For the first time, Madison County has a planner.

Last week, county administrator Jack Hobbs announced that Ligon Webb has been chosen to serve as the county’s first planner. The planner position has long been on the wish list of county officials, especially those serving on the planning commission. Commissions including their desired for a professional planner in the latest iteration of the comprehensive plan, adopted Feb. 7, 2018.

Previously, the county’s planning department was led by longtime zoning administrator Betty Grayson. She retired in May after 40 years with Madison County.

Webb was chosen from among multiple applicants. He brings more than 14 years of professional planning experience serving a planning intern in Chesterfield County, a land use planner in Rockingham County and most recently as the planner for the Town of Luray. He holds multiple degrees and certificates from Virginia Commonwealth University. He served as the chair of the Page Economic Development Authority for two of his five years with the group. Originally from Crewe, Webb lives in Luray and was most recently employed as an appraiser.

“Ligon comes to Madison County with a wealth of local experience and shares Madison County’s appreciation for careful planning so as to maintain the high quality of life its residents enjoy,” Hobbs said. “We look forward to working with him in meeting Madison County’s known and unknown challenges and opportunities.”

Webb said he’s thankful and excited for the opportunity to serve Madison County citizens.

“I grew up in a rural community and the majority of my professional experience has been in rural communities with strong agricultural and natural assets,” he said. “Given the abundance of both in Madison County, I believe the county planner position is a great fit for me professional and personally.”

Planning commission chairman Carty Yowell said Ligon came with glowing letters of recommendation.

Board of supervisors chairman Clay Jackson said Webb has already read both the comprehensive plan and the zoning ordinance, plus he brings knowledge of commercial and industrial solar, something the planning commission is currently working on.

“I’m excited to be here,” Webb said. “I look forward to meeting everyone and understanding what’s going on in the community.”

Up first for Webb will be the adoption of an updated flood plan map and ordinance and recodification of the zoning, site plan and subdivision ordinances. He officially began employment this week and will likely remain part-time until transitioning into full-time Aug. 1.

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