Loudoun County Zoning Administrator Michael Congleton will leave next month to fill Prince William's top zoning spot, which was left vacant when Sager Williams resigned to take a similar post in Austin, Tex.
Congleton, who has worked in Loudoun four years, submitted his resignation in the first week of February, the same week that Williams was saying his goodbyes in the neighboring jurisdiction. Congleton will be at his new desk March 18, a spokesman said.
In his letter of resignation to Planning Director Frederick Carr, Congleton said Prince William "may offer broader professional experience." Carr will act as zoning administrator until a replacement for Congleton can be hired, a process that may take up to four months, he said.
Although Congleton's letter said the move will allow him to spend more time with his family, he declined to comment on his reasons. "I would just rather not be interviewed about it."
Prince William's chief planner, Roger Snyder, was delighted to hear that Loudoun had officially announced Congleton's departure. "Good. That firms it up. We're excited to have him; we considered his credentials to be equal to those of Sager Williams when he left, and greater than Williams' when he arrived." Congleton had served in a similar capacity in Stafford County and Vienna before coming to Loudoun in 1981.
According to Snyder, Congleton will have greater responsibilities in Prince William, with a staff of 11. The Prince William Board of Supervisors recently approved four new zoning department positions, and three more persons are slated for hiring before mid-March. Congleton will also have a much shorter drive to work when the county staff moves into the administration complex under final construction on Davis Ford Road in the eastern end of the county. The new zoning administrator lives in Springfield, an hour from Loudoun during peak traffic hours. "His driving time will be cut to minutes," Snyder said.
Snyder added that more good news for the county came last week when the state Senate Finance Committee killed a bill that would have allowed mobile homes in agricultural areas. Currently, Prince William allows mobile homes only in its two trailer parks. The Board of Supervisors amended the zoning ordinance last month to prohibit persons building permanent homes from using mobile homes as temporary residences, because, they said, the ordinance was being abused.