City News

Posted on: December 14, 2016

City of Buda Planning Director Takes on New Role

Headshot of Chance Sparks

City of Buda Planning Director Chance Sparks is taking on a new role with the City. Sparks, who previously served as Interim Assistant City Manager, has been appointed Assistant City Manager.  

Micah Grau, who comes to us from Hutto, was also recently named Assistant City Manager. The City will now have two Assistant City Managers and responsibilities will be split between Sparks and Grau.  

 “I’m looking forward to continuing my relationship with the City of Buda, a community that I must admit I’ve fallen in love with over the last six years,” said Sparks. “We are blessed with a great community, great leadership and great staff, and I’m looking forward to working with Micah as we seek new  and better ways to meet the needs of our citizens and rise to the challenge of new community expectations. I know our team can not only preserve, but enhance the quality of life that has brought so many here over the last several years.”

During his time with the City, Sparks has overseen planning, development services, code enforcement, building services and tourism. Upon his hiring, he was tasked with creating a department and implementing best practices in the face of tremendous growth in Buda.

Sparks has also led the adoption or revision to several long-range plans, including:

  • Buda 2030 Comprehensive Plan, which won the 2012 Comprehensive Planning Award for Texas
  • Downtown Master Plan
  • Transportation Master Plan
  • Facilities Master Plan & Space Needs Assessment
  • Historic Preservation Design Standards & Guidelines

In large part to these efforts, the City of Buda was named Community of the Year by the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association in 2015 . The City was recognized for developing  and implementing plans in a responsible, thoughtful and innovative manner.

Sparks is currently leading implementation of the new Main Street Program, supporting a transition to provide in-house rather than contracted building services, establishing a more robust geographic information systems data mapping service, and managing the comprehensive revision to the Unified Development Code. In addition, he is heavily involved in oversight of the 2014 bond program.

Prior to joining Buda in 2010, Sparks was the Senior Program Analyst for the State of Texas Disaster Recovery Program in response to Hurricanes Ike & Dolly, where he led the drafting of the State Action Plan to promote long-range planning and resiliency, managed a variety of professional services contracts, developed funding models for the distribution of Federal disaster recovery funds, and worked with a team to create the application and business processes for the disaster recovery infrastructure programs. Sparks also served as the Planning Manager for the City of San Marcos and the Planning and Development Services Director for the City of Bulverde.

Sparks is highly respected within the Texas planning profession. He has served in regional and state leadership in the American Planning Association for more than a decade, and as a peer reviewer for the American Institute of Certified Planners. He is currently the American Planning Association Texas Chapter Texas Municipal League Affiliate and Legislative Affairs Liaison. A recognized expert in the planning field, Sparks is called upon to provide fellow planners training in the areas of ethics, legislative and legal issues, comprehensive planning and personnel management.

“Chance Sparks has done yeoman’s effort for the City of Buda and I am glad to be in a position to reward his dedication and faithfulness to the City. It is always fulfilling to reward existing staff members with a promotion,” said City Manager Kenneth Williams. “Chance’s skill set brings valuable attributes to us as an Assistant City Manager while we plan and construct the future of the City of Buda. We look forward to working with him, Mr. Grau and City Staff in achieving the goals that are identified by the Buda City Council. Although small in numbers, we feel we have a staff that can compare results with any city in the country.”

Sparks holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geography — Urban and Regional Planning and a Master of Public Administration from Texas State University. He holds a certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners and is an Accredited Member of the Congress for the New Urbanism.

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