Established by state law, the five-member Planning Commission's primary function is to study proposed developments that may have an impact on the County's growth and environment. Specifically, the Planning Commission is assigned the review and approval authority for Conditional Use Permits, Variances and Tentative Tract Maps. The Commission also makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on amendments to the County's general plan and ordinances. The Commission ensures that proposed developments will meet the County's technical, environmental and aesthetic standards. The Commission holds public hearings to review plans to ensure that they comply with the County's zoning regulations and General Plan for development. The Planning Commission is appointed by the Board of Supervisors and represent each district within the County. The Commission receives primary support from the Current Planning and Long Range Planning Divisions of the Department of Planning and Building, a full-time, professional staff.
- Where are the meetings located?
Board of Supervisors Chambers, County Government Center, San Luis Obispo
- When are the meetings?
Second and Fourth Thursday of each month at 9:00 a.m.
- Can I view the meeting online?
Yes. Go to our live meetings page where you can watch live meetings as they happen, view archived meeting video, and download agendas
- I have a general question for the Planning Commission.
Use our online form
The current Planning Commission members are:
District 1 - Jim Irving
The Planning Commissioner representing Supervisorial District 1 is Jim Irving, a real estate broker at RE/MAX Parkside Real Estate specializing in North County properties. He is active in the California Association of Realtors and has held leadership positions on many committees most recently chairing the Land Use & Environmental Committee. He has also served as an alternate on the County Assessment Appeals Board. A lifelong resident of the Adelaide area Jim grew up on and continues to maintain the Adelaida Angus Ranch where he raises Angus cattle. His interest in the environment developed as a result of his ranching background and the 11 years he worked as a white water river guide on the Colorado and other western rivers. His commitment to the North County is evidenced by his membership on the founding board of Studios on the Park. Jim holds an M.S. in International Agriculture from Cal Poly and a B.A. in History from Harvard University. He is married and has two children. Jim looks forward to serving the citizens of District 1 and the county.
District 2 - Ken Topping
The Planning Commissioner representing Supervisorial District 2 is Ken Topping, FAICP. Ken teaches planning at Cal Poly, where he is project director for the California State Hazard Mitigation Plan Revision Project for the California Emergency Management Agency. He is former planning director for Los Angeles City (1986-1990) and San Bernardino County (1973-1986), and was general manager for the Cambria Community Services District (1997-2001). He was visiting professor at the Disaster Prevention Research Institute at Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan (2002-2004), and has done planning consulting in Asia as well as the U.S. He is an author of books and articles on community disaster resilience planning, serving as an advisor on New Orleans rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. Ken holds an M.S. in public administration from Cal State-L.A. and a B.A. in sociology from the University of Redlands. He is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP).
District 3 - Carlyn Christianson
The Planning Commissioner representing Supervisorial District 3 is Carlyn Christianson. Carlyn has worked a medical practice administrator for 11 years at Coastal Anesthesiology Medical Associates. Prior to this, she managed an OB/GYN practice. From 1989 to1995, she was Director of SLO County Planned Parenthood. She is a licensed attorney, and managed her former husband’s law practice while they raised their two sons, now 21 and 25. Her volunteer experience in San Luis Obispo has included serving on the SLO City Planning Commission (11/2002-12/2008), SLO Chamber of Commerce Health Care Task Force (6/2005-present), SLO Chamber of Commerce Housing Task Force (as Chair), SLO Chamber of Commerce Board (2001-2003), Environmental Defense Center Board (2000-2001), ACTION Housing Initiative (2000-2002), ACTION for Healthy Communities Steering Committee, Foundation for Community Design, SLO Community Health Foundation, SLO Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program Class IV, SLO County Health Commission, and the SLO Coastal Superintendent’s Blue Ribbon Committee to Study Teach School.
District 4 - Tim Murphy
The Planning Commissioner representing Supervisorial District 4 is Tim Murphy. Tim is real estate agent with Allan Real Estate Investment in Arroyo Grande. He also owns Murphy & Associates which provides property management for residential and commercial properties. Prior to his involvement in real estate, Tim had a 25 year career in agriculture starting with his employment by the USDA. In 1980 Tim became President and Co-Founder of Apio, Inc. a packer and shipper of fresh vegetables and strawberries located in Guadalupe. Tim has served as a Board Member and President of the Grower Shipper Association of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara C
ounties. He has also served on the Board of Directors of Western Growers Association representing growers in California and Arizona. Tim has been very active with the Boy & Girls Club of Santa Maria Valley serving on the Board of Director including two terms as President. Tim holds a B. A. in Agricultural Economics from Fresno State University. Tim is married and has two sons. Tim looks forward to serving the community as a planning commissioner.
District 5 - Don Campbell
Don Campbell was recently named Roblan of the Year by the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce for his distinguished service in the North County. He will bring his decades of experience as a real estate broker, educator, farmer, and community volunteer to the San Luis Obispo Planning Commission. A Cal Poly graduate, Don Campbell earned his masters degree in Ag Science and eventually a teaching credential, teaching Agriculture at San Luis Obispo High School. Later, Campbell and his wife Gail owned and operated Western Properties, which later became a Coldwell Banker franchise, specializing in farm and ranch sales and management. For over thirty years, the Campbells have been active members of the local agricultural community, raising purebred Suffolk show lambs and growing wine grapes. Campbell was a founding member of Heritage Oaks Bank and has been a board member for 30 years, currently serving as Vice Chairman. He is the only remaining founding member to still serve on the board. Campbell has been a Paso Robles Trail Ride member for 30 years, a 4-H Club leader for 23 years, a Paso Robles Rotary member for 34 years, and a Junior Livestock Auction Volunteer for 47 years. Supervisor Debbie Arnold says “Don is a widely respected fixture of the north county. He represents the best of what our rural community stands for; he is hard working, fair and dependable. Don has spent the past thirty years investing in our community. He is committed to ensuring that the Central Coast remains a place where families can not only live, but prosper.”