Delaney appointed to Land Development Performance Review Committee

Fallbrook’s Eileen Delaney has been appointed to the county’s new Land Development Performance Review Committee.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 April 24 to select Delaney as one of the committee’s seven members.

“I’m very pleased to have been appointed,” Delaney said.

In April 2011 the Board of Supervisors created the Red Tape Reduction Task Force with the purpose of examining the land development permitting process and identifying potential operational improvements. The goal was to improve efficiency with the objective of internal changes in the roles of county planning staff. The task force provided 35 recommendations, the most controversial of which was to eliminate or significantly restrict community planning and sponsor groups. That received no support from the county supervisors, but the less controversial recommendations were forwarded to county staff for implementation in March 2012.

One of those recommendations was an external “audit committee” to review performance. The Board of Supervisors provided direction on membership composition in May 2012 before establishing the Land Development Performance Review Committee in August 2012. The mission of the committee is to work with county staff to develop meaningful performance measures which capture project timelines and costs to demonstrate efficiencies gained over time through process improvements. The committee will meet twice a year and provide reports to the Board of Supervisors.

“I think it’s important. We have a lot of people who come to Planning Group and have to come back numerous times because there’s a lot of red tape involved,” Delaney said. “The process can be very grueling and costly.”

The committee consists of one member of a Fifth Supervisorial District planning or sponsor group (Delaney), one member of a Second District planning or sponsor group (Ramona Community Planning Group chair Jim Piva), one member from the building or engineering industry (Ted Shaw), one member from the environmental community (Joe Thompson), and three members (Chris Brown, Doug Logan, and Paul Smith) who have experience working on projects both in the unincorporated area and in other land use jurisdictions and are a property owner of unincorporated land, a developer of unincorporated land, or a planning or land use consultant or technical expert in a related field.

The county’s Chief Administrative Officer recommended the appointments of Shaw, Thompson, Brown, Logan, and Smith. Supervisor Dianne Jacob recommended Piva’s appointment while Supervisor Bill Horn recommended Delaney.

“Eileen Delaney will bring great experience and perspective to the Land Development Performance Review Committee. She is a long-time resident, a planning group member and design review board chair,” Horn said.

“I’d like to help make some improvement,” Delaney said. “I think small and large project applicants could benefit from a more streamlined process.”

Delaney’s term will expire on January 5, 2015, which is when the next Board of Supervisors term for the Fifth District representative begins. She can be appointed to another term, as can the other six members. Piva’s term expires on January 2, 2017; the other five members have four-year terms.

Delaney and her husband, Phil, moved from Orange County to Fallbrook in 1995 after purchasing their property in 1993. They own DCA1 Companies, Inc., whose business activities include historical documents and electronics.

Delaney, who was raised in Orange County and graduated from Valencia High School, joined the Fallbrook Community Planning Group in 2000 and was re-elected in 2002, 2006, and 2010. She has chaired the planning group’s Design Review Board subcommittee for the past eleven years and has also been on the planning group’s Land Use, Parks and Recreation, Circulation, and Public Facilities subcommittees (she is currently serving on the Land Use and the Parks and Recreation subcommittees as well as the Design Review Board subcommittee). She has also been the planning group’s representative to the I-15 Corridor Design Review Board, and she is has also been a board member of the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce.

Although Delaney and her husband are not professionally involved in the building industry, they have been involved in the building improvement process for personal projects.

“I’ve seen both sides of the process,” Delaney said.

Over the years Delaney has learned that a Department of Planning and Development Services (formerly Department of Planning and Land Use) counter critical to a project can be closed during lunch break, which is often when applicants whose improvements are personal rather than professional desire to make the trip to the county administrative facility. “That’s just an example of something I’d like to find out and explore if there’s a reasonable way to find a solution to that,” Delaney said. “I want to find out of there’s a solution for that.”

The Red Tape Reduction Task Force was created with the goal of greater efficiency rather than reduced community and public review. Although the county’s planning groups opposed the task force’s recommendation to restrict planning and sponsor group authority, they were supportive of other internal efficiency improvements.

“It’s not at the expense of the community. It’s just things that people should know ahead of time,” Delaney said.

Delaney noted that the review committee covers some projects which are not subject to planning group review. “By having a more efficient process it cuts down on expenses,” she said. “It just needs to be more streamlined. I think they’re going in the right direction.”

The task force was part of the county’s business process re-engineering initiative which has included policy changes to ensure that initial applications are more complete, thus reducing the number of review cycles and revisions.

“I hope to help make this a better process for everyone, for the communities and for the county staff,” Delaney said.

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