Local News in Brief : Planning Commissioner Quits

Hawthorne Planning Commissioner Barbara Workman has resigned, protesting what she called "a lack of openness and concern" by Commission Chairman Maurice Lee.

In an interview, Workman said she has been dissatisfied for some time with the way Lee has handled public input into commission matters. The deciding factor, she said, was Lee's refusal to hear about 100 residents who attended the last commission meeting to protest proposed zoning changes in their neighborhood from residential to freeway commercial, as well as a plan to designate it as a redevelopment district.

The rezoning was originally on the April 20 agenda as part of discussions to update the city's general plan, but it was withdrawn to give the Planning Department more time for preparation. Residents apparently did not know of the change. But because the matter was not on the agenda, Lee declined to hear the public.

Lee, who receives messages for comment through the Planning Department, was not available.

Workman said that even though the general plan discussions were postponed, she believed that the commission should have heard the residents. "They may have had the wrong time, but they certainly had the right place--City Hall."

Workman was appointed to the Planning Commission eight years ago. She was the only woman on the five-member commission.

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