First W&M Student on City Planning Commission Steps Down

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Chris Connolly
Chris Connolly

The first college student to serve on the Williamsburg Planning Commission has resigned from his seat.

Second Vice Chairman Chris Connolly stepped down from the Planning Commission at the conclusion of its meeting May 20.

Connolly, who was a student at the College of William & Mary, graduated May 16 and is relocating to New York City to start a job.

Connolly was appointed to the Planning Commission in December 2011 as a 19-year-old freshman at William & Mary. He lived in the City of Williamsburg for six years prior to his appointment.

“The reason I got involved with the Planning Commission was to increase communication between students living on campus and the city, and I think the last few years have been very successful at that,” Connolly said.

Connolly said he was particularly proud of helping to remove the density cap on housing development in downtown Williamsburg, allowing additional people to move into the scenic area.

During Wednesday’s meeting, Planning Commission Chairman Demetrios Florakis honored Connolly with a certificate thanking him for his three years and five months of service on the board.

The City Council appointed David Julien to replace Connolly on the Planning Commission effective May 22.

Julien was unavailable for comment Thursday.

Connolly is the second member of the Planning Commission to leave the board in the last four months. Dan Quarles stepped down from the commission in February to focus on his law practice. He was replaced by Andrew Edwards, who was appointed to the commission May 14.

City regulations limit Planning Commission members to two four-year terms on the board as approved by the City Council.

Because Connolly’s term was in progress, Julien can still be appointed to two full four-year terms.

The Planning Commission reviews proposals and requests related to land use and development in Williamsburg, and issues recommendations to the City Council.

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