Freas hired to run Charlottesville Planning Department

Charlottesville has a new director of the department that oversees land use and zoning within the city. James Freas will be the next Director of Neighborhood Development Services, a position that’s been held by Alexander Ikefuna for the past six years. Freas is currently the director of Community and Economic Development in the town of Natick in Massachusetts, a position he has held since November 2019. Before that, he worked in land use positions in Newton, Massachusetts. He also served four years as a city planner in Hampton from 2005 to 2009.

This will be a return to Charlottesville for Freas, who graduated from the University of Virginia with an undergraduate degree in psychology. He also earned 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,” Freas said in a release. “There are a number of important conversations happening right now around development and zoning and I look forward to engaging with the community.”

Freas will report to Deputy City Manager Sam Sanders and begins work on September 13. 

James Freas (Credit: City of Charlottesville)

(This story originally ran in the August 4, 2021 edition of Charlottesville Community Engagement)

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