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.

James Freas has been director since September 2021. [1] Since March 2024, he also serves as Deputy City Manager for Operations.

The position of Director of Neighborhood Development Services was posted on March 25, 2024 with a closing date of "Continuous;" salary range of $130,000.00 to $174,720.00 Annually; Certifications/Licenses/Other Requirements: Virginia Driver’s License and must meet the city’s driving eligibility requirements OR be able to provide own transportation to/from out of office engagements.[2]

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.

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."[3]


  • Bob Brown, GIS Analyst
  • Pamela Murray, GIS Technician
  • Jeff Werner, Historic Preservation & Design Planner
  • Brian Haluska, Principal Planner
  • Carrie Rainey, Urban Designer
  • Matt Alfele, Neighborhood Planner
  • Patricia Carrington, Property Maintenance Code Official
  • Matt Fichter, Property Maintenance Inspector
  • Matt McCracken, Property Maintenance Inspector
  • Read Brodhead, Zoning Administrator
  • Craig Fabio, Assistant Zoning Administrator

Former Directors

At this, many of the functions of NDS were transferred to the Department of Public Works. Other functions were later transferred to the Office of Community Solutions.

Former Neighborhood Planners

Historical information about the department

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"[6].

2020 Re-organization

The department underwent a transformation in the first year of Dr. Tarron Richardson's tenure as City Manager when Ikefuna was demoted. He became Deputy Director of Zoning and assistant director Missy Creasy became Deputy Director of Planning. [7]

Some functions of the department were moved to the Department of Public Works. [8]


  1. Web. Freas hired to run Charlottesville planning department, News Article, Town Crier Productions, August 4, 2021, retrieved May 29, 2022.
  2. Web. Director of Neighborhood Development Services, City of Charlottesville, 03/25/2024, retrieved April 4, 2024.
  3. Charlottesville Neighborhood Development Services
  4. 4.0 4.1 Web. Sandy Springs names James Tolbert assistant city manager, Reporter Newspapers, Reporter Newspapers, January 8, 2015, retrieved January 10, 2015.
  5. Web. City department head demoted in reorganization, Nolan Stout, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, February 15, 2020, retrieved March 28, 2023. Print. February 15, 2020 page A1.
  7. 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.
  8. Web. City of Charlottesville Operations, Presentation, City of Charlottesville, October 16, 2019, retrieved January 31, 2020.

External links