New Planning and Development Department to replace Community Development in Oak Ridge – WYSH AM 1380

(Oak Ridge Planning & Development press release) Oak Ridge Planning and Development Department will now take care of the planning and application of the code. What was once known as the Department of Community Development is changing its name to better reflect what the department provides to the community.

“Renaming the department as ‘Planning and Development’ is a clearer guide for industry, as well as citizens seeking help with their property plans,” said City Manager Mark Watson. “Furthermore, a well-planned, constructed and maintained housing stock and land base directly contributes to the stability and growth of the tax base.”

The department serves the community through three groups: planning, building, and code enforcement.

“Developers or contractors looking for planning and building actions such as rezoning, subdivision, and building permits typically look for departments with names like “planning, building, permitting, or code enforcement, while” community development “is usually just the administration of CDBG funds,” said Wayne Blasius, Director of Planning and Development.

Planning services includes applications related to rezoning, subdivisions, sign permits, community planning and visioning. The City’s senior planners meet the needs of this group.

building department provides permits and inspections for new construction and building renovations. This group is managed by the City Building Official and includes the city’s building inspectors and permit technicians.

Code enforcement deals with inspections and enforcement of the property maintenance code to keep all properties clean and safe. The City Codes Manager manages this group which includes City Code Enforcement Officers.

“This change also gives staff members a clear mandate and focus on their roles to ensure Oak Ridge is well planned, built safely and kept clean and safe,” Blasius said.

Staff members remain the same with a few leadership tweaks: Matthew Widner is now the city’s code officer and Lisa Crumpley is the city’s building officer.

The Planning and Development Office remains co-located in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building and shares a lobby with the Public Services Office. To contact the Planning and Development Department, call (865) 425-3531 or email [email protected] For questions or more information, visit