Langley hires new community planner

Jeff Arango, a former planning director in Vermont and a graduate of the University of Washington’s department of planning and urban design, is the new community planner for Langley, Mayor Paul Samuelson announced Thursday.

“I couldn’t be happier,” Samuelson said in a press release. “We were able to take a difficult situation, with both our planners leaving at the same time, and move the department in a new and positive direction.”
Arango replaces Fred Evander, who resigned Dec. 30 to take a job with the Thurston Regional Planning Council.

Arango will receive a salary of $56,400 per year, and will begin his new full-time job on Wednesday, March 2.

The city’s new planner spent six years as community planning director for the Vermont village of Essex Junction, population 8,500. Last year, he received a master’s degree from the UW.

He also is a 2000 graduate in environmental studies from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York.

Arango has worked as a planning consultant in Washington state and Vermont, including developing and conducting a survey of historic residential buildings in the city of Port Townsend’s historic district, Samuelson said.

Arango has handled all aspects of planning including staff support to planning boards, reviewing and issuing development and zoning permits, drafting zoning amendments and comprehensive plan updates and grant writing, the mayor said.

With the hiring of Arango, the planning department is reduced from two full-time staff to one full-time position and planning director Larry Kwarsick, who is contracted for eight hours per week.

Kwarsick was hired to replace Larry Cort, who resigned Dec. 22 as the city’s planning director to take a job with the Oak Harbor public works department.

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