Planning commissioners named |

Planning commissioners named

Joey Crandall, Staff Writer

Two seats on the Douglas County Planning Commission were filled Thursday afternoon — one by a familiar face, the other by a relatively new one.

The Douglas County Commission appointed Richard Gardner, of Stateline, and Robert Conner, of Minden, at its Stateline meeting. Gardner received a two-year term and Conner will serve a three-year term.

Gardner, a Lake Tahoe attorney, previously served on the planning commission and has been in Douglas County for 24 years.

He was appointed to a two-year term but received only three votes of approval from the commission. He was in Sacramento Friday taking an exam and was unavailable for comment.

“My family has had a visible presence in Douglas County for the last 36 years,” Gardner said in his application packet. “I have lived in both the Carson Valley and in the Tahoe Basin.”

He also wrote that most of his legal experience has been in development and redevelopment of commercial retail and office projects. In Douglas County, his practice has dealt primarily with the entitlement of mid to large residential communities.

Conner, a manager at the Minden Urgent Care Center, has lived in the Valley for nearly three years.

“I’m kind of excited; it’s a new experience for me,” Conner said. “I’m really looking forward to the challenges that this post will present.”

He said he first became interested in applying for the position after seeing the urban sprawl of other communities.

“I just didn’t want to be in a similar situation, where we lose our agricultural land,” he said. “I want to preserve our agricultural heritage but continue to keep the place growing with new residents and businesses.”

Conner said in his application packet that the master plan should be reviewed to continue to make sure it meets the community’s needs and goals and that he looks forward to being part of the review process.

Conner received a unanimous vote of approval from the commission.

The seats filled Thursday had been vacated earlier in the year after Carolyn Whitmire and Gerald Brown resigned for personal reasons.

A total of 16 applicants were considered. Eight were added for consideration after the agenda had been released. An additional two seats will be appointed early next year to fill vacancies that will be created when Valida McMichael’s and Mark Neuffer’s terms expire.

The remaining 14 applicants will be considered for those two seats.

Among the applicants are McMichael, David Bingham, John Carne, Lorilyn Chitwood, James DeGraffenreid, Robert Havranek, Garry den Heyer, Greg Lynn, Michael Olson, Bud Orange, Loren Orr, Peggy Quinlan, Joyce Richardson and Richard Simpson.

– Joey Crandall can be reached at or at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.