The Central Virginian

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New face in Louisa government

Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 9:00 am

In a department that has been a revolving door of sorts over the years, Allyson Finchum was hired in mid-November as Louisa County’s newest director of community development.

The position has been handled in the interim by chief building official Paul Snyder since the departure of David Holtzman last year.

Allyson Finchum (standing), Louisa Community Development director, goes over plans with Linda Buckler.

Allyson Finchum (standing), Louisa Community Development director, goes over plans with Linda Buckler.

Finchum’s role is to guide the county’s planning and zoning ordinances in a department which is responsible for the county’s comprehensive plan, building permits, building inspections and building codes.  In addition, erosion and sediment issues and, beginning in the summer of 2014, state-mandated stormwater sediment regulations that will go into effect are under her watch.

It’s a busy department manned by what she describes as a small staff that is dedicated to their jobs and doing the best they can with the resources that they have.

The community development department has 13 employees working in the various functions that the department handles. Rural communities tend to have to work more with less, and that’s something that Finchum knew walking into her new position.

The Hanover resident is a seasoned professional with 25 years of experience in the profession. She most recently worked for Fluvanna County in the same role.

Finchum has spent her career handling planning and zoning issues for various rural, suburban and urban localities. She has a master’s in planning from Virginia Commonwealth University and earned her undergraduate degree at American University in Washington, D.C.

While there are striking differences between suburban and municipal communities, Finchum said she is well acquainted with the needs of a community such as Louisa County’s. And because of her most recent stint in Fluvanna County, Finchum is also familiar with some of the goals that Louisa County’s elected leaders have for the Zion Crossroads area.

To read the entire story, see the Jan. 16 edition of The Central Virginian.