The Queen Anne Community Council Land Use Review Committee will soon have a fresh set of faces as well as a new chairman ready for a new challenge.

Denny Bird has taken over as LURC chairman, replacing Marty Kaplan, who is moving outside Queen Anne limits. Kaplan will still be involved, at least for the time being, in an advisory capacity and perhaps pursuing code and zoning issues.

While LURC numbers have shrunk to just he and Kaplan, Bird said, recently quite a few people have expressed interest in joining, and he hopes to have a full committee soon. He has invited prospects to attend the next meeting via Zoom so they can get a feel for what’s going on.

“I want them to have a passion more than a background. I want them to have a passion for our community, for what they want our community to look like long term,” Bird said, adding it would be nice to perhaps have an architect on board, as well as a business owner on Queen Anne Avenue.

Bird said LURC will also take a different direction than it has in recent years. He said his interest is in working with developers to get them to build projects that will lean toward a “picture perfect streetscape,” with user-friendly sidewalks and buildings that fit into the community.

“That’s more the direction it’s going to go,” Bird said.

He said hopefully Kaplan will continue following up on city zoning code issues and other planning issues with the city. Recently, Kaplan has been following closely the city’s decision to temporarily change the design review process from community to administrative design review.

“I want to stay more focused on what we can do,” Bird said. “I want it to be a positive experience for us and the developer.”

He said, as long as the developer is following current code requirements, he is content to address the physical design aspects of the project.

Bird said he took over the committee at Community Council President Ellen Monrad’s request because he has been on the board for almost five years and he has a background in structural civil engineering and project management.

“I love buildings,” he said, adding he’s probably more passionate about the outside of buildings than what is on the inside. “I like a nice, sustainable building. I like architecture. I like it to be done well so that it stands up to time.”

Since Bird joined LURC, the size of the committee has varied, with numbers fluctuating based on the size of the project and community interest, he said. LURC grew significantly for projects such as the Safeway development, for example, but dwindled when those weren’t on the forefront.

Now Bird wants a LURC committee of five to seven people. Bird said LURC will meet at least once a month and will require a minor time commitment of four or five hours from members, including educating and familiarizing themselves with the projects or issues before them.

Once the new LURC members are selected, the committee will appoint a secretary and a vice chair, and as Bird needs to or the committee sees fit, members will be assigned projects to follow.

“I think it’s very dependent upon how many projects there are,” Bird said.

LURC is one of the Queen Anne Community Council subcommittees, but Bird can independently write letters to agencies, organizations or developers without prior approval. He said, however, unless there is a quick turnaround in which a letter needs to be sent, he will try to include the LURC members.

“I want their feedback,” he said.