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City of F.C. Announces Appointment Of James Snyder as Planning Chief

The City of Falls Church announced today that James B. Snyder has been retained as its new General Manager of Development Services. Snyder is a professional planning consultant and former supervisor of Arlington County’s comprehensive and current planning program. Snyder is filling the position vacated by the departure last August of Suzanne Cotellessa. F.C. Assistant City Manager Cindy Mesters has served as Acting Director since Aug. 12. Snyder will resume his duties in late February.

“I think Jim was unique among the candidates for this position due to his knowledge of the City, and his understanding of the value of planning in attracting and implementing the best kinds of economic development in our commercial districts,” said F.C. City Manager Wyatt Shields in a statement released today. “He is a recognized leader and known for his professional excellence.” Snyder has already been advising the Falls Church Economic Development Authority on land use matters, and worked with planning staff to provide the Falls Church City Council with guidance and recommendations its planning retreat last year.

Among Snyder’s professional accomplishments are: supervised development of Sector Plans for the Virginia Square and Clarendon Metro Station areas in Arlington, supervised planning and development review of the Rosslyn Ballston Corridor, Pentagon City, Potomac Yard, Shirlington, Pentagon Row, Market Common mixed use development area, and, supervised Columbia Pike Revitalization effort. During his tenure with Arlington County, Snyder’s positions included: Supervisor of Comprehensive Planning Programs, Chief of the Current Planning section, Business Revitalization Coordinator, Coordinator of the Planning Commission, Principal Planner with the Economic Development Division, and Site Plan Coordinator. Snyder was an adjunct professor in the Virginia Tech Planning Program, Alexandria campus, from 2004-2009 and his awards include the Virginia American Planning Association Planning Leadership Award in 2006.

Shields commended Cindy Mester’s leadership during the search for a permanent planning director. “Cindy’s extensive experience in community service and her commitment to excellence has served the City of Falls Church well. The Department accomplished a great deal over this period, such as administering the Gateway SE application, and streamlining building plan review for commercial tenants” he said.