If you are planning to attend the Tustin Planning Commission meeting this Tuesday, you may want to have someone keep the car running. By the looks of the short agenda, you probably won’t be there long. That is, unless you are one of the residents or businesses along First Street. Then, you may wish to read the Agenda Report on the First Street Specific Plan and attend the meeting. The plan has not been updated since 1985 and Elizabeth Binsack’s staff are recommending a facelift. It has always been the intention of the city to eventually eliminate the residential uses along First Street and create a neighborhood commercial zone. Of course, that has not happened and, by the looks of it, probably won’t in our lifetime.
Over the years, the original plan has served well to keep the status quo. So, apparently, the update would be to eliminate earlier identified “expansion areas” of commercial activity into residential areas and fix zoning issues that cause confusion. These seemingly minor incursions, as noted by the draft, would be met with strong opposition from residents in the area anyway.
In any case, Binsack’s staff have created, what appears at first glance to be, an excellent update to the First Street Specific Plan that actually maintains the neighborly atmosphere of the street and will allow the continuation of small businesses that have become a fixture along that lane. The only issue we might take with the Plan is the consistent reference that First Street is no longer a major thoroughfare. While Irvine Boulevard may have higher density traffic, due to the easy access to the freeway, First Street continues to be a vital thoroughfare between Tustin and Santa Ana, with similar zoning and activity in both cities.
Now, if we could just get Newport Avenue put through.
So, all of this brings us to the burning question: Why are we having a meeting of the planning commission? They cancelled the last meeting due to lack of agenda items. This agenda has three items, none of which require immediate action. So, why are we wasting staff resources and taxpayer money? Did the commissioners miss having dinner together? Does Jeff Thompson’s kids need a new pair of shoes (those DC Universe Converse aren’t cheap)?
Once thing is for sure. Commissioner Chuck Puckett has pulled papers to run for the Tustin City Council. Section 1305 of the Tustin City Code states:
a. Non-Eligibility of Candidate to Serve as Commissioner
No person shall be appointed to serve or to continue to serve as a member of any commission of the City on whose behalf there has been filed nomination papers for the office of City Councilman and the election therefor is pending.
b. Resignation of Commissioner Council Candidate
Any member of any commission of the City on whose behalf there has been filed nomination papers for the office of City Councilman shall immediately resign from his position as commissioner. In the event such resignation is not filed by said commissioner, his appointment shall be terminated as of the date of filing of nomination papers.
Now would be a good time, Chuck. Although you could conceivably continue until the final filing date in August, resigning at this meeting will allow Jerry…, uh, John…, I mean, the city council…, to appoint a new member (who will also consistently pander to the business community) to the Commission and allow you more time to locate a restaurant that still has lingerie shows. Hopefully, you can find one in Tustin, so you can live by our slogan.