McClung named development director
June 13, 2008 · Updated 10:17 AM
"Kathy McClung, one of the city's first employees, remembers when city officials set a goal of creating a downtown that would make people linger.That was shortly after incorporating in February, 1990. Now, as the city's new Community Development Services director, McClung said she's prepared to set in motion policies to attract the mix of office, retail and residential uses officials crave.City Manager David Moseley named McClung as the new director on Thursday. McClung, 47, has served as the department's interim director since Stephen Clifton left in September to take a job as the city of Edmonds' community services director.McClung has served as deputy Community Development Services director since 1995 and as the city's land use administrator from 1990-95. From 1979-90, she worked as a senior planner, code compliance officer and property negotiator/analyst for the city of Kent.McClung offers a solid set of skills in all the areas she will oversee, from comprehensive planning to economic development to human services, Moseley said. He and McClung haven't determined the process for hiring a new deputy Community Services Development director.Community Development Services employees are delighted by McClung's selection as the new director.I think her wealth of experience with the city of Federal Way is a huge plus, said senior planner Lori Michaelson, who's worked with McClung about 10 years. She has a good blend of being a visionary and also understanding the practicalities of the situation and knowing the city's resources very, very well and how to muster those.Over the next couple years, the department faces an ambitious work plan, McClung said, including a major update of the city's comprehensive plan, which governs future development, and the study of potential zoning for areas to the east of the city that someday will likely be annexed.Much of the job will center around the city's idea of a thriving downtown, which McClung said isn't so hard to imagine considering the way the rest of the city has evolved.I drive around this city. I look at what has changed in the last 10 years, she said. It's amazing. It's totally amazing what has changed. The parks built, the streets, the development looks better. I really feel a sense of pride to be part of it. I think when you look at the downtown, we're able to do even more.Those downtown efforts will include continuing to enforce the city's sign code, which requires that most pole signs be replaced with low-to-the-ground pedestal signs, and attracting mixed use development, McClung said. To accomplish the latter, the city must look at what incentives it can offer prospective downtown developers. The city also plans to spend money on an environmental study for the entire downtown, which would save developers the time and money of individual studies. McClung believes some type of model project might also encourage developers to look seriously at the downtown.Relocating City Hall wouldn't hurt, either, she said.After Clifton left, Moseley broadened the position to include a focus on economic development, particularly in the downtown. "