Kathryn Baldwin, Oak Ridge community development director, will retire at the end of July.
Baldwin announced her retirement in an email that was sent to members of the Oak Ridge Land Bank, the Oak Ridge Board of Building and Housing Code Appeals, and the Oak Ridge Board of Zoning Appeals on Thursday.
“I wanted to personally inform you that I’ve decided to retire at the end of July,” Baldwin said. “For 16 years, it has been my pleasure to serve the men and women who sit on boards that represent the City of Oak Ridge. Each of you bring a unique perspective to actions taken by our individual boards and commissions. In addition, you do so with an unsurpassed commitment to ethics, creativity, respect, and the health and wellbeing of the Oak Ridge community. The fact that you have put your faith in me and the Community Development staff has been a personal honor. I look forward to watching the City of Oak Ridge grow and prosper under your leadership.”
Among the accomplishments that Baldwin has previously cited is the South Illinois Avenue Corridor Study. That study was developed after residents of the Woodland neighborhood objected to a proposed hotel in the area where the Weigel’s gas station and convenience store is now. The study, developed with public input at public meetings, helped set parameters for subsequent development along South Illinois roughly between Rutgers Avenue and Scarboro Road/Lafayette Drive. Since the study, new businesses built in that corridor, either in new or renovated buildings, include Ole Ben Franklin Motors, Bojangles’, Aubrey’s, Panera Bread, Aldi grocery, Weigel’s, and the shopping center that includes Chipotle, Great Clips, Aspen Dental, and Fast Pace Urgent Care.
The Community Development Department has been involved with many other projects as well, including the new Kroger shopping center (Westcott Center) and Main Street Oak Ridge. Among other things, the department reviews site plans and zoning changes, enforces city codes, and works with several city boards, including the Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission, the Oak Ridge Land Bank, the Oak Ridge Board of Building and Housing Code Appeals, and the Oak Ridge Board of Zoning Appeals.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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