Embattled planning commissioner to step down

December 11, 2010

Bruce White

UPDATE: On Monday morning, supervisor Frank Mecham sent out a press release, accepting the resignation of Bruce White from the county planning commission.

Mecham is nominating Adelaida rancher and realtor Jim Irving to replace White.

Original Story: San Luis Obispo County Planning Commissioner Bruce White is expected to resign, making him the third commissioner to depart in a month. [Tribune]

Supervisor Frank Mecham is slated to make an announcement about White’s resignation on Monday.

In an exclusive, CalCoastNews reported that White had broken several laws related to building and planning issues.

White partnered with former North County developer Kelly Gearhart to build 18 two-bedroom “efficiency houses” on three small streets off of Traffic Way east of U.S. Highway 101. White and Gearhart agreed to build three low-cost housing units in exchange for a high density bonus.

In 1998, White purchased one of the low cost housing units from Gearhart and moved his fiancée into the home.

In 2003, White sold the home at 5900 Teresa Street for $297,926, even though, according to the low-cost housing agreement, it should have had a maximum sales price of $166,240.

A few months before he sold the home, White tore out the firewall between the home and the garage – a health and safety code violation – and added a closet. The changes transformed the den into a third bedroom, all without getting the required permits.

The planning commission’s primary function is to study proposed developments and to make sure projects comply with the county’s zoning regulations and general plan.

Each of the five county supervisors appoints one planning commissioner with the board as a whole having final approval. Mecham appointed White two years ago.

District 2 Planning Commissioner Anne Wyatt also resigned from the board. Cal Poly professor Ken Topping is expected to be her replacement.

Recently elected supervisor Paul Teixeira has not yet announced who he will select to replace outgoing 4th District Commissioner Gene Mehlschau.



  1. Dave says:

    This is how The Tribune is spinning the story tonight. Very sad, especially since Karen Velie has offered to share the documents with them.


    (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
    • Dave says:

      Meanwhile KSBY weighs in and at least has the professional courtesy to credit Karen and air the White allegations.


      (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
    • Vagabond says:

      Ya, I noticed they changed the headline of the story twice.
      (Does that Crutchfield guy work at the Trib too?)

      (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
    • knows it says:

      Thanks for the heads up Dave.
      In response to such a crappy no news report on this-I’ll just throw my paper in the recycling without opening it.

      Thanks Tribune for running away from a very interesting story. You take a hot subject (White) and ruin it with way too much info on somebody who is boring (his replacement).


      (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
    • Vagabond says:

      The Tibune, worse than nothing, and I am by no means the first one to say that.

      (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down

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