Yucca Valley, Ca.,- Tuesday evening, I attended the 3 hour meeting of the Yucca Valley Planning Commission meeting. I could count five persons sitting in the audience, two represented the local media and one was from the Marine Base Division G-5.
After 2 1/2 hours, I was the only citizen sitting in the audience straining to hear what the commissioners were discussing. For some reason, their tables were set far back against the back wall and the chairs for attendees were placed in the middle of the room a distance from the dais. Making matters worse, Chair Tim Humphreville mumbles when he speaks. Vice Chair Bridenstein has a very pleasant but soft voice. Also, during their discussions, they would turn their heads to speak to each other instead of speaking into the microphone.
I only had 3 minutes to speak on the 3 agenda items, so I had to be careful where to place my comments. The discussion of the new Panda Express and drive through Taco Bell did not concern me because I knew it was a done deal coming before this Planning Commission. The drive-through area is “convoluted” at best, as described by the local radio report…putting it nicely.
Agenda item #2 was the Development Code update of Article Three. I decided to speak first on a specific topic which I will explain in detail on another post relating to the COO, Certificate of Occupation awarded to AM/PM Sonic Burger.
This agenda item took over 2 hours to review with everyone taking turns to say…”I thought we discussed this already,” or “What did we discuss earlier on this?” and Staff promising to look up the past discussions. I found this troublesome the commissioners remembered a specific conclusion on a matter which was not reflected in this presentation. The greatest asset to this dais is Commissioner Steve Whitten bringing his previous planning experience followed by Commissioner Vickie Bridenstein who continually helped Humphreville find his place on the agenda.
The only contribution to the conversation by Chair Humphreville was pertaining to his own personal concerns. His family business is Creative Construction building spec homes on in-fill lots by scraping the lots clean. He was against any minimal requirement of landscaping. Also, Humphreville was against placing any Wildlife Corridor maps in the General Plan update to describe potential areas requiring possible mitigation. He owns several parcels in the wildlife corridor on the east side of Yucca Valley and in Joshua Tree. He did not recuse himself from the discussions OR the vote. Here is his 2010 Declaration of Economic Interests>LINK
The next item, 2 1/2 hours later, was agenda #3 to discuss Home Occupancy Permits. I decided to speak first before hearing any discussions as Staff suggested it was very late. Looking around the room, I was the only citizen remaining at this late hour to speak my 3 minutes. I suggested this item be discussed in a future study session to include the citizens of our town at a more reasonable hour to receive community input. I mentioned the case law of “Quiet Enjoyment” that was brought up at the last meeting on HOP’s and the controversial selling of guns out of a neighborhood residence or apartment unit. I suggested adding Tattoo Parlors, Massage Parlors, Tanning Booths and Hair Salons to the list of businesses prohibited by the current HOP. Beep! My 3 minutes were up!
I stood at the lectern while the commissioners were discussing this item and the consensus was to have a work shop and conduct some outreach to the public for input. Then on to the next item.
There was a pause as Humphreville was flipping through his notebook trying to find his place.
I started to say…”I apologize…” when Chair Humphreville yelled out, ” Your 3 minutes are up!”
Completely ignoring his rudeness, I continued.
“I was cut off. I was going to say I apologize for standing here at the lectern while you all were discussing this matter. It is very difficult to hear your discussions from the audience because you turn your heads to speak to each other instead of speaking into the microphone.”
I then looked right at the beet-red-face Humphreville and said, ” Thank you for your patience.”
And then they wonder why no one shows up for these meetings?
Chair Humphreville’s rudeness was a poor reflection on the entire commission and he should step down. As I have said before, he is unfit to be the Chair as he accidentally rotated into that position. He definitely is not a leader. He might have learned about respect if he had gone into the military but I doubt he would survive one week of boot camp.
I can hardly wait until another coyote crosses his path to teach him some humility.
Humphreville is definitely not a leader he is a wimp.
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