THOUSAND OAKS : 2 Planners End Commission Terms

After four years poring over plans for development in Thousand Oaks, Planning Commissioners Irving Wasserman and Mervyn Kopp officially relinquished their posts Monday night.

Environmental consultant Joseph G. Gibson was sworn in Monday and stock broker Ronald Polanski will join the panel soon, after he recovers from a debilitating back injury.

Wasserman, who has spent the past year as the commission chairman, told the group he was honored to have reviewed many of the city's most significant development proposals, including construction of a Circuit City store at a prominent street corner, and expansion of Amgen's business campus and Janss Mall.

He told incoming commissioners that they have many difficult decisions ahead of them.

"Those decisions will require knowledge, judgment, fairness, long hours of study and deliberation, and the ability and willingness to compromise," he said.

Kopp had critical remarks for his fellow commissioners, chiding them for not paying closer attention to developers and the experts they hire.

But he summed up with praise for his colleagues. And he had a word of advice for the incoming panelists, urging them to be fair to developers.

"Don't be afraid to take risks," Kopp said. "This city cannot afford to sit still."

Commissioners Linda Parks and Forrest Frields will continue on the panel, and Commissioner Marilyn Carpenter was seated for a second four-year term.

Polanski, reached at home where he was bedridden, said he hoped to join the new commission within the next two weeks.

And newcomer Gibson said he too was anxious to begin reviewing major projects slated to come before the commission.

The first large project set for debate before the newly constituted panel is the $100-million Seventh-day Adventist project in Newbury Park.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge," Gibson said. "It's going to be fascinating to be a part of the process."

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