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Solvang Resident John Parke Appointed to Vacant Third District County Planning Commission Seat

John Parke Click to view larger
John Parke

There’s a new face representing the Third District on the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission.

With a unanimous vote Tuesday and no discussion, the Board of Supervisors approved Third District Supervisor Joan Hartmann's appointment of Solvang resident John Parke to fill a vacancy on the five-member commission.

Parke replaces Cerene St. John, who was appointed in mid-June 2017 to fill Marrel Brooks’s seat. 

The supervisors didn’t discuss Tuesday’s appointment or why St. John stepped down from the commission, though one of the supervisors mentioned at a previous meeting that it was due to a family emergency. 

Parke is a senior partner at Allen & Kimbell, where he specializes in litigation in real estate and trust matters.

He also has significant experience in land-use representation and did post-law school service with the VISTA program representing Native Americans in Alaska, where Parke helped revise the wardship section of Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law, according to his application.

He’s also familiar with tribal law regarding sovereignty and land use, and graduated from Santa Barbara High School in 1971, UCSB in 1975 and earned his law degree from UCLA in 1978.

Locally, Parke has sat on and chaired numerous nonprofit boards, including the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County and the Channel Counties Legal Services Corporation. He currently sits on the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden board of trustees.

As a lifelong county resident, Parke is familiar with all parts of the region, including the backcountry, according to his Planning Commission application. 

He is also an avid horse endurance rider with a world record for longevity in the sport, which equates to 22 years of at least one 50-mile or longer endurance ride annually. 

He has nearly 12,000 miles of competition under his belt, as well, and also enjoys trail riding, hiking, backpacking and paddling in the ocean.

Parke’s first Planning Commission meeting is Wednesday, when the board will discuss cannabis land use ordinances.

Noozhawk contributing writer April Charlton can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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