West Hollywood Planning Commissioner Alan Bernstein resigned on Thursday, opening up an at-large seat on the seven-person commission.
Bernstein, who joined the commission in 2008, moved to Hancock Park several months ago. He had hoped to finish out his term of office, which expires in June, before leaving the commission. However, City Attorney Mike Jenkins said because of the city’s requirement that planning commissioners live in the city limits, Bernstein had to resign immediately.
“West Hollywood is filled with bright, passionate people who frequently disagree with each other,” Bernstein said. “As a Planning Commissioner, I learned early on that we can welcome people into the process and that we can try our best to hear what they have to say. For five years, I have tried to listen attentively to everybody and I have learned a tremendous amount from others. I am tremendously grateful to everyone who has participated in this process and who has taught me so much.”
Bernstein’s friend and fellow planning commissioner John Altschul said he would miss Bernstein.
“It was a pleasure to serve with Alan,” Altschul said. “Alan was very competent, cogent and presented his ideas very articulately. He made excellent points and analysis.”
In addition to contributing to lively commission discussions of policy, Bernstein was noted for always saying “goodnight” to his three young children during his opening commissioner comments, knowing they were watching the live broadcast of the meeting on City Channel 10.
There is no word on when the City Council will appoint Bernstein’s replacement, but it could be as early as the April 1 council meeting. A candidate for an at-large seat of the planning commission must win the approval of the majority of the council members to be appointed. The commission is made up of five direct appointees (one from each council member) and two at-large appointees.