The San Juan County Council on Jan. 29 appointed Orcas Island's Tim Blanchard to the county planning commission.
In a 6-0 vote, the County Council backed Blanchard to fill a vacant position on the commission designated for an Orcas representative. Councilman Rick Hughes initiated the vote with a motion, seconded by Councilman Rich Peterson, North San Juan.
The planning commission, a 9-person panel of volunteers, advises and makes recommendations to the county council on matters of land use and planning decisions. Created in accordance with state law, it conducts workshops and public hearings that are, according to the county website, a "public forum where public opinion and advice becomes part of the County’s records and decision making process."
Blanchard was the only applicant seeking to fill the commission's vacant Orcas Island post.
An attorney with Orcas-based Blanchard Manning, he has been an active voice before both the planning commission and the council on local planning-related issues. He is vice-president of the Common Sense Alliance, and a member of the group's board of directors, which on Feb. 4 filed a Petition for Review with the state Growth Management Hearings Board contesting the revised and recently council-approved critical areas ordinance.
— Steve Wehrly