Sutherland taps new planner |

Sutherland taps new planner

Eileen JoyceDoug Donesky and his son Wyatt (right) walk through the home he is building.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Doug Donesky, a retired real estate attorney from the North San Juan area, will be appointed to the Nevada County Planning Commission, Supervisor Robin Sutherland said Thursday.

“Doug shares my desire to preserve the rural character of Nevada County without policies that make housing unaffordable and jobs scarce,” Sutherland said in a written statement. “I believe he’ll do an outstanding job in fairly representing the land use needs of the community.”

Donesky, 43, lived in Ontario, Calif., before moving to Nevada County in 2001. He is constructing a house on 3.5 acres, a short walk from where he and his family now live.

Donesky, who met Sutherland sometime last year, said he was both pleased and surprised by his appointment. “Our philosophies are generally the same,” he said.

“Given that growth is inevitable,” he said, “we want to plan that growth in a moderate, intelligent way, so that we don’t lose the very flavor that we all love in Nevada County.”

Donesky said he opposed the controversial Natural Heritage 2020 program. “I didn’t see NH 2020 as focusing on people’s needs,” he said. “But that’s over and done with,” he added. “That’s old.”

“I’m really a middle of the road guy,” he said.

He and his wife Heather decided to move to Nevada County in part because they wanted to raise their son Wyatt, now almost 3, in a rural setting, he said. “We thought a rural upbringing would be better for him,” said Donesky, who grew up in Fortuna, south of Eureka.

He and his wife visited several areas before they chose Nevada County, he said. “We looked around and we really fell in love with this community.”

Donesky’s appointment is effective immediately.

Supervisor Drew Bedwell has yet to name a new planning commissioner to replace Dr. George Rebane, who had to step down because he is moving out of District 3. Rebane is expected to remain on the commission until a new appointment is made.

Planning Commission chairman Kurt Lorenz, who represents District 5, does not know Donesky, yet he welcomes having a full commission in place and having the people in District 4 represented, he said.

The five-member Planning Commission usually meets twice a month.

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