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Dallas Fanning retiring after 38 years with City
Mayor praises Fanning's vision, Marie Bostick named acting Director of Urban Development

HUNTSVILLE, AL (January 14, 2009) - Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle today announced the retirement of (Ret. Gen.) Dallas Fanning as Director of Urban Development. Fanning has worked with the City of Huntsville for more than 38 years - 29 of those coming as the department head over planning. Fanning's retirement is effective February 1, 2010. Marie Bostick, Assistant Director for Current Planning, has been named acting director.

Mayor Battle commended Fanning on his dedication to public service, his commitment to the City of Huntsville and his vision.

"Huntsville would not be enjoying the successes we are without the decades of work by Dallas Fanning," said Mayor Battle. "So much of what we have achieved as a city is because of the vision Dallas Fanning showed us. "

Mr. Fanning began his employment with the City of Huntsville on June 19, 1972. He has served in the following capacities: Planner/1972-1976; Assistant Director of Planning Department/1980-1982; Director of Planning Department/1980-1992; Director of Urban Development Department and Planning Division/1992-Present.

    Some of his many accomplishments include:
  • Spearheaded the expansion of the City of Huntsville Planning Department from 9 employees in 1980 to 33 presently in order to commensurate with the city's growth. This expansion of the Planning Department includes the creation of the first City of Huntsville Geographic Information System Division, and the first City of Huntsville Zoning Administration Division.
  • Oversaw the adoption of numerous zoning ordinance amendments which are instrumental in guiding growth within the city, including the first Research Park District, Planned Development District, Flood Hazard District, and Slope Development District
  • Coordinated the establishment of Cummings Research Park West, which has grown to be the second largest research park in the U.S. and fourth largest in the world.
  • Played an integral role in creating Tax Increment Finance Districts in the City of Huntsville, which have generated more than $52 million in new funds for the construction and renovation of schools, and more than $100 million in new funds for construction of needed city infrastructure.
  • Developed and implemented the city's highway priorities with the Alabama Department of Transportation.


Under his leadership, many transportation related projects were constructed or improved - including I-565, several Memorial Parkway overpasses, the Cecil Ashburn Drive extension, Martin Luther King Blvd. extension, Carl T. Jones Drive, Bailey Cove Road extension, Oakwood Road extension, Heart of Huntsville Drive and Governors Drive.

Huntsville also saw unprecedented physical growth during Fanning's tenure. Huntsville city limits increased from 113.4 total square miles (January 1, 1980) to 206.18 total square miles (to date) during his years of service.

Mayor Battle added that while Fanning leaves a legacy of growth and achievement, the search for a permanent replacement would begin immediately.

"You don't go out there expecting to find another Dallas Fanning," said Battle. "You go looking for the best qualified person that has that same long term vision - you find the person that can see where Huntsville needs to go and can help tell you how to take it there."

Marie Bostick, Assistant Director for Current Planning, has been named as Acting Director of Urban Development. Bostick, 48, moved to Huntsville in 1972 from Lafayette, Alabama. She graduated from Grissom High School, Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia and received her Master's Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Alabama A&M University.

Bostick began career with the City of Huntsville in 1988 as a planner specializing in subdivision and site plan review and became Assistant Director of Current Planning in 2000. Responsibilities in current planning include supervising subdivision/land development, environmental projects, including flood mitigation grants and slope regulation and zoning and annexation policies.

Mayor Battle congratulated Fanning and left him with a quote from Earl Nightingale. Battle said "'As in all successful ventures, the foundation of a good retirement is planning.' If you're half the retiree that you are a planner, I think you've got some bright days ahead of you."

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