Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood announced today that the new director of the City’s Planning and Community Development Department, Blake Lyon, will begin March 1, 2022.
Mayor Fleetwood said Lyon was selected for his extensive local government experience, his skill in bringing people together, and his work to assure natural and built environments reflect the diverse needs of the community.
“Our community cares deeply about how we grow and accommodate people in ways that are inspired and visionary,” Fleetwood said. “Blake has the skills, experience and commitment to help with the exciting challenge of making our City continuously better in ways that respect principles of environmentalism, sustainability and equity. We look forward to his leadership of our Planning and Community Development Department.”
Lyon was selected as the result of a nationwide recruitment conducted last fall. He fills the position left by former Planning and Community Development Director Rick Sepler, who retired last summer.
Lyon’s experience includes more than 20 years in local government at both the city and county levels, serving communities in California and Florida. For the past seven years, he has served as the director of Building & Development Review Services for Pinellas County, Florida, where he led a multi-disciplinary approach to the review of applications for land development activities in unincorporated Pinellas County, including engineering and drainage, site development, environment/habitat and landscaping, zoning and land use, permitting, building inspection, and code enforcement.
Prior to relocating to Florida, Lyon served as the Planning and Housing Manager for Redwood City, California, where he was responsible for the city’s downtown redevelopment efforts, adherence to the state’s Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), implementation of the city’s Comprehensive Plan, and many other projects and policy initiatives.
Lyon holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Principia College and a master’s in public administration from Notre Dame de Namur University. He began his career in environmental consulting, then quickly moved into local government as a city planner.
“I am excited to join the City of Bellingham,” Lyon said. “It is a wonderful opportunity to work in a dynamic city that has dedicated professional staff, engaged elected officials, and passionate residential and business communities collaborating to protect and preserve the qualities and characteristics that have shaped the City. I am looking forward to the awesome responsibilities and opportunities that come along with the position, addressing needs and issues for current and future residents, as well as learning more, connecting with new people, and creating new partnerships.”