City Planning Director Scott Edelman has accepted a job with the DLCD as a regional representative

by: JASON CHANEY - City Planning Director Scott Edelman will use his expertise to help multiple communities throughout the central corridor region of the state in his new job with the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development.

After spending six years navigating planning issues with the City of Prineville, Scott Edelman will soon provide his expertise for multiple communities.

The city planning director will soon join the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) as a regional representative covering the central corridor of the state from The Dalles and Hood River to Klamath Falls.

"It's a lot different, but it requires the same knowledge and same skill set," Edelman said. "It is doing the same thing, just a broader region."

After finishing graduate school in city and regional planning in 2001, Edelman took a job with the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, then later with the City of Redmond before joining the City of Prineville in 2007.

"I was just always really interested in how cities grew and seeing what you could do to make them grow better," he said of his career choice. "Trying to create interesting places in cities that improves the values and gives a sense of place, a sense of community."

In Prineville, Edelman has focused on a variety of projects including an urban growth boundary adjustment and subsequent expansion that will enable more data center development. He has also worked on revamping the city’s transportation systems plan, which details a variety of strategies for traffic management as the community grows.

As a regional representative, his role will change in more ways than one. Instead of serving one community, he will assist several.

“I have always liked the idea of serving a whole region,” Edelman said. “Prineville is my favorite (community), frankly, but there is something to like about all of them.”

Instead of making plans and initiating projects, Edelman will provide assistance to the people making those plans. He will help with code writing, transportation plan development, and identify resources to help communities with their key projects. In addition, he will review submissions to ensure that they comply with state planning laws.

“It’s the other side of the fence in that way of reviewing what cities do.”

Although he is leaving Crook County, he will still have opportunities to help the community with its planning needs.

“The challenge in the past for new field reps has always been to get to know the sub-regions — because we are all different,” said Crook County Planning Director Bill Zelenka.

He went on to explain that there are lot of gray areas in state planning law, and sometimes a new regional representative may struggle to understand why a community does things the way they do. Consequently, local planners will benefit from Edelman's familiarity with the community and its methods.

“Just from being here and knowing the community, I can't help but take that with me,” Edelman admits. “If I find some grant funding for a certain kind of project, the first thing that is going to come to my mind is the project in Prineville that I am familiar with.”

Edelman will conclude his Prineville job next week, but as far as he is concerned, he is not necessarily moving on to greener pastures.

“I wasn’t looking for a job when this opportunity came up. I was very happy here,” he said. “It’s not so much that I am moving to something better — just something different.”

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