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8/7/2013
New Land Use G.M. aims to fix land use system. Weiner: "Previous County Land Use general managers have been pressured to allow politics to color their professional decision-making."

County Councilman Bob Weiner said he has been familiar with Fogarty’s work for years because of his membership in the National Association of Counties. He thinks the fact Fogarty is not from Delaware is an asset.

“Previous general managers have been pressured to allow politics to color their professional decision-making,” Weiner said. “Eileen Fogarty’s national perspective will not permit her to be so compromised.” Grimaldi agreed, saying, “She’s going to set the tone, not us.”

Weiner said Fogarty isn’t here for the long haul. He said Gordon and Grimaldi told him she will stay for 18 months to two years to try to fix the department for the next general manager.

“She’s here to do triage,” Weiner said. “This is a long-term temporary stay.”

New manager aims to fix NCCo's land use system
Aug. 7, 2013   Written by Adam Taylor  The News Journal

New Castle County has hired a new land use general manager who was a planning director for cities in California and Virginia before becoming a consultant two years ago, County Executive Tom Gordon said.

Eileen P. Fogarty, 66, accepted the job offer for the $129,000-a-year position and will be in the county offices this week but won’t officially begin until after Labor Day, county Chief Administrative Officer David Grimaldi said.

Fogarty replaces David Culver, a holdover from the Paul Clark administration who was fired last month. Gordon defeated Clark in the 2012 Democratic primary and took office last November.

Gordon said the county’s land use system  is broken and Fogarty is the person to fix it.

“The county has failed in that department over the last several years,” Gordon said. 
“She has the ability to bring award-winning concepts and programs here. Given the problems we’re facing, I just think we couldn’t afford to not hire her.”

Culver was let go less than a month after a Chancery Court judge struck down the 2011 commercial rezoning of part of the Barley Mill Plaza office complex in Greenville, saying Culver incorrectly advised the County Council that consideration of traffic data  should come after the lawmakers’ rezoning vote. Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III said the council was entitled to the traffic data before the vote.

Grimaldi said Fogarty will be charged with revamping the county’s comprehensive plan, which was updated last year under Clark. Grimaldi said Clark’s policies favored developers and the plan needs an overhaul.

Fogarty also will examine the county’s controversial workforce  housing program, which gives developers density bonuses in exchange for building affordable housing. She will review the redevelopment program as well, which allows developers to bypass traffic studies and avoid paying expensive impact fees in exchange for building on abandoned commercial sites instead of farmland.

Workforce housing has been ineffective and redevelopment has been misused, so developers have gotten approvals to build more units on land without benefiting the community, Grimaldi said.

“One of the biggest things the county suffers from is poor land use planning,” he said. 
“There is a conceptual plan but no steps in how we should get there. We want a good, detailed plan.”

Fogarty was planning director in Alexandria, Va., from 2000-06 and held the same position in Santa Monica, Calif., from 2006-11. After retiring from the job in Santa Monica, she has been a land use consultant with The Fogarty Group.

County Councilman Bob Weiner said he has been familiar with Fogarty’s work for years because of his membership in the National Association of Counties. He thinks the fact Fogarty is not from Delaware is an asset.

“Previous general managers have been pressured to allow politics to color their professional decision-making,” Weiner said. “Eileen Fogarty’s national perspective will not permit her to be so compromised.” Grimaldi agreed, saying, “She’s going to set the tone, not us.”

Weiner said Fogarty isn’t here for the long haul. He said Gordon and Grimaldi told him she will stay for 18 months to two years to try to fix the department for the next general manager.

“She’s here to do triage,” Weiner said. “This is a long-term temporary stay.”

Gordon would not comment on how long Fogarty would be on the job.

Fogarty will be the acting land use general manager until she is confirmed by the County Council.

Fogarty could not be reached Tuesday. In a statement, she said there was a lot of “citizen distrust” of the land use systems  in Alexandria and Santa Monica. “I’ve had tremendous success in turning agencies around and bringing enthusiasm and motivation to the agencies,” the statement says.

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Latest News:
3/26/2018
  Wilmington University will repair historic Red Barn on Concord Pike
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