Government, Human Resources, and Real Estate

Grand Rapids appoints acting planning director

August 29, 2019
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Kristin Turkelson
Kristin Turkelson. Courtesy city of Grand Rapids

The city of Grand Rapids has named a new planning leader.

Kristin Turkelson, assistant planning director for the city of Grand Rapids, will become the city’s acting planning director.

She will assume her new role when Suzanne Schulz, managing director for planning and community engagement, departs for a career in the private sector on Sept. 6.

Turkelson will lead the operations of planning and community engagement, the development center and building inspections.

“It’s gratifying to see the results of our work,” Turkelson said. “Working collaboratively with the community and the Planning Commission, we’ve been successful in developing processes to facilitate low-income housing tax credit applications and market-rate projects, such as the Studio Park and Hendrik/Bridge Street Market mixed-use developments.

“We’ve also been able to streamline ordinance requirements for food trucks operating on private property and implement master planning efforts, including GR Forward and neighborhood area specific plans.”

Turkelson has served the city of Grand Rapids since 2013. Previously, Turkelson served as planning director for the city of Grand Haven.

“She has distinguished herself in her current role and in the process, has earned the respect of staff, the Planning Commission and stakeholders and community,” Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington said.

She is a member of the American Planning Association and the Michigan Association of Planning.

She holds a B.S. in urban and regional planning from Eastern Michigan University.

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