Divel informed county planning commissioners last Tuesday he will begin work with the city on Jan. 22.
Divel replaces Paul Corder, who accepted a planning job with the city of Lebanon.
Divel said he viewed going to the city as a lateral move professionally, but a step up in salary.
“Bittersweet, is probably the best description of the move,” he said.
The city and county have worked closely together during his seven years with the county and he feels comfortable about the transition.
“There is always a certain level of uncertainty because of the unknown,” he said. “As far as personalities, I know everyone over there, they’re all great people, we’re all good friends and I look forward to working with them.”
He is the lone planner in the county. He will join Planning Director Greg Thomas in the city’s Development and Engineering Services Department.
“A lot of people don’t think the city and county get along, but on a staff level, we work together all the time. We already work together well. I don’t see any reason for that to change,” he said. “Here, I work directly for the mayor and there I’ll work for a planning director, department head, assistant city manager and city manager.”
The city and county have worked together on strategic and comprehensive planning, and flooding issues, but there will be some differences in protocol and zoning ordinances, and development patterns differ between the city and county.
“We don’t have historic zoning in the county,” Divel said.
Divel graduated cum laude from Lee University in 2001 with a bachelor of arts in sociology. He is currently pursuing a masters of business administration from Bryan College, which he hopes to complete in 2014.
He began working with the county in 2001 as a case manager in Bradley County Juvenile Court for families with at-risk youth. He served as Y-Community Action Program director from 2003 to 2005. He rejoined the county as planner director in 2005.
Since then, he has gained years of experience serving on the technical coordinating committee of the Cleveland Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. He was a leader in developing the BCC2035 Strategic Plan and worked closely on several economic development projects, such as Amazon and Wacker Polysilicon North America.
He also advised the Bradley County Board of Zoning Appeals and Planning Commission through their decision-making process. That advisory role is expected to continue after he transitions to the city.