Just two months after taking the reins, Development Services Director Wayne Clark will step down Jan. 22 to return to Port Orange, Fla., after that city successfully wooed him back. He had served as Port Orange’s community development director.
Asheville City Manager Gary Jackson announced today that Jason Nortz will take over Clark’s position. Prior to Clark’s arrival, Nortz served as interim director of the department and headed up initial changes to streamline the department, which had been criticized by developers for being slow and hard to navigate. “With all the new development that’s occurring, sometimes it’s hard to keep up with it at a breakneck pace,” Jason Nortz told Mountain Xpress in October prior to Clark’s arrival.
City Manager Gary Jackson said, “Fortunately, we had a strong in-house candidate in Jason Nortz who will be able to step in as director right away to maximize continuity in the Development Services Department. We feel confident that Jason, who is already overseeing improvements in the DSD facility, is positioned to lead staff in a positive direction to ensure good employee morale and outstanding customer service.”
Nortz was originally hired as the assistant director for the city of Asheville’s Development Services Department in March 2015. Prior to that, he had been the Planning Manager for Palo Alto, California’s Development Services Department. From 2005-2012, he served as Palo Alto’s senior planner for the Planning and Community Environment Department.
Nortz received a bachelor’s of science degree in health and human services from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and was most recently pursuing a master’s degree in urban planning from San Jose State University in San Jose, Calif.
Nortz is currently overseeing facility improvements for the Development Services Department staff in the Public Works Building that include new office space for building inspectors and remodeled office space for stormwater and planning staff.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to transition into the role of director for the department,” Nortz said in a press release from the city of Asheville. “In the short time I’ve been here I’ve seen how dedicated the staff is with assisting our customers and managing the wide array of complex projects. I’m looking forward to continuing to build on the some of the positive changes we’ve already made as well as tackling the larger challenges that still exist.”