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Planning Commission sees more turnover 

The San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission is going green. No, not necessarily environmentally speaking. Come 2011, newcomers will be in the majority since three commissioners—current chair Anne Wyatt, Gene Mehlschau, and Bruce White—have announced their plans to step down at the
end of the year.

On Dec. 13, County Supervisor Frank Mecham sent out a press release confirming he had received White’s official resignation after rumors began circulating he would join the list of the departing.

“Due to the impacts on his business, family matters, and the inordinate amount of time required to perform the tasks of a planning commissioner, Mr. White has chosen this time to step down,” Mecham wrote.

White, who owns a North County plumbing business and manages a number of rental properties, has served on the commission for two years.

Mecham wrote that he will ask the board to approve longtime county resident Jim Irving to replace White on Jan. 4. Irving, owner of the Adelaida Angus Ranch and a Harvard University graduate, has served as alternate on the county Assessment and Appeals Board as well as chairman of the land use and environmental committee for the California Association of Realtors.

Neither White nor Mecham could be reached as of press time.

On Dec. 14, the Board of Supervisors approved Cambria resident Kenneth Topping, a lecturer at Cal Poly’s City and Regional Planning Department and former general manager of the Cambria Community Services District, to replace Wyatt. Wyatt said she told Gibson of her plans in September 2010.

Wyatt told New Times her tenure on the commission has been “enjoyable” but that she now plans to focus on a housing policy project outside of the county, which will be the topic of a book she’s authoring.

“The volunteer efforts that both commissioners and members of the public make in pursuit of these visions is inspiring,” she said. “It has been both interesting and frustrating attempting to balance often competing interests and to learn both how our process works and how it fails us.”

There’s still no word from incoming South County supervisor Paul Teixeira on who he plans to nominate to replace longtime Commissioner Gene Mehlschau, who has served since 2001.

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