Charlotte planning director behind contentious 2040 plan to leave for Greensboro

Charlotte planning director behind contentious 2040 plan to leave for Greensboro

City planning director Taiwo Jaiyeoba is leaving for Greensboro. Photo courtesy of the City of Charlotte

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Charlotte planning director Taiwo Jaiyeoba, who led the biggest citywide planning effort in decades, is leaving to become the city manager of Greensboro.

The news was first reported by the Charlotte Observer. Axios viewed an email sent to members of council written by city manager Marcus Jones confirming the reports.

  • According to the letter, Jaiyeoba will start his new role in February.
  • Greensboro City Council is slated to vote to appoint Jaiyeoba tonight, Jones said.

Why it matters: Jaiyeoba was the mastermind behind the 2040 Comprehensive Plan, which lays out how Charlotte should grow over the next two decades.

  • The much-debated plan, which was narrowly approved in June, covers everything from affordable housing to environmental sustainability.
  • In a city growing as fast as Charlotte is, it’s one of the most consequential documents our government has approved recently.

What they’re saying: Before Jaiyeoba was hired, plans to rewrite the city’s development ordinance had stalled.

  • “Our planning was in disarray,” Mayor Pro Tem Julie Eiselt tells me. “He helped us lay the blueprint, and now we need to execute the plan.”

Now that the 2040 plan is approved, Jaiyeoba’s staff is working on that long-delayed ordinance rewrite. Known as the Unified Development Ordinance, if approved, the document will implement the vision outlined in the plan through local regulations.

  • Shannon Binns, founder and executive director of Sustain Charlotte, worries that Jaiyeoba’s departure will be a setback for those efforts.
  • He was willing to challenge the status quo, and that’s what Charlotte has needed,” he says.

What’s next: Deputy planning director Alyson Craig will become the interim planning director while the city conducts a national search for Jaiyeoba’s replacement, Jones wrote.

Jaiyeoba, also an assistant city manager, was involved with plans for expanding light rail and other transportation options across the city. Jones said the city will be conducting a search to fill the assistant city manager role.

  • Sarah Hazel, the city’s chief sustainability and resiliency officer, will work on the city’s mobility efforts in the interim.
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