With Frederick County expected to grow significantly in the coming decades, the county is looking for someone to oversee the process of putting its master plan controlling how and where the county will grow into action.
The county is hiring a new director position in the county’s Planning and Permitting Division to oversee the implementation of Livable Frederick, the county’s long-term planning strategy, and to work with the Frederick County Planning Commission to establish policies, according to a description of the job posted online.
“It’s a big job,” said Steve Horn, director of planning and permitting. The new hire will report to him.
The position will have several planning projects underway at one time, as well as handling administrative tasks including budgeting, managing contracts, and overseeing mapping and data services.
The job posting lists the position’s salary at $82,479 to $98,972 per year, depending on experience, education and other factors.
The new opening is a repurposing of a position created by former county planning director Jim Gugel’s retirement in December.
The application deadline for the position was Friday, and Horn said he hopes to have someone in place by the end of February.
County Executive Jan Gardner (D) has made Livable Frederick a key priority, and the new director will have to coordinate between various divisions of county government, as well as state agencies, non-profits, and municipalities, Horn said.
The Livable Frederick plan sought to take a more holistic and overall look at land use and planning in Frederick County.
Under the Livable Frederick plan, community or corridor plans will study small geographic areas, neighborhoods and villages to develop detailed plans for how they will change and grow.
Large area plans would also be incorporated to examine larger swaths of the county.
There would also be more thematic plans looking at topics such as green and agricultural infrastructure.
Each small area plan will start with an announcement of the process and the formation of an advisory committee of landowners, residents and others from that area to get feedback and let them know what ideas they might be missing.
The new director will be leading a team of veteran county planning staffers who have been reorganized into a unit specifically to coordinate Livable Frederick’s implementation.
Denis Superczynski will be the planning manager for the group, while John Dimitriou will be the design planner. Tim Goodfellow will be the group’s environmental planner, and Dial Keju will serve as demographer.
Superczynski and Dimitriou took the lead in writing and organizing the Livable Frederick plan.
Livable Frederick’s new approach to planning meant that a review of the department’s existing structure was needed, and all four men have years of experience in the department, Horn said.
“An innovative plan requires innovative steps to implementation,” he said.
He and Dimitriou didn’t give much thought to having a specific group to implement the plan while they were writing it, but after its adoption it became clear that it would help to have a specific focus in implementation, Superczynski said.
The plan has lots of corridor, small area, and other plans, and Gardner has emphasized that she wanted residents, businesses, landowners, and others to be involved when those plans are being developed, he said.
Having their own group within the division will allow them to focus on that process without handling their other planning responsibilities as well.
Superczynski thinks that’s a good thing.
“Nobody really has to guess what we’re doing,” he said.