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Del Mar names planning and development director

DEL MAR — The city of Del Mar announced the appointment of Kathleen A. Garcia as planning and community development director.
Garcia is an experienced planner in public sector projects. Most recently, Garcia has practiced with the planning and design firm Wallace Roberts & Todd, where she has worked for 25 years. She has been the director of WRT’s San Diego office for the past 22 years and a principal with the firm since 1998. Garcia’s professional work focused on public sector projects, including planning for urban communities, parks, open spaces, waterfronts, civic spaces, and educational institutions, all with a commitment to sustainability.
Garcia holds a master’s degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley. Dedicated to green and sustainable building practices, Garcia is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Accredited Professional, U.S Green Building Council’s indicator of the most qualified, educated, and influential green building professionals in the industry.
Garcia was actively involved in the city of San Diego’s 2008 General Plan Update. The plan included the “City of Villages” smart growth strategy that focused growth into mixed-use villages that are pedestrian-friendly of different scales, and linked to the transit system. The plan addressed protections for industrial lands, provisions for urban parks, and policies to further preserve San Diego’s historical resources and open space lands. She began as the citizen’s chairperson for the Urban Form & Environment subcommittee, then as an active reviewer when planning commissioner.
Garcia’s commitment to public service is demonstrated by her involvement in several civic and academic organizations. She recently completed her eight-year mayoral appointment as vice chairperson of the San Diego Planning Commission. She has served on two Design Review Boards: the University of California Riverside Design Review Board and the city of San Diego’s Old Town Design Review Board. Garcia also teaches Sustainable Planning in the Urban Studies & Planning program at the UCSD.
The selection of Garcia concludes a national recruitment with more than 80 applicants. “Finding an individual with the right fit with the community and the City Council was absolutely essential given the engaged population and the city’s advanced planning requirements,” City Manager Karen Brust said. “We are fortunate to have found a planning and community development director with such exceptional credentials, and one who understands the importance of process and has the desire to make real contributions to the future of Del Mar. We are delighted to welcome Ms. Garcia to our staff and to our city.”
Garcia replaces Interim Planning and Community Development Director Brian Mooney, who held the position until his temporary contract expired June 30.