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Planning commission to lose its chairman

Jill Lufrano

Carson City’s Planning Commission chairman said he will not return to the board after his term ends in June, making him the second commissioner to leave his post before a project to update the city’s master plan.

Chairman Richard Wipfli said he will leave in June, marking the end of 19 years of volunteer service.

“I’ve been there a long time,” Wipfli said. “I’ve enjoyed it. It’s a very difficult job and very demanding. It’s one of those journeys you love, but it’s really hard.”

Wipfli, 55, has also served on the city’s Historic Resources Commission for 11 years. His departure from the Planning Commission will end his volunteerism with the city, he said. He continues to work as a general contractor in Carson City, a job he has held for more than 30 years.

Wipfli and Commissioner Allan Christianson are both leaving in June before the city begins the time-intensive task of updating the city’s plans for the future with zoning and resources. The last master plan update required several extra meetings, Christianson said.

Filling the commission position to replace Wipfli will allow the city to get a commissioner who will be able to follow the plan through to the end, Wipfli said. Commissioners serve four years for each term and are appointed by the city’s Board of Supervisors.

City Manager Linda Ritter said the city expects to spend the next 12 to 18 months completing the master plan update.

“We’re sorry to lose experienced planning commissioners such as these – they’ve done a great job for the city,” Ritter said. “It is the appropriate time now to possibly change personnel at the Planning Commission level. It would be harder halfway through the master plan process.”

Public participation in open meetings with the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors is expected to take a majority of the time expected to finish the plan, Ritter said.

“The public process is going to take the longest and we want to make sure we do it right,” Ritter said. “We want to have everybody’s buy in. It’s the community’s plan.”

Contact Jill Lufrano at jlufrano@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.