Jeremy Stephens. (submitted photo)

Jeremy Stephens. (submitted photo)

An unusually large number of Haines residents applied for two open seats on the planning commission.

One seat was vacated by newly-elected assembly member Heather Lende. The other is chair Rob Goldberg’s seat. His term was set to expire.

Goldberg applied to retain his seat. His application was joined by letters of interest from Leonard Dubber, Diana Lapham, John Norton, Jeremy Stephens and Jerry Lapp. Lapp later withdrew his application.

At a meeting Thursday, planning vice-chair Lee Heinmiller noted that vacant commission seats normally don’t get this much interest.

“I think this is the first time we’ve had a plethora of people interested in the planning commission,” Heinmiller said. “I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Most of the time we have to go out and rattle people’s cages to even show up.”

The commissioners present, excluding Goldberg, filled out sheets to vote for their top choice applicants. Goldberg received the most votes, so the longtime planning chairman is set to retain his seat.

Jeremy Stephens received the second-most votes, so Lende’s former seat will go to him.

Stephens is a civil engineer who recently started his own firm.

The appointments must be recommended by Mayor Jan Hill and confirmed by the borough assembly.