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Bel Air’s Board of Town Commissioners expects to hire Kevin Small, a planner and landscape architect with Frederick Ward Associates, as the town’s new director of planning and zoning.

Mayor Dave Carey said he does not expect any issues with approving Small’s application at the next town meeting the Monday, March 7.

Carey also said he does not see any conflict of interest posed by Small’s longtime work for Frederick Ward, which has had a number of town government contracts in recent years.

“It may be [a conflict] on certain projects and we will have to deal with that,” the mayor said Monday.

Town administrator Chris Schlehr said he did not want to comment on any applicants until someone was hired, but he said the annual salary range for this position is between $65,000 and $83,000.

Small will replace Carol Deibel, who recently retired.

Carey said Small’s extensive work in the planning field would be an asset to the town.

“He has a good planning background. He feels very strongly about the town of Bel Air,” Carey said, adding he thinks it is smart to hire someone from the public sector who understands design.

“I think he will do a great job and I think it sends a good signal to the business community and the development community,” Carey said.

Small, 46, of Forest Hill, has lived in the Bel Air area since 1995. He started working for Frederick Ward two years before that.

Small said he has worked closely with the town on several projects, including the recently-completed Frederick Ward Park at the Armory.

He has also served as head of the design committee for the Bel Air Downtown Alliance for several years.

Small said his background is in planning and environmental work, but he has been focused on planning for the past 10 years.

“I always really loved Bel Air and I think it’s a good example of what can be done right with the town, and would certainly love to help contribute to that,” he said.

Small said it was too soon to talk about what his vision would be for the town or what he would focus on once hired.

“I will wait to see once I get my feet wet,” he said. “[Retired planning director] Carol Deibel has done an incredible job... I wouldn’t want to say anything now without taking a look at all the programs and projects that are moving forward.”

Deibel, the town’s planning and zoning director for 26 years, stepped down at the end of 2010.

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