Current membership at the Eugene Planning Commission (EPC) violates state statutes and city code. EPC has “stacked the deck” with for-profit construction interests. As a result, EPC often defers to developers, ignores potential lasting negative community impacts and treats valid neighborhood concerns with disdain. To prevent this type of bias, codes mandate an easily attainable threshold.
Oregon Revised Statute 227.030, Eugene Code 2.332 and EPC’s own bylaws all contain this prohibition: “No more than two members shall be engaged in the same kind of occupation, business, trade, or profession.”
EPC is blatantly out of compliance. Five of seven commissioners have ties to the building community. Three commissioners (including the chair) are architects or have an architectural background and senior positions in architectural firms.
Another commissioner is retired but has a degree in architecture. The vice-chair lobbies for business and often expresses pro-development opinions. She maintains strong ties to housing advocacy groups populated by for-profit construction businesses.
If EPC can’t oversee its own membership, how can citizens trust them to impartially address thorny, controversial neighborhood development issues? This ongoing impropriety could be at the core of many questionable EPC decisions.
It’s like having the foxes supervise the building of a new hen house. The City Council must immediately level the playing field at the Eugene Planning Commission.