Wednesday, January 3, 2001
Steamboat Springs After operating for more than a year without one, the city's planning department finally has an assistant planning director on board and, with the new Community Development Code slated to go before the public in less than a week, it's already got him knee-deep in paperwork.
Timothy McHarg, who had previously worked in Seattle as a consultant at a private planning consulting firm, began work at the city on Tuesday. By Wednesday, his desk was covered with papers, including the fourth draft of the new CD Code.
"I'm inundated with plans and new codes, just trying to get up to speed," he said.
McHarg said he thinks his previous position helped prepare him for the kind of work he will encounter at the Steamboat planning department.
The private planning consulting firm where Mcharg worked in Seattle, called Madrona Planning, works primarily with city and county governments, he said. McHarg said his experience there helped turn him on to city planning, which will allow him to see the longer-term implications of his work.
"I've worked as a consultant to a lot of different cities," he said.
President of Madrona Planning Richard Sepler spoke highly of McHarg's efforts at the company.
"He has a strong, guiding principle of serving the public interest, tempered with an understanding of implications on the private sector," Sepler said. He said he thinks McHarg will adjust well to a job in city government because he has done a lot of work with the public sector in the past.
McHarg has also worked in the housing authority in Walla Walla, Washington, where, among other things, he developed proposals for affordable housing projects.
The last assistant planning director, Brian Grubb, departed in August 1999. For more than a year now, the planning department has gone without an assistant planning director, attempting to deal with such major projects as the CD Code and piles of development applications with a short staff.