Alexandria's director of Planning and Zoning for the past six year, Eileen P. Fogarty, announced her resignation last Friday to become Director of Planning and Community Development in Santa Monica, Calif. It is effective in mid-September.
Fogarty came to Alexandria in 2000 after having served as Director of Planning and Community Development in Santa Cruz, Calif. In her new position she will direct a staff of 114 with an annual budget of $20.3 million.
In addition to planning and zoning, her new responsibilities will include transportation and traffic, building permits and inspections, as well as historic preservation. Prior to her tenure in Santa Cruz, Fogarty served as Director of Planning and Zoning in Annapolis, Md., for 13 years.
"It has been a very fulfilling experience to be planning director at this extraordinary time in Alexandria's history," said Fogarty in announcing her resignation. "I am proud of the city's accomplishments over the past six years."
Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille praised Fogarty's tenure. "Eileen Fogarty has been an exceptional member of our city management team. She has worked hard to achieve the City Council's vision for Alexandria," he said.
"Eileen's strong commitment to building community partnerships has set a new standard for leadership in the critical field of planning for our unique city. Alexandria will be forever appreciative of the many contributions she made in reforming our planning process and reshaping our city," Euille said.
That praise was buttressed by City Manager James K. Hartmann. "Eileen Fogarty has been a key participant in the development of Alexandria's exemplary interagency development process. City departments involved in that process now work together smoothly in a streamlined effort to put forward successful projects that will meet City Council's goal for our city," he said.
"Alexandria will miss Eileen Fogarty. She has been a great asset to the City and an invaluable resource to the Planning Commission," said Eric Wagner, chairman, Alexandria Planning Commission.
"Eileen should be very proud of the legacy she will leave in Alexandria. She transformed the planning process and presided over an unprecedented period of high-quality growth in the city's diverse urban villages that included active community involvement. She has left the city of Alexandria in a much better place that it was when she arrived. Santa Monica is very fortunate," Wagner said.
"My experience in Alexandria has given me the opportunity to partner with the residential and business communities in building a strong and responsive public participation process. The result is a system that ensures the community's high expectations are honored and the goal of significant public benefits is reached to the greatest possible extent," Fogarty said.
The city plans to conduct a nationwide search for a new director. "Eileen has helped us to set an ambitious but sound course. We will look for an outstanding planning professional who will help us build on Eileen's record," Hartmann said.