Pleasanton's city administration has hired from within for its next community development director, promoting deputy director Ellen Clark to the department's top position effective Dec. 2.
An experienced public planner who has worked for the city of Pleasanton for almost two years, Clark will now oversee the Community Development Department that is responsible for planning, building and safety permitting, traffic engineering and code enforcement.
"I'm thrilled and honored to be appointed as Pleasanton's new community development director," Clark told the Weekly.
"For the past two years, I've very much enjoyed getting to know the community and the organization -- I look forward to building on those relationships, and making significant progress on key projects like the East Pleasanton Specific Plan, work to prepare for the next Housing Element and respond to new housing legislation."
City Manager Nelson Fialho announced his hiring decision with a press release Tuesday afternoon.
"Throughout the highly competitive application process, Ellen consistently distinguished herself as someone with broad and extensive experience in the field of community development," Fialho said. "I am confident she will continue to seamlessly work with the community, Planning Commission and City Council on all development-related matters."
Clark will take the reins from assistant city manager Brian Dolan, who has pulled double duty as acting community development director since August after former director Gerry Beaudin stepped down to accept the position of assistant city manager in Alameda.
Fialho lauded Clark's work since joining the city in late 2017 as deputy community development director and planning manager.
Her duties over the past two years included oversight of the department's planning division with all current and advanced planning activities and zoning administrator management. Fialho pointed out key projects she worked on during that time, such as the Downtown Specific Plan update process, Workday's new corporate headquarters, the first phase of Stoneridge Shopping Center renovations and the Tri-Valley's housing legislative framework.
As director, Clark will manage a department that has an annual budget over $10 million and that is responsible for tracking and processing some of the most marquee public and private projects in Pleasanton.
Significant efforts on the horizon for Clark and the department include crafting a framework for Stoneridge Shopping Center redevelopment, restarting the east side planning process and updating the city's Housing Element in response to emerging state housing legislation.
Another early task for Clark will be selecting her successor as deputy director and planning manager.
With nearly two decades of planning experience, Clark came to Pleasanton after serving almost five years with the town of Moraga, including more than three years as its planning director. Educated at the University of Cambridge, Clark also worked in the private sector and for the town of Mammoth Falls. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and the American Planning Association.