At the end of the last Chapel Hill Town Council meeting, it was announced that Planning Director Colleen Willger would be leaving her position soon for a new job.
We are sad to see Colleen go, in part because she brought a can-do spirit to the town’s planning department. In less than two years, she has helped lead the team on some amazing initiatives, including:
- Managing and integrating three distinct planning processes—the LUMO rewrite, the study of Transit Oriented Development on the future NSBRT corridor, and the Complete Communities process. It’s easy to imagine these three initiatives going their separate ways, but Colleen helped make sure that the teams worked together.
- Colleen supported town staff’s proposal to expedite the review of developments with a significant number of affordable housing units, which is a critical step in making Chapel Hill a more welcoming and livable community.
Colleen also received praise from her coworkers. A town staffer (who would prefer to stay anonymous) told us: “Colleen brings a willingness to trust and fully back up the people around her. Instead of being a neutral side party, staff can bring their expertise and play an active role in addressing the problems we all know the town faces.”
Mayor Hemminger, in her remarks, said Willger did a great job. “You helped move the Planning Department forward,” she said. “You are going to be missed….Thank you for working with all of these new ideas for our community.”