Kamenetz Taps Van Arsdale for Planning Dept.

April 6, 2011

Andrea Van Arsdale, a veteran county planner and manager who has been leading Baltimore County’s commercial revitalization efforts since 1995, has been nominated as the new planning director.

Van Arsdale, 54, whose name was submitted to the County Council by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, will replace longtime planning director Arnold “Pat” Keller, who retired in December. She has served in county government since 1983, when she started as chief of strategic planning for the Office of Planning, a job that included supervising development proposals review and the annual report on carrying out the master plan.

A graduate of Rutgers University with a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Ohio State, Van Arsdale for the last 16 years has been supervising the Department of Economic Development’s program of “commercial revitalization districts,” including Arbutus, Towson, Catonsville, Dundalk and Woodlawn. Focused on the county’s older commercial areas, the program provides loans, tax credits and free architectural services.

In a news release, Van Arsdale, who lives in Baltimore City, said “The opportunity to serve in a leadership position in the county where I’ve spent most of my career is very gratifying. I can’t wait to get started.”

Council Chairman John Olszewski Sr. was quoted in the same release calling Van Arsdale “extremely talented…Her combined experience in both economic development and planning will be very helpful.”

The planning department provides staff to the Planning Board as well as the Landmarks Preservation Commission, and fashions policies to decide what sort of development the county wants and where it should be. The department produces a master plan every 10 years and supervises county zoning policy.

The council has 40 days to confirm Van Arsdale’s appointment.

-Arthur Hirsch

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