Park City taps New Mexico official for high-level post |

Park City taps New Mexico official for high-level post


City Hall has tapped a government official from New Mexico to become the community development director and selected a planning director with an extensive background in Park City.

Anne Laurent, the community and economic development director in Los Alamos County, N.M., was hired as the community development director in Park City. She is expected to start at the Marsac Building on Oct. 14. City Hall, meanwhile, named Bruce Erickson as the planning director. He had been the interim planning director since July and the appointment to the permanent position is immediate.

The moves were announced on Thursday and are meant to solidify one of the municipal government’s most prominent departments after high-profile departures. The community development director position was returned to the Marsac Building hierarchy during the budget talks last spring and summer. The planning director position has been vacant since the spring, when Thomas Eddington departed for the private sector. Kayla Sintz, the planning manager, also left the department as she moved out of the state.

Laurent will oversee the planning, building, transportation planning and engineering departments as the community development director. It is among the most prominent positions in the municipal government.

In a release announcing the appointment, City Hall said Laurent has a broad background in planning, economic development, housing and historic preservation. She streamlined building permitting in Los Alamos County, completed capital projects topping $130 million and was instrumental in a housing program, according to City Hall.

Laurent, who is 43 years old, said in an interview she has been with Los Alamos County for seven years. She is a licensed architect and worked as an architect in the private sector in Grand Rapids, Mich., prior to the position in Los Alamos County. She said she likes small-town living.

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Laurent noted what she sees as strong partnerships in Park City, the "strong economic drive" of tourism and the pressures it creates.

"You have to do a lot of listening, a lot of synthesizing, a lot of collaborating," she said.

She said Los Alamos County is not resort driven like Park City, but a large national laboratory is located there. The county government there deals with work force and commuter issues as a result of Los Alamos National Laboratory. The Manhattan Project National Historical Park, which incorporates sites involved in the development of the atomic bomb, is located there as well.

Erickson returned to City Hall in the summer. He served as a member of the Park City Planning Commission for 16 consecutive years ending in 2005, including serving as the chairman for three terms. Erickson has been a professional planner since 1985, specializing in designing mountain resorts. He has a detailed knowledge of the municipal government’s planning and zoning processes and documents.

The hiring of Laurent and the appointment of Erickson to the permanent position come as Park City is amid a post-recession development boom. The Planning Department has been busy, mostly with small or medium-sized development proposals, and broader growth discussions are expected to continue.