Department of Neighborhood Development Services

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2018-City Government Organizational Chart
Department Organizational Chart, FY2015
Department Organizational Chart, FY2018
Proposed NDS Organizational Structure, 2018

Charlottesville's Department of Neighborhood Development Services manages planning, zoning, and development in the city. The department in its current form was created in 1998 through a consolidation of several other departments.

There are operating under amended rules during the COVID-19 Emergency. FAQ

James Freas has been director since September 2021. [1]

Functional areas

Neighborhood Development Services’ functional areas include planning, zoning enforcement, housing code enforcement, engineering, surveying, GIS and mapping, building permits and inspections, bridge inspections, transportation planning, traffic engineering, traffic calming, stormwater design, sidewalk design, water and wastewater design, contract and specification writing, construction management and inspection, VDOT projects technical liaison, historic preservation, affordable housing initiatives, neighborhood preservation, community development, development processes, urban design, and site plan review and approvals. Additional duties include overseeing grants and federally funded programs, such as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), as well as coordinating staffing for the City Planning Commission, Board of Architectural Review, and various other city boards and task forces.

The department is located in City Hall.

Funding and Staffing Summary

  • FY2020 (General Fund) Budget - $3,981,475[2]
  • FY2020 Staffing (Full Time Equivalents) - 39
A Support Services Manager position was added in FY2020, to be effective January 1, 2020, at a cost of $56,670.

2018 NDS Review Report

In 2017, The Novak Consulting Group completed an efficiency study of all City departments. Following the Efficiency Study, the City of Charlottesville hired the Novak Consulting Group to conduct a more in-depth review of NDS. The stated purpose of this study was to "better understand the Department’s operations in the context of customer service expectations, and to identify more specific recommendations for improving the Department’s management structure, services, and operations. The results of this examination into NDS and its role in the development process are the focus of this report"[3].

2020 Re-organization

The department is undergoing a transformation in the first year of Dr. Tarron Richardson's tenure as City Manager. A new Director will be hired. Current director Alexander Ikefuna will serve as Deputy Director of Zoning and assistant director, Missy Creasy, will fill the position of Deputy Director of Planning - both positions are new. [4]

Some functions of the department are being moved to the Department of Public Works. [5]


City Manager, Tarron Richardson, announced on February 15, 2020 that a new director will be hired.[6]

Former Directors

Following the resignation of Jim Tolbert, Alexander Ikefuna was hired by City Manager Maurice Jones, and took over in 2015.[7]
Tolbert left to take a job as Assistant City Manager for Planning and Neighborhood Services in Georgia. [7]



(Note: Dept. moving to Department of Public Works)

  • position open

Safe Routes to School Coordinator


  • Vacant



  • Jack Dawson, City Engineer
  • Chris Sibold, Assistant City Engineer
  • Hugh Blake, Civil Engineer
  • Jessica Akers, Civil Engineer
  • Brennen Duncan, City Traffic Engineer
  • Jerry Allen, Assistant Traffic Engineer
  • Eric Morris, Capital Projects Coordinator
  • Steve Wright, Project Inspector
  • Bradley Lamb, Survey Technician
  • David Frazier, VSMP E&S Specialist


  • Bob Brown, GIS Analyst
  • Pamela Murray, GIS Technician


Former Historic Preservation & Design Planner


  • John Sales, Housing Program Coordinator
  • Erin Atak, Grants Coordinator


Former Neighborhood Planners


  • Patricia Carrington, Property Maintenance Code Official
  • Matt Fichter, Property Maintenance Inspector
  • Matt McCracken, Property Maintenance Inspector


  • Jeanette Janiczek, Urban Construction Initiative Program Manager


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Mission Statement

"To safeguard the interests and wellbeing of Charlottesville's neighborhoods through world-class customer services that provide community-oriented engineering, proactive code enforcement, and collaborative neighborhood planning."[8]


  1. Web. Freas hired to run Charlottesville planning department, News Article, Town Crier Productions, August 4, 2021, retrieved May 29, 2022.
  4. Web. City department head demoted in reorganization, Nolan Stout, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, February 15, 2020, retrieved February 18, 2020. Print. February 15, 2020 page A1.
  5. Web. City of Charlottesville Operations, Presentation, City of Charlottesville, October 16, 2019, retrieved January 31, 2020.
  6. Web. City department head demoted in reorganization, Nolan Stout, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, February 15, 2020, retrieved February 18, 2020. Print. February 15, 2020 page A1.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Web. Sandy Springs names James Tolbert assistant city manager, Reporter Newspapers, Reporter Newspapers, January 8, 2015, retrieved January 10, 2015.
  8. Charlottesville Neighborhood Development Services

External links