Opinion

Planninig Commision welcomes input

The North Bend Planning Commission (NBPC) would like to

thank all the citizens who attended and/or gave comments at the joint North

Bend City Council (NBCC) and NBPC public hearing on the proposed

Design Standards/Guidelines. We look forward to receiving additional

written comments by the April 27 SEPA deadline.

However, in light of some of the comments made at the public

hearing, the commissioners would like to help foster communication and

understanding with the business and property owners with the following

response. Collectively, the NBPC brings extensive backgrounds in the areas of

architectural engineering, mechanical engineering, local business

ownership, longtime Valley residencies, new Valley residencies and good

old-fashioned common sense, all of which bring a broad spectrum of

experience and representation to the commission.

We were also concerned with the number of comments made that

North Bend city officials/staff have not involved the business and property

owners in development of the Design Standards/Guidelines. To our

knowledge, all citizens have been invited and encouraged to participate in this

process since it began. Additionally, there have been one to two vacancies on

the NBPC for the past one-and-1/2 years, as well as one vacancy at present.

The NBPC is an excellent opportunity for individuals expressing

such concerns to get involved and make an impact. Yet it has been difficult to

fill these vacant positions, despite Mayor Simpson's desire and efforts to

appoint additional commission members who have backgrounds in the local

business community.

Local business owners also stated a desire to see council and

commission members make personal visits to the businesses. While this is an

excellent idea, it is difficult for most of us as planning commissioners to

achieve because we work full time and have families. Having all NBPC

meetings open to the public is one way for us to meet citizens and solicit input.

Holding public hearings and workshops is another.

On the flip side, occasional evening meetings of the Chamber

of Commerce or the newly formed North Bend Merchants Association would

be helpful as an additional opportunity for the NBPC to have more

contact with business owners.

We are involved as planning commissioners because of our

commitment to and concern for the community in which we live. We (the

NBPC) are carefully weighing all of your comments in conjunction with making

sure that the Design Standards/Guidelines are consistent with the North

Bend Comprehensive Plan, North Bend Vision Plan and Resolution No. 639

before making our final recommendation to the city council.

Michelle Gustafson, Ken Hearing, George H.

Brown Jr., George Cook, Mark Morgan and Roger L. Cox III,

North Bend Planning Commission

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