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Litzenberger is Appointed To Planning Commission

Virginia Run's John Litzenberger won't be representing Sully District on the Fairfax County School Board, but he will be its voice on the county Planning Commission.

Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) appointed him to the post at Monday's Board of Supervisors meeting, and he'll be sworn in at the Jan. 9, 2008 Planning Commission meeting.

"I THINK he's got the kind of personality and temperament that will suit him well for the job," said Frey. "And he's certainly got the experience in land use, development and growth issues in Centreville, since the early 1980s, so it just seemed like a good fit."

Litzenberger, 57, was involved in the Centreville Core Study in 1982, co-founded the West Fairfax County Citizens Association (WFCCA) and chaired its Land-Use Committee's education committee for 11 years.

He was also Sully District's 2007 Volunteer of the Year for his work as Sully commissioner on the county's Redevelopment and Housing Authority. He's been on the RHA since July 2004, and his current term expires in July 2008.

Litzenberger replaces Sully's one-and-only Planning Commissioner, Ron Koch, who's served on the commission 22 years and chose to step down when his term expires, Dec. 31.

"I'll miss all the people associated with the land-use process and feel fortunate to have been a commissioner for so long," said Koch. "But I'm sure John will do a good job. I've known him for 27 years, and I hope he'll continue to work closely with the land-use committee. I wish him luck and hope he enjoys the appointment as much as I did."

At-Large Planning Commissioner Jim Hart said Koch will be "a tough act to follow, but we're certainly looking forward to working with the newcomers [on the panel]. And I'm sure that WFCCA and the Sully District Council are looking forward to working with John, as well."

LITZENBERGER said the appointment came as a "nice surprise" to him. "Michael asked me if I'd be interested and I accepted," he said. Eager to assume his new duties, Litzenberger said he's known Planning Commission Chairman Pete Murphy for 25 years and has always been in favor of affordable housing.

"I was in land-use until 1992, so I know the history behind a lot of the zoning issues," he said. And although Litzenberger was unsuccessful in his recent bid to unseat incumbent Kathy Smith as Sully District's School Board representative, he said, "When it comes to land use, I'm more qualified than [she is]. So maybe we both ended up where we should be."

Frey said Litzenberger will be briefed by county staff to get him up to speed on pending cases, "so he's off and running. I expect it'll be very smooth. He's done a great job on the Housing Authority, and I think he'll bring that same balance to the Planning Commission."

Litzenberger and his wife Barbara have been married almost 36 years and have three children, Amy, 32, Julie, 29, and Jack, 26. Litzenberger has a bachelors in biochemistry from Syracuse University and a masters in systems management from USC.

He served 30 years in the U.S. Air Force and the Air National Guard and was a pilot in Vietnam. He founded an aviation-consulting business, Atlantic Airport Services LLC, and does airport planning, security and litigation-type work.