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Assistant Steps Up As New Planning And Zoning Director In Fairfield

First Selectman Mike Tetreau with Jim Wendt, the town’s new Planning and Zoning Director, in Independence Hall.
First Selectman Mike Tetreau with Jim Wendt, the town’s new Planning and Zoning Director, in Independence Hall. Photo Credit: Contributed

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Longtime assistant James R. Wendt is stepping up into the top job as Fairfield's Planning and Zoning Director following the retirement of another longtime town employee.

First Selectman Mike Tetreau announced Tuesday that Wendt's appointment as director is effective April 1.

Wendt replaces longtime director Joseph Devonshuk, who recently retired after serving the town of Fairfield for the last 33 years.

"I appreciate the support and confidence that the Town Planning and Zoning Commission and the First Selectman have shown and expressed to me over the years," Wendt said. "I will do my very best to honor that confidence. This is an amazing town and I am privileged to take this step to lead the great team we have here in the Planning and Zoning Office.”

Tetreau praised Wendt's work and service to the town.

“I cannot think of a more deserving and qualified individual than Jim Wendt to assume the role of Director in our Planning and Zoning Department," he said. "Jim has effortlessly transitioned from Assistant Planning Director to Planning Director because of his years of experience and knowledge of our Town, his strong work ethic, and his professional and effective management style."

Both also praised the retiring director.

"I also wish to thank Joe Devonshuk for his dedicated years of service to our Town and wish him and his family all the best,” Tetreau said. Wendt added, “I am honored and excited to succeed Joe Devonshuk as Planning Director."

As assistant planning director, Wendt provided professional guidance to Fairfield’s Town Plan and Zoning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals for more than 25 years. Wendt provided consultation to attorneys, potential developers, and property owners regarding all aspects of development applications and potential development of property.

Wendt was a key staff member to the 16-member citizen ad hoc committee charged with the most recent comprehensive rewrite of the Town’s Plan of Conservation and Development. He continues to serve in recent updates, including the May 2011 adoption of the Commerce Drive Area update. That was the planning effort to develop Fairfield’s newest train station.

He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, has a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Southern Connecticut State University and an undergraduate degree in Geography/Urban Studies from the University of Connecticut.

Wendt is a former Board Chairman of Leadership Greater Bridgeport, an affiliate of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, and is the current Chairman of the Town of Monroe Zoning Board of Appeals, having served on the Board since 1995.

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