Gapen named Salisbury planning director

  • Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013 2:35 p.m.
Janet Gapen
Janet Gapen

The city of Salisbury announced today that City Manager Doug Paris has appointed Janet Gapen as planning director. Paris appointed Gapen as interim planning director in January after Joe Morris announced his retirement.

Gapen will lead the award-winning Community Planning Services Department, which includes Planning Services, Code Services and the One Stop Shop for Development Services as well as a variety of city boards and commissions, including Zoning Board, Planning Board, the Housing Advocacy Commission, the Historic Preservation Commission and the Community Appearance Commission.


Community Planning Services in recent years has been recognized nationally for several initiatives including BLOCKWORK, a community service project to improve neighborhoods one block at a time, and was a driving force behind Salisbury’s designation by the American Planning Association (APA) as a 2012 Great Places in America.

Gapen has served as a senior planner with the city for more than a decade, focusing primarily on neighborhood planning, historic preservation and community development. She has served as staff liaison to the Historic Preservation Commission and to the Salisbury Community Development Corporation and will become the city’s liaison to Downtown Salisbury Inc.

Gapen’s professional achievements include her work with the West End Transformation Plan which put Salisbury on the map as a recipient of a planning grant from the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Choice Neighborhoods initiative. Additionally, Gapen was instrumental in Salisbury’s designation as a Gold Level Fit Community through the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund.

“We have an immensely-talented staff doing great work in community planning and development. I’m extremely honored to serve in this role, says Gapen.

Janet received a bachelor of science in urban planning and regional analysis from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is also a graduate of the inaugural class of the City Managers Leadership Academy (CMLA). Professional affiliations include membership in the American Planning Association (APA) and the North Carolina chapter of the American Planning Association.

Gapen lives in Salisbury with husband Keith and son, Derek.

Paris said, “Janet has done an outstanding job as interim planning director. Her ability to empower and develop her team has been impressive. Her natural ability to work across community lines with citizens, partner agencies and other governmental units benefits our community greatly.”

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