The Westerville Planning Commission's regular meeting Wednesday, June 24, was canceled for lack of an agenda.

The Westerville Planning Commission's regular meeting Wednesday, June 24, was canceled for lack of an agenda.

According to planning administrator Rich Kight, only one application had been submitted since last month's meeting, and staff determined it was a matter that could be handled administratively. There was no need for the commission to meet.

"It seems like generally that applications have been declining," said city planner Bassem Bitar. "We still have a lot of applications that keep us busy in the office (that do not require planning commission approval), but I would say this is probably the slowest I've seen in terms of new applications."

The city's development statistics reflect a decline in applications. According to Westerville's annual planning commission report, 39 applications were handled by the city in 2007, five of them held over from previous years.

Five more were withdrawn, and two were postponed with no further action taken

In 2008 the city handled a total of 34 development applications, with only one held over from a previous year. Three were ultimately withdrawn.

As of June 2009, the city has received nine applications for development, Kight said.

Kight said he doesn't remember the last time a planning commission meeting was canceled because there were no applications to be considered. The once-a-month meeting typically lasts three hours or longer.

"It's been a while. It certainly is not very common," he said, adding that "agendas for the past four or five months have been light."

Kight said the state of the economy might have something to do with the dwindling number of applications.

"I think that's it, the way the economy has been, but I'm hopeful that this is a one-time thing," he said. "If next month we don't have anything on the agenda, then we may have something to talk about."

The seven-member planning commission (six community appointees and one city council member) holds public hearings on land-use proposals such as subdivision plans and rezoning requests, hears and reviews plans for new office and commercial land development and provides a forum for public discussion of such matters.

The next regular planning commission meeting is scheduled for July 22.

lrice@thisweeknews.com