Nasalroad selected to serve second term on Planning Commission

July 27, 2001
Santa Paula City Council

After a wide-ranging interview and split vote for first-time applicant Michael Miller, the City Council selected Gary Nasalroad to his second term on the Planning Commission.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesAfter a wide-ranging interview and split vote for first-time applicant Michael Miller, the City Council selected Gary Nasalroad to his second term on the Planning Commission.Miller and Nasalroad were asked to answer council questions ranging from their vision of the future to the ethics of being invited to lunch by a developer.Santa Paula has the opportunity to “create a vibrant and dynamic community,” through urban development and utilizing the downtown for mixed use, said Miller, an international marketing consultant. “Maximizing” the potential of creation sources - such as the Redevelopment Agency - and community visioning could bring a “powerful payback.”A leader of the successful Measure I SOAR initiative which gives voters decision making powers on development in Adams Canyon, Miller said he does not not consider himself “no growth, but feel we need responsible growth.”Sticking to the General Plan and new Housing Element which “broadly outline what we want to do and how to get there,” is key, said Nasalroad, a retired Southern California Edison manager.“I’ve tried as a Planning Commissioner to cut through red tape and welcome businesses that will help the community,” economically, including those that will improve the “overall look” of Santa Paula, he noted. Housing construction has been at a virtual standstill - with only an average of 18 a year out of the 199 annually allowed being built - and the city “absolutely has to have more housing to meet the needs.”
The extent of the commissions latitude and authority includes zoning and design issues, said Nasalroad. The commission has sent back “Many projects that we felt didn’t meet the criteria,” but having conceptual reviews is a positive. “We try to make wise decisions and ask tough questions. . .”Miller said the commission is “on the front line, sees things first,” and should also play a role with community outreach. Garnering more public input on housing issues is important as would be citizen education on planning and other issues. “It would be a real opportunity for the commission to provide that service as well. . .”Both agreed that private meetings with developers would not be on their agendas.Nasalroad said being a commissioner is a “very vital function with far reaching ramifications,” and when he was asked to apply for the commission after long service on the Ventura commission, he hopes to bring his experience to “help the process a little bit. . .”“It’s about public service. . .we do this because we care about community,” said Miller. He would hope to “make a difference, contribute the energy to make things happen. I’m dedicated to learning land use issues and planning,” to make Santa Paula a “dynamic and exciting place. . .”Nasalroad has much experience, said Councilman Rick Cook during discussion on the applicants, and Councilwoman Laura Flores Espinosa noted that Nasalroad has been an excellent commission chairperson. But, “I’m particularly impressed with Miller’s new planning ideas,” and his “more balanced view of housing for all income levels.”Her motion to select Miller failed 3-2, and when Mayor Don Johnson made the motion to select Nasalroad the council approved it unanimously.

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