City of Asheville names new Development Services Department Director

Asheville City Manager Gary Jackson is pleased to announce that Assistant Development Services Department Director Jason Nortz will become DSD director, effective Jan. 22.

Recently appointed Development Services Director Wayne Clark has decided to return Port Orange, Fla., where he served as community development director. Port Orange leaders launched a vigorous campaign for his return, and in the end won him over with a generous offer.

“Fortunately, we had a strong in-house candidate in Jason Nortz who will be able to step in as director right away to maximize continuity in the Development Services Department,” said City Manager Gary Jackson. “We feel confident that Jason, who is already overseeing improvements in the DSD facility, is positioned to lead staff in a positive direction to ensure good employee morale and outstanding customer service.”

Nortz was originally hired as the Assistant Director for the City of Asheville’s Development Services Department in March 2015. He comes to the City of Asheville from Palo Alto, Calif., where he served most recently as the Planning Manager for the City’s Development Services Department since 2012.  From 2005-2012 he served as the Senior Planner for Palo Alto’s Planning and Community Environment Department.

He received a bachelor’s of science degree in health and human services from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and was most recently pursuing a master’s degree in urban planning from San Jose State University in San Jose, Calif.

Nortz is currently overseeing facility improvements for DSD staff in the Public Works Building that include new office space for building inspectors and remodeled office space for stormwater and planning staff.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to transition into the role of director for the department,” said Nortz, who has been employed with the City for about a year. “In the short time I’ve been here I’ve seen how dedicated the staff is with assisting our customers and managing the wide array of complex projects. I’m looking forward to continuing to build on the some of the positive changes we’ve already made as well as tackling the larger challenges that still exist.”

Clark said his time at the City has been a positive experience: “In the brief time I was here, I had the opportunity to meet and work with a diverse group of people including residents, builders, Realtors, business owners and City staff. I was very impressed with their positive attitudes and pride in the community. I was able to see how they worked together to build this city and why so many people look to Asheville as a great place to call home.”

The Development Services Department consists of planning, stormwater and building safety staff, plus the permit center and administration. It is housed in the City’s Public Works Building, 161 S. Charlotte St. For more information, visit