview, it is vital to get the spot filled by June 1.
Key wrote that he has served nearly eight years on the commission. A Covington native, Key wrote that he moved back to raise his family here, and since then is proud and impressed with how the city has grown since it incorporated in 1997.
“I have always been civic minded and when I saw an advertisement in the Reporter for an opening I applied,” Key wrote. “I had no agenda or specific issue to address. I just felt this was a great opportunity to serve and help Covington continue its success.”
The vacancy on the Planning Commission is the first in some time. Key wrote that the commission membership has been stable in the past year as commissioners are appointed by the City Council to serve staggered four year terms.
“Most commissioners will serve the full term,” Key wrote. “Many ask to be reappointed to a second term. Those who step down are most often pulled away by other circumstances in their life.”
This opening has been advertised in the Reporter and on the city’s website, Key explained. The city staff and City Council handle the application and interview process.
It is important to fill the open seat, Key wrote, by June 1 because of the work ahead of the Planning Commission this year. The group advocates for residents and advises the Council on issues related to land use and zoning.
“The commission is also very collaborative and values diverse perspectives and opinions on each of the topics we discuss,” Key wrote. “As long as we have vacancies, we may be missing a point of view that would bring new insight into the discussion. This year, as in most, we have significant issues on the work plan and want to get new commissioners up to speed as quickly as possible.”
Primarily, Key wrote, those who wish to volunteer for the commission should want to serve the community as well as have an interest in how the environment in the city, both natural and constructed, are managed.
“We have some very exciting topics on the work plan for the remainder of the year,” Key wrote. “The most visible of those is what we call the Hawk Property Subarea Plan and (environmental impact statement). This is the current phase of the Northern Gateway Area Study initiated by the City Council. This study will help the city develop land use, zoning and development regulations for what is now the gravel pit operation south of (state Route 18) at the Southeast 256th Street exit. The Planning Commission will review the proposed code amendments and take public input before making a recommendation to the council.”
In addition, there are a number of other items on the commission’s agenda for the rest of 2013, Key wrote.
Key explained the commission’s work is intended to support the vision outlined in the city’s comprehensive plan.
“If you care about the long term health and vitality of our city, I know of no other way for a volunteer to have a greater impact,” Key wrote.
For more information log on to http://www.covingtonwa.gov/city_government/planningcommission.html.