Mostly clear

Petaluma council reshapes planning commission

For the second time in four years, the Petaluma Planning Commission has undergone a wholesale makeover, this time at the hands of the business friendly City Council majority.

A previous council combined two city planning and architectural-review boards, resulting in a single Planning Commission that hears both zoning and design matters.

At the time, the council's environmentally friendly majority won a battle to replace the more business-oriented members of both boards with ones that more closely aligned with their views.

The move produced a Planning Commission that exercised tighter restrictions on growth and greater control over development proposals.

It also deepened a rift between political opponents, with Councilman Mike Healy calling the changes a "power grab" and current Mayor David Glass characterizing them as an "efficiency grab."

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