Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Perris Honors Richard Novison

Retired Planning Commissioner Richard A. Novison stands in front of the plaque presented to him by the City of Perris honoring his service to the City
Retired Planning Commissioner Richard A. Novison stands in front of the plaque presented to him by the City of Perris honoring his service to the City.

Richard Novison said he employed a simple strategy in making decisions as a Perris Planning Commissioner.

Was the project before the commission good for the City?

“Sometimes developers didn’t want what was best for the City,” Novison said from his residence near Metz Road. “They wanted things fast and cheap and not always in the best interest of Perris. I was real touchy about that. If they could not meet the requirements we set, we told them what they had to do to meet them. If they were serious, they did what you asked them to. If they weren’t they hemmed and hawed. You knew they were in it for themselves.”

Novison resigned from the Planning Commission this month, ending six years of service on the volunteer board.

During his tenure on the commission, Novison helped oversee the development and implementation of several critical plans and projects.

Perris City Clerk Judy Haughney (right) and Planning Commissioner Dwayne Hammond present Richard Novison with his name plate during a recent ceremony honoring his service to the community
Perris City Clerk Judy Haughney (right) and Planning Commissioner Dwayne Hammond present Richard Novison with his name plate during a recent ceremony honoring his service to the community.

Those include the comprehensive rewrite of the City’s general plan, a 2008 update of the housing portion of the plan and the award-winning sustainable communities section of the conservation of resources element. That plan has earned statewide accolades from the League of California Cities.

Novison also participated in the development specific plans including Parkwest, Riverwoods, Perris Valley Commerce Center, Harvest Landing and Downtown Perris. He also guided the creation of several new Municipal Codes including those that will impact senior housing projects and provide guidelines for future industrial development. He was also a founding member of the Planning Commission’s ad hoc Committee for Site and Architectural Design.

“He was a terrific mentor to the more recently appointed commissioners and a great ambassador for the City,” said Planning Manager Brad Eckhardt, who worked with Novison for years. “He did a fantastic job. His contributions will be missed.”

Novison arrived in Perris in 1984 from Corona.

At the time, he had retired from Hughes Aircraft and was looking for a place to relax. He sold real estate for a while before joining the planning commission on April 3, 2003. He was reappointed four years later.  Although he is leaving the commission to “give someone else the opportunity to serve,” Novison said he will continue to monitor goings-on at City Hall and will be available to dispense advice if asked.

He said he is pleased to know that his efforts have made a difference in Perris. The City was honored for its solar energy project, which will reduce Perris’ carbon footprint and sets an example of innovation in meeting a challenge.
“It’s good for the City and it’s good for the environment,” he said.

The Harvest Landing community plan will remake the central part of the City with residential, commercial and recreational opportunities for thousands. The Perris Gateway project will transform the entrance to Perris from Interstate 215. A Metrolink station currently in construction along C Street will bring people and commerce to the City.

“Perris has a really bright future ahead of it,” Novison said. “The City has good people to make it through this tough period. You treat people well and you’ll come out a winner.”

Both the Perris City Council and the Planning Commission honored Novison with plaques and proclamations celebrating his service to the City.