Commission considers search for new consultant

The Hillsboro Community Planning & Development Commission talked about their search for a new zoning consultant during their May 31 meeting.

Eric Strauss, the city’s planning and zoning consultant for the past several years, will be moving out of state, creating a vacancy for Hillsboro.

City Administrator Steve Garrett asked the commission what kind of characteristics they would want in a successor.

Gaylord Goertzen, commission chair, said he felt the commission needed someone who could interpret zoning regulations, do the background work on specific issues, and then guide the commission with recommendations and sound advice.

Goertzen said the consultant should ensure that the decisions made by the commission were technically and legally correct. It was also important that a consultant be able to meet with the commission as needed to answer questions.

Philosophically, the commission indicated it favored controlled growth for the city, but did not want to be overly restrictive.

Garrett said he would gather credentials on prospective candidates and set up interviews with two or three applicants by the end of June.

The commission talked with Garrett about his role as the city’s official “zoning administrator.” Goertzen said what the commission needed from him was someone who understood existing regulations and could answer the commission’s questions about them.

Garrett said he had worked with zoning issues in his past positions. He also said he had also involved planning commissions in city planning.

That issue will be pursued at a later date.

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