The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

December 11, 2012

Huntsville hires new planning manager

The News Courier

— The city of Huntsville Tuesday announced that Dennis Madsen has been hired as its new manager of Urban and Long Range Planning.

He was among more than 140 applicants to apply for the newly created position, and will start work on Jan. 14.

An architect by training, Madsen has worked for the past 10 years as an associate at Urban Collage, Inc. in Atlanta, a firm focused on urban design and planning. His portfolio of work includes management of multiple projects for private and public sector clients, master planning, visioning leadership, program development and expertise in regulatory guidelines and policies.

“Dennis impressed us with his philosophy, extensive knowledge of urban design and master planning, and his successful work building consensus with civic groups, neighborhoods and businesses,” said Mayor Tommy Battle in a statement. “Huntsville is poised to take the next leap in growth and development, and I believe we have hired the right person to join our outstanding planning team.”

Huntsville’s Urban Planning Department has recently spearheaded a number of new projects including a master plan for the western corridor, a new master plan for John Hunt Park, greenways and bike paths, downtown revitalization, and new strategies to revitalize decaying retail strip centers along major transportation arteries. The department is also integrating form based codes where appropriate, and new entertainment districts.

“We are excited about the energy and vision in our planning department and Dennis shares our sense of purpose and philosophy,” said Shane Davis, director of Urban Development. “He has experience in our areas of focus, and he believes in community led solutions, which will help make the entire planning team more visible in the coming year.”

For Madsen, a move to Huntsville held a special allure. His wife has family in the area.

“To be a part of the impending growth, to work with a highly-involved community in shaping that growth; well, for a planner that’s just an incredible charge,” he said.

In his new role, Madsen will be responsible for planning, managing, directing and implementing the goals and objects pertaining to urban and long range planning for the city. He will also serve as the transportation planning coordinator for the Metropolitan Planning Organization.