The Solvang City Council voted unanimously on a resolution creating a Branding and Design Committee at its Monday meeting and selected the committee’s five members. Solvang mayor Ryan Toussaint was personally absent from the meeting, but participated in the vote remotely.
According to the meeting’s agenda, the Branding and Design Committee includes the duties of the city’s now eliminated Board of Architectural Review. These duties include encouraging developments that are designed in a way that best fits the visual character of the Danish town.
The council heard speeches by 10 applicants looking to serve on the committee, which comprises five members, all residents of the Santa Ynez Valley, serving one-year terms. Three members are professionals from fields like architecture, design, architectural history, urban design, and Danish culture, and the other two are lay members.
Following the speeches, the council took a brief recess to rank the 10 applicants. The rankings were then presented when the meeting resumed, and the top five applicants were selected as the BDC’s members.
Those who received the highest rankings were Rene Kaerskov, CEO of the hospitality design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates, Esther Bates, executive director of the Elverhoj Museum of History and Art and co-author of the book “The Spirit of Solvang,” Jennifer Dryden Hess, senior vice president of Northern Trust, Brett Marchi, a licensed architect, and Halina Wyluda-Kazmierczack, an artist and proprietor of the Art First Studio in Solvang.