City Manager Tom Bonfield and County Manager Wendell Davis have named Sara Moreno Young as the next director of the Durham City-County Planning Department.
In her most recent position, Young served as assistant director of the Durham City-County Planning Department since 2014, and has been serving as the interim director of the department since July of this year. Young joined the department in 2000 as its first urban designer and was later promoted in 2007 to planning manager, leading a team of urban designers in pivotal projects such as the creation of Durham’s first form-based zoning regulations.
According to Bonfield, one of the reasons Young was selected as the director was due to her two decades of service to Durham. “Sara has led this department admirably as acting director and her performance in this role for our organization and the community has been outstanding during a difficult time for our nation and city due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bonfield said. “During her 20-year career with our organization, and having grown up in Durham, she has proven her ability to be sensitive to community needs as demonstrated most recently through her community engagement leadership efforts around the Comprehensive Plan update. I am confident Sara has demonstrated the leadership that makes her the best fit for our department and the important work it’s undertaking to develop a long-range vision for how Durham grows moving forward.”
“I have watched Sara’s dynamic work over many years and she has continuously demonstrated her professionalism, energy, and enthusiasm this important work,” said Davis. “She is the right person to manage and direct our community’s growth into the future.”
Prior to her service in the Durham City-County Planning Department, Young was an intern architect/project manager with a Durham-based architecture firm from 1997-2000.
Young has a Master of Architecture with an Urban Design Concentration as well as a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture from North Carolina State University, where she also served as a visiting lecturer with the College of Design in 2001. Young is also a graduate of the Municipal and County Administration Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, the American Planning Association, and the Urban Land Institute.
She succeeds Patrick Young, who resigned as director in July. She will begin serving in her new role effective October 5, 2020.