Heidi Vonblum
Heidi Vonblum. Photo courtesy City of San Diego

The city of San Diego Monday announced the hiring of Heidi Vonblum as its new planning director, “responsible for the long-term growth of San Diego,” including housing, parks and mobility options.

Vonblum has worked for the city for more than 12 years, including as deputy planning director for the last two.

“Heidi is a visionary leader who has developed innovative planning initiatives to meet the challenges facing San Diego both today and decades from now,” said Mayor Todd Gloria.

“Her hard work and diligence have earned the trust and confidence of both city leadership and her team in the planning department, and I’m excited to continue working with her to meet our climate, housing and equity goals to improve the lives of all San Diegans.”

According to a city statement, Vonblum and her team in the planning department were instrumental in developing the Homes for All of Us initiative, aimed at making it easier to create new homes for all income levels throughout San Diego.

Gloria signed into law the first piece of the Homes for All of Us initiative last month.

Another city program, Build Better SD, was furthered under Vonblum’s leadership in the planning department. It is intended to create a new citywide fund for “better and more equitable delivery of infrastructure improvements across San Diego,” city documents read.

“Providing homes and safe and enjoyable neighborhoods are so critical for our city’s growing population,” said Vonblum. “I am excited to continue to work with the mayor and the entire planning department team to bring more homes to people in all communities, and to ensure that the infrastructure needed to support and improve the lives of all San Diegans is delivered efficiently and equitably.”

Vonblum started with the city in 2009 as a deputy city attorney. She joined the planning department in 2018 and has been interim planning director since January. She was selected following a nationwide recruitment.

— City News Service, Inc.