Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Villaraigosa Names New Planning Director For L.A.

This is from The Daily Breeze.

Villaraigosa names new planning director for L.A.
By Rick Orlov Staff Writer
Posted: 07/26/2010 06:33:32 PM PDT

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Monday nominated a 15-year city veteran to serve as the next planning director.

Michael LoGrande, 39, the city's chief zoning administrator, was tapped to succeed S. Gail Goldberg as the head of a department that has struggled with severe budget problems in recent years.

"What I hope I can do is get people to understand the planning process and get involved," LoGrande said after a news conference.

The nomination has to be approved by the City Council. Councilman Ed Reyes, who chairs the council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee, said he hopes to hold hearings in the next several weeks.

The salary has not been set, but Goldberg was paid more than $212,000.

LoGrande lives in Long Beach and got his start in urban planning after the Northridge earthquake, where he oversaw a land use survey of the damage and was responsible for the department's emergency response team. He has held a variety of jobs in the department, from streamlining the agency's processes, interacting with community groups and reviewing applications for conditional-use permits, tentative tract maps and parcel maps.

- Rick Orlov
The departing Director, Ms. Gail Goldberg was a champion of reasonable growth and her phrase "planning has to mean something" worked well when thinking about Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

I hope Mr. LoGrande has similar views as Ms. Goldberg and I think we should all wish Ms. Goldberg much success and happiness in her next adventure in planning.

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