Front Royal has a new chief of planning and development.

Lauren Kopishke has been hired as the Director of Planning and Community Development, according to a Thursday news release sent by Town Manager Steven Hicks.

Kopishke starts Aug. 2 and succeeds former director Tim Wilson, who left to take the job of county administrator for Gates County, North Carolina.

Kopishke joins the staff as town officials and the Planning Commission start work on a new comprehensive land-use plan.

Kopishke comes to Front Royal from Fauquier County, where she worked as a planner in community development, specializing in identifying strategies to meet community goals, according to the release. She has experience as a plan reviewer and case manager assisting clients through the permitting process.

Prior to working for Fauquier County, Kopishke worked as a planner for Round Hill in Loudoun County, where she specialized in comprehensive plan updates, developed a permitting process and obtained grants for the town’s first Appalachian Trail Festival.

Kopishke also worked in the Department of Planning and Zoning in Calvert County, Maryland. She spent four years in the private sector working for Bohler Engineering, where she conducted research and guided commercial clients through development processes, the release states.

Kopishke holds a bachelor of science degree in geography and geosciences from Salisbury University; a master’s degree in urban and regional planning with a concentration in environmental and land-use planning; and a graduate certificate in watershed management from Virginia Tech.

Kopishke is a certified zoning administrator, serves on the Front Royal Board of Architectural Review and is an active member of the American Planning Association.

– Contact Alex Bridges at abridges@nvdaily.com