New city hires community development veteran

PEACHTREE CORNERS -- Gwinnett's newest city has named its first-ever community development director.

Diana Wheeler, who held the same position in Alpharetta, will begin the job Monday, overseeing planning, zoning, economic development, code enforcement and building development functions for Peachtree Corners, which became Gwinnett's largest city when it was incorporated July 1.

"Diana Wheeler is one of the most respected community development professionals in the southeast," Mayor Mike Mason said of the new hire. "Her intelligence, skills and experience in the Metro Atlanta area will be a great benefit to our residents and businesses."

Wheeler worked for Alpharetta for 18 years, during a time of rapid economic growth in the area. She oversaw the creation of a downtown development district and "pursued a strategically planned approach to residential, corporate and retail development," a press release said.

"This is a unique opportunity to build a department from the ground up in a city that has excellent leadership and a strong commitment to charting its own destiny," Wheeler said. "I'm excited about Peachtree Corners' future and thrilled to be given the chance to be a part of it."

Planning and zoning control was a major issue for voters, who approved the city last year. It is one of three services the city was chartered to provide, with code enforcement being another.

"To have Diana oversee our Community Development as we begin our new city is like winning the lottery," Mason said.