New Planning & Zoning Administrator Hired In Douglas To Tackle Myriad Projects, Issues
The City of Douglas hopes to bolster its commerce capacity, continue to improve its infrastructure and finish its numerous community enhancement projects with the hiring of new planning and zoning administrator Lisa L. Imus of Kalamazoo.
“Lisa comes to us with extensive experience and we are very much looking forward to working with her,” Douglas City Manager Bill LeFevere told The Local Observer Tuesday about Imus’ 20-year involvement with economic development and community planning.
“She will be the first point of contact in planning and zoning matters.”
Besides working in the private sector (Spring Valley Cattle Company), Imus’ experience in public service includes being city treasurer for the City of Bangor 2013-2015; assistant city manager in Grand Haven 2005-2009; and city manager for the City of Allegan 2001-2005.
As assistant program officer, 2011-2012, she helped implement the “Kalamazoo County Plan to End Homelessness” through the Affordable Housing Partnership program.
She also oversaw the process of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) grant application and oversight work for the community.
Besides addressing regular planning and zoning issues, there are a number economic and community development matters that Douglas officials say they will want Imus involved in.
While the Tri-Community area has experienced a surge in tourism this year and many merchants, restaurants and lodging businesses have even cited record-breaking profits, it has not been a bowl of cherries for everyone, including some small businesses in Douglas, according to some merchants and restaurant owners.
There are a couple of storefronts still vacant in the Douglas downtown district that city leaders say they want to see occupied.
Also, there are road repairs that need to happen and projects to be completed, including the ongoing long-term Harbor Plan, the Land Use Master Plan, improvements to the Blue Star Highway Corridor, the Beach to Bayou Trail, and the placement of the iconic Root Beer Barrel along with its associated head trail and small public parking area.
Imus’ experience gives her the ability to address those various projects, according to city leaders.
She was not available for comment Tuesday morning about her new job.
Imus’ cover letter to the city reads, in part, “While in Grand Haven, I assisted in a total overhaul of their zoning ordinance as well as Master Plan updates that focused on sustainability initiatives.
“During my time with Downtown Kalamazoo Incorporated, I helped facilitate the public relations, promotion, design and construction of the Arcadia Creek festival site, linear park and parking ramp.”
The city advertised the starting salary for her job between $40,000 - $50,000, plus a benefit package.