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October 22. 2013 10:09PM

Smith named planning director in Rindge

RINDGE — Ten months after the departure of former planning director Matt Henry, the town has finally filled the position.

Mark Smith began work as the new full-time planning director last week, bringing 20 years of experience with him.

The town has been without a planning director since Henry left 10 months ago.

In a statement, Planning Board members said they look forward to working with Smith.

Among Smith’s duties will be fielding questions from the public, meeting with applicants, and monitoring projects.

Smith will also assist the Planning Board in its update of the town’s Master Plan and ensure that land use regulations and ordinances allow development that is in keeping with the residents’ vision for the future.

Smith relocated to the area from Issaquah, Wash., but is originally from New England.

Smith said Tuesday he grew up South Burlington, Vt., and earned his undergraduate degree from Johnson State College in Vermont.

He earned a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and attained the AICP (Certified Planner) designation from the American Planning Association.

Smith said in his two decades in the planning field he has worked in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Washington and Colorado.

“I’m excited to be here,” Smith said. “My family’s in Vermont so it’s nicer to be closer to family.”

Smith said he will be working with Roger Hawk, who has been brought on as a consultant for a town initiative to create a new and modern center of town at the Route 119 and Route 202 intersection.

The proposed Walmart expansion and a couple of subdivisions are also on Smith’s plate, he said.

Additionally, “I know that the town is going to be looking at zoning code updates,” he said.


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