YARMOUTH, Maine — Town Planner Vanessa Farr is resigning after six years to start a private-sector business.
Farr, who will be stepping down April 17, is launching a new company called Maine Design Collaborative. She said it is a “collaboration of freelance consultants” who will work from home.
“I’m personally excited by the opportunity to work in a variety of different communities,” she said.
Farr, along with Yarmouth residents Sarah Witte and Lynne Seeley, and Kara Wilbur of Portland, will be consultants for individual landowners, towns and cities, and public and private companies.
“For me, there’s this desire to advance planning in the state of Maine,” she said. “I’m incredibly dedicated to planning.”
In addition to working for the town, Farr also co-founded Build Maine with Wilbur last November. The organization hosts conventions to bring together business owners and those interested in planning and economic development.
In Yarmouth, Farr has helped create Planapalooza events and the character-based development code. She said she has enjoyed working with others in the Planning Department and in the rest of town.
“It’s a highly professional organization,” Farr said. “The people that work for the town are incredibly dedicated.”
Farr said she has seen the dedication in Yarmouth residents, too.
“There are so many citizens that give so much of their time to the town to make Yarmouth a better place to live,” she said.
Town Manager Nat Tupper said Farr has improved Yarmouth and will be missed.
“Vanessa … has brought about major changes in the way Yarmouth sees, appreciates and seeks to build on our best assets, and has introduced tools we might use to infuse new life into the community,” Tupper said Friday in an email to Town Council and the planning board.
Tupper said the town hasn’t started looking for Farr’s replacement. He said he first wants to talk with councilors and the planning board to decide what they want in a new planner.
“In the very near future, I will begin discussions … on the best way for Yarmouth to proceed to define the critical roles, needs and opportunities we need to consider as we decide our next steps,” Tupper said in the email.
He said the town will miss Farr’s insight and leadership, and that he hopes to find someone for the position who is just as dedicated as she was.