Past city employee of the year gets title of Virginia Beach planning director permanently

VIRGINIA BEACH — The city’s acting director of Planning and Community Development has been named to the post permanently.

Barry Frankenfield has been acting director since July, when previous Director Jack Whitney retired. City Manager Jim Spore named him to the post permanently on Monday, calling Frankenfield the “perfect person” for the job, according to a release to media.

“I can’t think of anyone who knows more about Virginia Beach and all its future needs than Barry,” Spore said in the release.

Frankenfield, a licensed landscape architect, is a 30-year veteran of city government who holds a master’s degree from the Conway School of Landscape Design and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia.

Virginia Beach hired him in 1985 as a resort planner. He went on to work as a design and development administrator in the Parks and Recreation Department for nearly two decades before being hired to lead the city’s Strategic Growth Area Office in 2009.

In that job, he oversaw planning for several major projects, including the creation of the Laskin Road Gateway and restoration of the Cavalier Hotel, according to the release.

Frankenfield is a certified planner, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a LEED Accredited Professional. He was named the city’s employee of the year for 2011.

Have a story idea or news tip? Contact city hall reporter Judah Taylor at or 757-490-2750.

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