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The city’s Design Review Committee was reinstated earlier this month with a unanimous vote from the City Council at its Feb. 3 meeting. Mayor Pro-tem Pam Patterson initially floated the idea of reviving the committee during the council’s January priority-setting retreat.

At the Feb. 3 council meeting, Sheldon Cohen, current chairman of the Planning Commission, said he understood why the DRC was previously disbanded. Cohen said the process was broken and created delays, with projects often “ping-ponging” back and forth between Planning Commission and the Design Review Committee.

“I think we can have a functioning DRC that can be more efficient if we can look at our code and … give the DRC authority and jurisdiction to deal with lighting, signage and landscape, and have those items then come back to the Planning Commission as a consent item,” Cohen said. “It would streamline the process and let the Planning Commission focus on land use issues.”

The council also voted to expand the Planning Commission from five to seven members per the recommendations of the commissioners.

“It works with five and it works with seven,” Reeve said. “It all comes down to the people making the decisions.”

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