WAYNESBORO – After five years with Waynesboro, city planner Luke Juday says goodbye to his job in July.
From 2017Juday took over the position from Michael Barnes, who had held the position since 2009.
As for his next move, he is not yet too sure. He said he would take the next few months to travel.
“I’m going to spend three months in Vienna, Austria, where I hope to learn more about European spatial planning law and how to make cities less car-dependent,” he said. . “I should be back in the region around December, but I’m still thinking about the best position for me in the future.”
He said leaving at this time was a good stopping point.
“Many of the projects I’ve been involved in are already underway, whereas the issues I’m most excited about right now aren’t as relevant to Waynesboro,” he said. “The timing was right. The city will soon enter another full planning cycle, which is a great opportunity for a new person to come in and establish a vision.”
A resident of the area between Harrisonburg and Charlottesville for 11 years, Juday previously worked as a middle school teacher, transportation planner and consulting demographer with planning departments.
He served on the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission as a transportation planner and was previously a research analyst at the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.
A graduate of the University of Virginia with a master’s degree in urban and environmental planning, Juday also studied at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, earned a bachelor of arts in political science, and earned a Fulbright scholarship to Gaborone, Botswana.
For the past four years, he has taught land use planning and urban growth as an adjunct professor for AVU’s Masters in Planning program.
In 2018, Juday was selected as one of the leading news The personalities of the newsthat profiles the influential and impactful people in our community.
As a planner, he attributes accomplishments to the entire team of public servants and the entire community he worked with – it’s not just him.
“There are a lot of elements to this role, but I would highlight two big goals from one of my early performance reviews: ‘to articulate a clear, compelling and actionable vision for the community’ and ‘to conduct a smooth development review. and efficient process,” he said. “My biggest achievement, I hope, is being a good teammate and doing my part well.”
When Juday came to Waynesboro, the town was reinventing itself. It has seen the town grow with new developments like with Waynesboro Marketplace, growth at Waynesboro Town Center, and Amazon locating a distribution center in the old Kmart building. There are also new projects underway like the new City Park, Sunset Park, more Greenway development and the revival of downtown, such as with the demolition of the old Leggett Building and new retailers occupying empty storefronts. .
“The ultimate goal was for a new generation of people to find the city worth living, working and investing their lives in,” he said. “Today I think the city is in the strongest position it has been in years. People want to move here, want to start businesses here and are excited about the direction the city is going. We have a great vision that people can get excited about, but we have to keep pushing it forward.”
Going forward, Juday said he hopes the city finds ways to accommodate growth and maintain accessibility so people don’t get evicted.
“There’s already a healthy discussion about affordable housing and homelessness,” he said. “More growth also means more demand for city services, which will force the organization to adapt and innovate.”
Transportation is a big deal for Waynesboro, he said. The Afton Express, which connects Staunton, Fishersville and Waynesboro to Charlottesville is a great addition, but could go even further if brought to downtown Waynesboro.
“Bringing it downtown and giving people a one-seat connection to Staunton and Charlottesville would open up more job opportunities for residents and help us ease traffic congestion,” he said.
Juday said he will miss the overall City of Waynesboro work environment.
“It’s an organizational culture that emphasizes hiring for potential rather than achievement, developing high-potential employees and promoting from within,” he said. “It’s possible because of the number of experienced professionals who are able to lift people around them.”
He encourages people to value their community and open their minds to what is possible for Waynesboro.
“Waynesboro isn’t just a bunch of homes run by a utility company that keeps your toilets flush. Don’t treat it that way,” he said. “It’s an active and growing community where 22,000 people work, study, play, raise families, enjoy each other’s company, and build something greater than the sum of their individual lives. She has a rich history and it could also have a great future.”
Laura Peters is the current affairs reporter at The News Leader. Do you have a current tip on local trends or businesses? Or a good feature? You can reach journalist Laura Peters (her) at [email protected]. Am here @peterslaura. Subscribe to The News Leader at newsleader.com.