Nags Head hires new Planning and Development director

By on March 6, 2019

Michael Zehner comes to Nags Head from Wellesley, Mass.

The Town of Nags Head has hired Michael Zehner as planning and development director, following the transition of Deputy Town Manager/Planning Director Andy Garman to the role of full time deputy town manager.

Zehner comes to Nags Head from Wellesley, Mass., where he worked most recently as the town’s planning director.

In addition to Wellesley, Zehner also led municipal planning for Lexington, Va., Belville, N.C., and Sandy Springs, Ga.

“We’re excited Michael has joined our team,” said Nags Head Town Manager Cliff Ogburn. “He brings to the table the level of experience, innovation, and professionalism we sought during the hiring process.”

Zehner holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Virginia Tech and has completed graduate-level coursework in urban and regional planning. He has worked as a municipal planner for over 16 years, with experience covering zoning and current planning, as well as long-range comprehensive planning.

In his time with Wellesley, Zehner led the development of a comprehensive master plan and an affordable housing production plan, as well as coordinating planning for several public-private partnership initiatives to develop housing and recreational facilities.

Zehner also served as elected representative to the board of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Planning Association and as legislative chair of the Massachusetts Association of Planning Directors.

“Originally from Virginia, and a frequent visitor to the Outer Banks growing up, I am excited to be here,” said Zehner.

“As a municipal planner, working for Nags Head presents interesting and unique opportunities, and I look forward to working with the many initiatives the town has underway and the community’s longstanding tradition of being an innovator in planning.”

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@Steve Johnson…Unfortunately this seems to be the way everywhere. Bringing in outsiders is never good for moral or for the city/town/county that brings them in. We don’t need ideas from Massachusetts as they don’t feed the needs of the town.

Steve Johnson

And another one…What is up with the Town of Nags Head refusing to hire from within the town?