Housing Complex

Tregoning Steps Down as Planning Director to Join Federal Government

harrietD.C. Planning Director Harriet Tregoning is leaving the city government to work for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the office of Mayor Vince Gray confirms.

Tregoning's departure, first reported by DCist, comes as she nears the end of her second four-year term at the helm of the Office of Planning. Tregoning joined the administration of Mayor Adrian Fenty in 2007 and was kept on by Gray. She is resigning effective Feb. 23.

In a statement on Twitter, Tregoning expressed her appreciation for a job that's enabled her to help reshape the city but has attracted considerable controversy. "I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the citizens of D.C.," she said. "This has been the best job ever."

"I’d like to thank Harriet for her dedicated service to the District and its residents," Gray said in a statement. "She has worked tirelessly to help the District grow responsibly and become a thriving, more sustainable city. In recruiting her, President Obama and Secretary Donovan have demonstrated a keen eye for talent. Although she will be missed, I look forward to working with her in her new role."

Tregoning has led a push for changes to zoning and height limits in the city to create greater density that can accommodate the city's population growth, and has advocated a mix of transit uses. In the process, she has won support from smart-growth advocates but drawn criticism from some drivers and residents with concerns about more development. For everything you could possibly want to know about Tregoning, read my predecessor Lydia DePillis' 2012 profile of her.

A call to Tregoning was not immediately returned.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Tom M

    On the one hand, it is amazing that a Fenty appointee not only carried over but managed to last until now. She is intelligent and is playing with interesting ideas and proposals. She reportedly was honest and ran an honest, above board agency. On the other hand, she wasn't very adept with the constituencies in the city beyond those she was prone to be most comfortable with and those that were closer allies. For her career, i hope she has patience and a long range view. Many of the people i know at HUD refer to it as all too often the place where good people and good ideas go to get moldy. Bon chance Ms. Treg.

  • Tom M

    Also will she be able to take her folding bike into the building?

  • co_2_in_dc

    Tregoning's Office of Planning approved plans like the terrible West End and Hine School deals. She has ignored the people of Wards 5, 7 and 8 about the controversial Zoning rewrite. She has used greenwashing to push a developers agenda. Good riddance. Gray, we need a public vetting process for someone as important as the City's municipal planner!

  • Corky

    Good riddance to the Czar of DC's War on Cars and people who are not White and rich.

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  • cminus

    I'm sorry that Tregoning is leaving. She was one of Gray's better hires, and her work with the Sustainable DC plan was invaluable in working out ways for DC to accommodate the additional residents Gray wants to attract.

  • Petworth

    I'm sad it see her go, but I understand why she would be ready for a change and I wish her well. She's smart and has vision, which can be rare in public service esp. at the local level.
    We can already see the cheering from the "suburbs in DC" crowd. (DC is FAR less dense than the capital cities of other developed nations, almost laughable so.) I hope Gray is smart enough to appoint someone just like her.

  • DC Guy

    I agree with the others, this is a loss for the District. I fear for who the replacement might be.

  • SEis4ME

    I believe there are several holdovers from the Fenty era. Cathy Lanier is one of them. It's not that uncommon.

    I don't believe Harriet ignored rather than encouraged the war on cars. A large segment of smart growth advocates who supported her did encourage it which is why we're not at "war" w/each other.

    Good for her in deciding to move on to bigger and better things. Hopefully Gray can find someone a bit more connected w/all of DC than the smart growth sect.

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  • E. Masquinongy

    It is unlikely that the next director of the DC Office of Planning will be as crazy about "smart growth." This be a major come-down to Dave Alpert and his followers.

    Mr Alpert's hagiography of Tregoning, in the yesterday's Post, was embarrassing.

  • Anonymous,Too

    Perhaps the Mayor will appoint someone with actual planning credentials and experience this time rather than an intelligent, politically savvy but myopic operative focused on one approach to urban design and planning.

  • gimbels lover

    Good luck finding a planner who's not crazy about smart growth. Best you can hope for is spineless.

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