City names new planning director |

City names new planning director

Dana Strongin

— Tom Leeson is thrilled to have a great job in a great city.

Leeson, who has been the city’s assistant director of planning services, was named director this week.

Leeson has worked as a planner for the city for five years. He will be leading a staff that includes five planners.

City Manager Paul Hughes said Leeson’s experience with Steamboat Springs’ planning and development laws made him a solid choice for the position.

“We were looking for somebody to step right in and provide continuity, someone who knew about Colorado planning law,” Hughes said. “He was a great find right under our noses.”

City officials have been searching for a director since Steve Stamey’s announcement in August that he was resigning. Stamey’s last day was in early September.

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Leeson has a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Colorado and a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He was a planner for the city of Greeley for nearly three years and then worked with the Fort Collins land-use consulting firm Balloffet & Associates for a couple of years. He worked as a consultant for Clarion Associates in Fort Collins, where he worked on the Steamboat Springs community development code.

Leeson said he was excited to return to Steamboat. His wife, Tiffany, grew up here.

Since his arrival in Steamboat, Leeson has been the project manager for the Steamboat Springs Community Area Plan update process, managed the updated West Steamboat Springs Area Plan with the Routt County Plan–ning Department and supervised the Base Area Plan.

Kathi Meyer, chairwoman of the city’s Planning Commission, said she is impressed with Leeson’s work on those projects and that he deserves the promotion.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to work with Tom as the new planning director,” Meyer said. “He has been extremely capable of shepherding three very different projects.”

Leeson said his immediate goals include working through the implementation of the Base Area Plan as well as finalizing design standards for Steamboat Ski Area before the moratorium on pre-applications is lifted Nov. 30. He expects to see a lot of development projects after the moratorium is lifted.

Leeson lives in Steamboat with his wife and two daughters, Skylar, 6, and Sophie, 4.

— To reach Dana Strongin, call 871-4229 or e-mail