Planner ready to revamp codes

Published 12:02 am Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat — Natchez’s newest city planner, Frankie Legaux, says she is looking forward to tackling the city’s development process and revamping the city’s codes and ordinances to make them more user friendly.

NATCHEZ — The city’s new planner says she is ready to tackle two of the city’s biggest planning issues once she gets her feet a little wetter.

Revamping the city’s codes and ordinances and shortening the development process for businesses are the two things City Planner Frankie Legaux said she heard the most about during the interview process.

Luckily, Legaux gained plenty of experience in those areas in her previous job as director of development services for Rockingham County, N.C.

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For Legaux, development services includes planning, inspection and code enforcement. In Rockingham County, Legaux said she did a lot of work with those departments revamping the county’s ordinances to make them more “user friendly.”

“We put them in plain English so people could really understand what they meant,” Legaux said.

Legaux also worked to shorten the approval process for developers in Rockingham County. The county first made literature available to the public that outlined step-by-step the approval process for different types of developments.

And rather than having people go from department to department to fill out paperwork, Rockingham County had applicants fill out a single sheet of paper that the county distributed to the various departments.

One of the things Legaux helped implement that she said saved a lot of hassle for the county and large developers was a pre-application meeting.

“We would pull all of the people from needed various departments and have all of those people in the meeting so (developers) wouldn’t have to go from department to department,” Legaux said. “In Rockingham County, we found that it answers a lot of questions up front.”

“Developers were aware of everything that needed to be included in their application, so when they came back, they were ready to apply,” Legaux said.

Legaux received an bachelor’s degree in anthropology with an emphasis in archaeology from Wake Forest University. She received a master’s in urban and regional planning from the University of New Orleans.

Legaux said she is happy to be in Natchez and is looking forward to her work as city planner.

“I’ve only been here five days, so I have to get my head wrapped around how things are being done here, but I happy to be here and look forward to working with everyone.”

Legaux’s salary is $55,000. Former city planner Bob Nix’s salary was $48,000.