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FairfaxVienna takes 'acting' title off deputy planning director

Vienna takes ‘acting’ title off deputy planning director

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Vienna officials recently announced that they had hired Kelly O’Brien, who had been serving as acting deputy director of planning and zoning for most of the past nine months, to continue in that role on a permanent basis.

O’Brien, who formerly served as principal planner for the town, got bumped up to the deputy director’s role after its occupant, Michael D’Orazio, filled in as acting planning-and-zoning director during a time of transition.

Planning and Zoning Director Cindy Petkac stepped down in December 2021 and was succeeded in May by David Levy. D’Orazio and O’Brien returned to their previous roles, then D’Orazio departed a month later to become an urban planner with the Alexandria city government.

The town selected O’Brien for the deputy director’s role after conducting a recruitment process that featured an interview panel with multiple departments, Levy told the Town Council.

“We treated it very seriously. Kelly rose to the top,” he said.
O’Brien gets to know people and works well with the Town Council and the town’s various commissions, he said.

“She is community person at her core,” Levy said. “She cares what people say, what they think. She tries to help to facilitate that happening.”

“Thank you, David. I appreciate your trust and appreciate the opportunity,” O’Brien said. “I enjoy working with all of you and I look forward to more involved projects and more fun things.”

Mayor Linda Colbert called O’Brien’s promotion “well-deserved” and said the town had received much positive feedback regarding it.

O’Brien joined the town’s government in August 2018 after serving as a planner for seven years with the city of Fairfax. O’Brien is a certified zoning administrator with the Virginia Association of Zoning Officials, a certified planner with the American Planning Association and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) with the U.S. Green Building Council.

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