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San Luis Obispo County, California


Planning & Building

James A. Bergman

Bill Robeson
Deputy Director, Permitting

Trevor Keith
Deputy Director, Policies and Programs

 > County Home Page > Planning and Building > Planning Commission

Planning Commission

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:

Jim Irving 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.

Ken Topping Photo 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).


Eric Meyer, District 3District 3 - Eric Meyer

The Planning Commissioner representing Supervisorial District 3 is Eric Meyer. Eric has built several clothing and footwear brands in the action sports category, most notably the brand Simple Shoes. He is one of the founders of the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). The CIE runs the Cal Poly “Hothouse” business incubator in downtown San Luis Obispo.  Prior to being appointed to the County Planning Commission, Eric served as Vice Chair of the Planning Commission for the City of SLO and as Chairman of the SLO City Land Use and Circulation Update Task Force. He was born in San Luis Obispo and raised in Morro Bay, but has also lived in Laguna Beach, Santa Barbara, and the Bay area during his career.  Eric graduated from Morro Bay High School and holds a BS in Art and Design from Cal Poly.  He enjoys bicycling, restoring old German cars, and restoring vintage homes

Jim Harrison  District 4 - Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison, the Planning Commissioner representing District 4 was appointed by Supervisor Lynn Compton in January 2015. He comes to the Planning Commission as the former Nipomo Community Services President (6 years). Before that Mr. Harrison was a board member of the South County Advisory Council and First Vice President of the San Luis Obispo Fire Safe Council. He is retired from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department (1966-2003) where he ended his career as the Division Chief in charge of the Operations Section. He worked as an EMT on an ambulance while off duty from 1969-1975. And from 1975-1980 was part owner of a tree service. . From 1963-1966 Mr. Harrison was a truck driver. Mr. Harrison’s education includes Fire Science instruction at Allan Hancock and Cuesta Colleges, where he would later become a Fire Science instructor himself. He attended the California State Fire Academy, the Federal Fire Academy, and UCSB Hazard Materials classes. For recreation Mr. Harrison enjoys equestrian activities and is a member and on the Board of Directors of Ride Nipomo, and a member or West Coast Rocky Mountain Equestrian Group as well as the Back Country Horsemen.

Don Campbell

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.”