New Mt. Juliet planner hired from Murfreesboro to work for responsible growth

The city has transformed itself from a mostly rural community to a suburban one. Wochit

Mt. Juliet is getting a new planning director who will emphasize responsible growth as building proposals come into the city.

Donald Anthony, 42, replaces Larry Mizell, who held the position in Mt. Juliet less than a year.

Mizell decided not to relocate from his Franklin home as originally planned when hired last year by Mt. Juliet. He resigned because of the commute, officials said, after holding the position less than a year.

Anthony has worked as Principal Planner in Murfreesboro for four years, but he’s lived in Wilson County just outside Mt. Juliet with his family since 2010 and is familiar with the landscape.

Anthony’s experience includes working as a planning supervisor in Franklin and deputy director of planning in Conway, Arkansas. He starts in Mt. Juliet on June 11.

“I know the leaders want to keep the hometown feel,” Anthony said. “The focus is going to be responsible growth.”

Walkable developments and connectivity designed to reduce the need for automobile traffic will be one focus as proposals come in, Anthony said.

The previous cities where Anthony has worked have also experienced considerable growth, but Anthony believes all are “different places, different issues.” he said.

"The city has a history of visionary leadership," Anthony said in an email about Mt. Juliet. "Providence is a true mixed-use community. A decade ago, it was ahead of its time. Still today, it serves as a model for other Middle Tennessee communities.

"Likewise, the trails and park system throughout the city as well as the access to commuter rail exemplify the city’s forward thinking. That bold leadership and willingness to think outside the box are the city’s primary advantages."

Anthony’s experience and qualifications made him “the best fit,” for the position among several applicants, Mt. Juliet Zoning Administrator Jennifer Stewart said.

Reach Andy Humbles at ahumbles@tennessean.com or 615-726-5939 and on Twitter @ AndyHumbles.

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