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Gresham hires new planning director

Kia Selley, most recently a development adviser with the Portland Development Commission, has been hired as Gresham's new urban design and planning director. She also will oversee the Rockwood-West Gresham urban renewal area.

Selley's position is a consolidation of jobs previously held by Mike Abbaté, urban design planning director, and Alice Rouyer, urban renewal director. Both left Gresham for other positions.

The consolidation was not by design, but a happy coincidence.

'We happened to find a candidate with a unique combination of job skills,' said Laura Shepard, city spokeswoman. 'It's a good fit for us.'

The consolidation, which saves $109,900 a year, will be evaluated in a year, Shepard added.

At the Portland Development Commission, Selley managed budget and expenditures for the Convention Center Urban Renewal Area and provided oversight for community infrastructure, district-scale plans and real estate development projects.

A landscape architect by training, her background also includes comprehensive planning, development planning, development review, urban design streetscape projects, design-guideline development for transit-oriented development, permitting for complex construction projects and affordable housing.

In announcing the selection, Gresham City Manager Erik Kvarsten cited Selley's 'passion for the built environment,' along with her deep understanding of relationship-building, public engagement and negotiation.

High-profile projects Selley has been associated with include the South Waterfront Greenway Master Plan, Tanner Springs Park in the Pearl District and strategy development for Portland's Rose Quarter redevelopment effort.

Selley begins her job at Gresham on Monday, June 13. Her annual salary is $99,200.