Two new members are joining Portola Valley's Planning Commission, replacing commissioners who left for Town Council seats. Retired attorney Lynda Brothers will fill the one-year term, while computer engineer Ronny Krashinsky will serve the two-year term.
The council spent two and a half hours interviewing candidates for the five-member commission, which is responsible for addressing land use policy and development in town, as well as the Architectural & Site Control Commission (ASCC) during a Monday, Jan. 9, meeting. Read more about the candidates here.
The Planning Commission is in the midst of helping the town finalize its state-mandated housing element update. The town needs to submit a compliant housing element to the state by the end of this month. Judith Hasko and Craig Taylor both stepped down from the Planning Commission in December when they were sworn in as Town Council members.
The ASCC has two openings with the same term lengths, but a decision on those seats has been delayed until the week of Jan. 30.
The five-member ASCC is charged with the approving design review applications and site development permits, including applications for new homes, second units, larger additions, second-story additions and commercial buildings, among other duties.
Nomination for the Planning Commission one-year term
In a 4-1 vote, the council voted to appoint Brothers to the one-year seat, with Vice Mayor Sarah Wernikoff voting against. Brothers moved to Portola Valley about a year ago. Wernikoff was the only vote in favor of Krashinsky for the one-year term.
Before the vote, Council member Mary Hufty nominated Brothers for the one-year Planning Commission seat, which Taylor seconded. Wernikoff nominated Krashinsky, which Mayor Jeff Aalfs seconded.
Hasko nominated technology company founder Karen Vahtra, but no one seconded her nomination.
Nomination for the Planning Commission two-year term
In a 3-2 vote, the council voted to appoint Krashinsky, who moved to town two years ago, for the two-year seat. Aalfs, Taylor and Wernikoff voted for Krashinsky. Hasko and Hufty voted for architect Carter Warr.
Taylor nominated Krashinsky, which Aalfs seconded.
Hasko nominated Warr and Hufty seconded it.
Aalfs nominated PV Forum founder Rebecca Flynn, which Wernikoff seconded.
Hufty nominated Vahtra, but no one seconded the nomination.
Architectural & Site Control Commission vote delayed
The council decided to take more time to make a decision on who they'll appoint to the ASCC, pushing the vote until the week of Jan. 30. The two candidates up for vote on Wednesday were Lucy Neely, who is up to chair the Race & Equity and Finance committees, and Warr, who also applied for the Planning Commission.
Hasko noted that she doesn't think someone who is already a committee chair should be on the ASCC, referring to Neely.
"I think we should go back out and get a bigger pool," Hufty said. "I don't think we've done our due diligence with recruiting. ... Everyone is saying there's interest out there we're not tapping into."
Wernikoff agreed, noting that those who weren't selected for the Planning Commission could be good candidates for the ASCC.
"The urgency for (filling) the ASCC is less so than the Planning Commission," she said.
Applications for the ASCC seats are due Jan. 27 at 5 p.m. The council will select interview and appointment dates after they determine times that work for candidates.
Watch a video of the meeting here.