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Mayor Greg Fischer today named veteran land use expert Deborah Bilitski as Director of Develop Louisville, the city agency that oversees land use, planning and zoning, housing and community development, vacant and abandoned properties, construction review, and the city’s sustainability and greening initiatives.
Bilitski is currently Assistant County Attorney and will replace Jim Mims, who is returning to the private sector. She starts April 25.
“Deborah has deep knowledge in land use, planning and zoning, having worked in that subject area since graduating from law school in 1995,” Fischer said. “She is also committed to civic service, from her leadership on the board at the National Association of Women Business Owners, to her service on the Louisville Downtown Management District, and the Home Builders Association of Louisville.”
“It’s an honor to be selected for this position and to serve the citizens of Louisville,” Bilitski said. “Develop Louisville touches the lives of so many citizens on issues that are critically important to Louisville – vacant housing, planning and zoning, and making the city greener and more sustainable.”
Bilitski is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Louisville School of Law. She began her career in private practice as an attorney focused on land use and real estate, and later practiced at Wyatt, Tarrant and Combs, where she headed the firm’s real estate and lending team. Currently, she works at the County Attorney’s Office providing legal counsel to the Mayor’s Office, Metro Council, and agencies of city government, and previously served as assistant county attorney representing the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Adjustment.
“Deborah has done great work for us here in our civil division,” said Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell. “While we will miss her expertise and wit, she is a talent that Metro Government will continue to benefit from in her new role. We wish her the best.”
Among many honors, she has been named to Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America in the area of land use and zoning, and she is a graduate of Leadership Louisville and Bingham Fellows.
Develop Louisville has been led by Jim Mims since it was established in 2014 as part of the creation of Louisville Forward.
Mims joined city government in 2009 as Director of Codes and Regulations, where he made great strides in reducing the number and backlog of the vacant lots and streamlining the rezoning process within Planning and Design Services. Mims was a driving force in implementing the online permitting system now used in Construction Review, making it more efficient for companies to do business.
“Jim has been an excellent leader, and has made Develop Louisville a more nimble, customer-focused agency,” Fischer said. “As he returns to the private sector, our city owes him a debt of gratitude for making Louisville a better place.”
Develop Louisville, a part of Louisville Forward, focuses on the full range of land development activities, including planning and design, vacant property initiatives, advanced planning, housing and community development programs, permits and licensing, land acquisition, public art, and clean and green sustainable development partnerships. Its offices include:
Office of Advanced Planning
Office of Construction Review
Office of Housing and Community Development
Office of Planning and Design Services
Office of Sustainability
Office of Vacant and Public Property Administration