City planner returns to Tampa to lead planning efforts

Abbye Feeley will start her new duties running the new Development & Growth Management Department next month.
Abbye Feeley, a city planner who left Tampa in 2018, has returnd to direct an overhauled city planning department.
Abbye Feeley, a city planner who left Tampa in 2018, has returnd to direct an overhauled city planning department. [ City of Tampa ]
Published Sept. 23, 2020|Updated Sept. 23, 2020

TAMPA — Mayor Jane Castor has said often that the next few years will see a rush of construction and development that will transform the city.

On Wednesday, the mayor tapped Abbye Feeley, a former city planner who left in 2018, to direct an reimagined planning and development office to keep on top of that growth and steer it in the right direction in a newly-named city department called Development & Growth Management.

Feeley’s task will be crucial "to the success of my administration’s key focus areas. We are excited to welcome Abbye to the City of Tampa team; her expertise will be instrumental in transforming Tampa’s tomorrow,” said Castor in a news release.

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to rejoin the City of Tampa at this time in the City’s history,” said Feeley in the same release. “I look forward to working with the development community and our neighborhoods and communities to ensure quality services to all of Tampa.”

Feeley will oversee the city’s architectural review and historic preservation efforts, construction services, development coordination, housing and community development and real estate.

Those city offices have been a focus for Castor, who has vowed to build 10,000 units of affordable housing by 2027 and hired former New York City mayoral aide Carole Post to spearhead those efforts as well as steps to streamline permitting and other city services.

Related: Jane Castor's task: Stay out of the way of the Tampa boom

Feeley was a city planner who left the city in December 2018 to work for the law firm Stearns Weaver Miller. She has also worked for the Florida Department of Community Affairs.

“We are proud to have Abbye join our team,” said Post, administrator for Development and Economic Opportunity in the statement. “We have many strategic priorities and Abbye is the ideal person to bring fresh perspective from her private sector experience and hit the ground running based upon her prior service to the city.”

Feeley will begin October 12 with an annual salary of $157,000.

Castor also announced that she is reestablishing a Planning Department led by longtime planner Randy Goers. Goers’s task will be to plan for the city’s future development and coordinate with other agencies like the county/city planning commission.