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Council combining city planning, zoning functions
by Liz Marino
lmarino@neighbornewspapers.com
February 20, 2013 02:24 PM | 1099 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Douglasville City Council voted unanimously Monday night to adopt a resolution changing the structure of the city’s Development Services Department which will require the addition of three new positions.

The change, which was to take effect on Tuesday, reorganizes the department into the Planning and Development Department, which will continued to be led by Jeff Noles.

During a presentation to the city council on Feb. 14, Noles outlined the changes in restructuring, citing more clarity in services offered. He also said the restructuring would better adapt to the city’s changing needs.

“It is important for customers to be able to get in touch with us,” he said. “Development services means different things, not associated with development of community.”

The organizational plan would change Noles’ title from director of development services/city engineer to director of planning and development/city engineer and City of Douglasville Development Authority executive director.

According to City Manager Bill Osborne, the plan combines the areas of planning and zoning into a single unit, with Planning Director Michelle Wright assuming management of the zoning function and working with the city’s zoning board. The reorganization combines development services and the building department, with Building Official Mike Mettler to assume the title of building official/development official.

The once-held title of building inspector would become project manager, to more accurately reflect the broadening responsibilities of the position, Osborne said.

Under the restructure, the city will require three new full-time positions hired, including an economic development analyst, planner I (zoning official) and information technology technician I.

A current part-time position in the information technology department will be phased in later this year, said Osborne.

Funding for the new hires for the remainder of the 2012-2013 fiscal year may only be a matter of transferring funds from one departmental budget to another, Osborne said.

“Although Noles has been devoting a significant part of his time in recent months to the city development authority, his entire salary has continued to be paid from the development services budget and none paid from the city development authority budget,” reported Osborne.

The City of Douglasville Development Authority receives 100 percent of its funding from the city, Osborne explained during Monday night’s council committee meeting.

The resolution contains provisions for Noles’ salary structure, with 30 percent coming from the new planning and development department and the remaining 70 percent to be the responsibility of the city development authority.
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