AUGUSTA — Washington County resident Judy East is going to be spending a lot of time on the road.
She was recently named the executive director of the Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC), a branch of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.
The commission is responsible for planning and zoning in Maine’s unorganized and deorganized areas, which either have no local government or have chosen not to administer land use controls at the local level.
“I am not leaving Washington County, just getting a midweek apartment in Veazie, and driving a lot,” said East, who will have offices in both Augusta and the Bangor area.
The driving, she said, comes with the territory, which encompasses 10.4 million acres.
“I really want to be out there in the jurisdiction,” she said. “I think that’s important.”
For the past 17 years, the Toronto native has served as executive director of the Washington County Council of Governments, a municipal membership organization based in Calais that provides customized planning, advisory and resources development services.
She holds a master’s degree in planning from the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning. She also holds a bachelor’s degree as a biology specialist with an emphasis on freshwater ecology from the University of Toronto, where she majored in environmental studies and minored in economics.
In addition to extensive rural, regional and national land use planning experience, East has earned numerous awards in her field.
“I am very much looking forward to working with and for the state of Maine and those who live and work in the unique and extraordinary place encompassed by the LUPC,” said East, who will begin her new role in mid-December.
Everett Worcester, LUPC chairman, said East’s extensive experience with complex zoning decisions makes her a good choice for the position.
“I am confident that we have chosen an exceptional individual and I am enthusiastic about this next step for the commission,” he said.
Amanda Beal, commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, also said she is pleased to have East on board.
“I look forward to working with Judy in LUPC’s efforts to preserve the unique character of the land within its jurisdiction,” she said.