New development services director to lead city growth
June 25, 2012By Meredith Burns
As of Tuesday, Wilmington will have a new development services director to lead the city as it increases its density.
As the department’s new director, Glenn Harbeck will be responsible for overseeing Wilmington’s development, balancing guidance from city council, developers and various city boards and commissions.
“It’s a challenging position,” Harbeck said. “You have to respond to a lot of different pushes and pulls.”
Part of the challenge will be to accommodate current planning perspectives while working toward the long-term vision of the city. With the option of forced annexation currently unavailable, Wilmington is looking to increase its density to cope with a growing population.
“We are fortunate in Wilmington to have experienced significant growth in recent years and a consequence of growth is the need to increase density,” said Christopher Boney, chairman of the city’s planning commission.
Harbeck said increased density means more infill development and redevelopment of existing sites. The department’s other focuses include making the city more pedestrian- and bike-friendly, streamlining the development review system and addressing traffic congestion, he said.
Harbeck brings 33 years of planning experience to the position. Since earning a Master of Regional Planning degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Harbeck has worked on city, county, state and private sector planning projects. For the past 22 years he has headed his own Wilmington-based planning consulting firm, Glenn Harbeck Associates.