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The original item was published from 8/4/2021 1:16:17 PM to 1/1/2022 12:00:13 AM.

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Posted on: August 4, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Charlottesville appoints James Freas as Director of Neighborhood Development Services

James Freas

August 4, 2021

Freas has served most recently as Director of the Department of Community & Economic Development in the Town of Natick, Massachusetts.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - Charlottesville City Manager Chip Boyles announces the appointment of James Freas as Director of Neighborhood Development Services. Freas brings 15 years of professional planning experience to the City.

Mr. Freas has served most recently as Director of the Department of Community & Economic Development in the Town of Natick, Massachusetts since November 2019. Before that, he served in three roles in the City of Newton, MA during 2012-2019: Chief Planner for Long Range Planning; and Acting Director and then Deputy Director of the Department of Planning and Development.

"James has over 15 years of experience in city planning in Massachusetts and Virginia where he has built teams to lead collaborative planning and implementation work,” said Boyles. “I am particularly pleased that James has worked directly with municipal leadership and community members in Massachusetts to advance issues of racial equity in zoning and planning. That experience will be very important in Charlottesville.”

Mr. Freas, holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia, a Master of Community Planning from the University of Rhode Island, and a Master of Studies in Environmental Law from the Vermont Law School.

"I am excited to be returning to Virginia and eager to get started with the City,” said Freas. “There are a number of important conversations happening right now around development and zoning and I look forward to engaging with the community.”

The Director of Neighborhood Development will oversee a portfolio that includes the City’s Planning and Zoning departments. Mr. Freas will report to Deputy City Manager Sam Sanders and he will start his service in the City of Charlottesville September 13, 2021.

Media Contact
Brian Wheeler
Director of Communications
City of Charlottesville

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