Meet the Staff

    Staff Photo

    Planning and Development Director

    Bruce Knight, FAICP

    Bruce Knight was hired as the Planning and Development Director for the City of Champaign in November 1988. In that role he leads a department of ten staff members that are responsible for long range planning for the community, management of land development, administration of the zoning ordinance and economic development. Mr. Knight also serves as the City’s representative on the Board of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation.  The Planning and Development Department also

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    Bruce Knight was hired as the Planning and Development Director for the City of Champaign in November 1988. In that role he leads a department of ten staff members that are responsible for long range planning for the community, management of land development, administration of the zoning ordinance and economic development. Mr. Knight also serves as the City’s representative on the Board of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation.  The Planning and Development Department also provides staff support to the Plan Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and Historic Preservation Commission.

    Mr. Knight has more than 40 years of experience as a planner, previously working as the first full time City Planner in Liberty, Missouri, as Associate Planner for Iowa City, Iowa, and as a Regional Planner at the Mid-Iowa Development Association Council of Governments in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

    Mr. Knight has been a member of the American Planning Association (APA) since 1980 and became a certified planner in the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) in 1985. He was elected to the AICP College of Fellows in 2003. Induction to the AICP College of Fellows is the highest honor the American Institute of Certified Planners bestows upon a member. Mr. Knight served as President of the American Planning Association from 2009-2012. He also served two terms on the APA Board of Directors from 2000-2008 and two terms as APA Illinois Chapter President from 1997 to 2000. Mr. Knight is currently serving on the Planning Accreditation Board and is its immediate past Chair.

    Mr. Knight has a B.S. in Urban Planning from Iowa State University and an M.A. in Public Affairs from the University of Iowa.

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    Assistant Planning and Development Director

    Rob Kowalski, FAICP

    Rob Kowalski aids in overseeing the Planning and Development Department. This includes leading the City’s long-range planning efforts as well as managing key land use and economic development projects that advance the goals of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. He also serves as a City representative on the Visit Champaign County

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    Rob Kowalski aids in overseeing the Planning and Development Department. This includes leading the City’s long-range planning efforts as well as managing key land use and economic development projects that advance the goals of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. He also serves as a City representative on the Visit Champaign County Board of Directors.

    Mr. Kowalski holds a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Bachelor of Science in Geography from Illinois State University.

    He is a member of the American Planning Association and has been inducted in the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He also holds an adjunct teaching position in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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    Senior Planner for Economic Development

    T.J. Blakeman, AICP

    T.J. Blakeman’s areas of focus include general economic development activities

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    T.J. Blakeman’s areas of focus include general economic development activities including Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Districts, Downtown, Midtown, and Campustown Activities,and Enterprise Zone.

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    Senior Planner for Land Development

    Jeff Marino, AICP

    Jeff Marino’s areas of focus include preliminary and final subdivision

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    Jeff Marino’s areas of focus include preliminary and final subdivision plat review, zoning ordinance text amendments, and special use permits.

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    Senior Planner for Advanced Planning

    Lacey Rains Lowe

    Lacey Rains Lowe’s areas of focus include comprehensive planning, special

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    Lacey Rains Lowe’s areas of focus include comprehensive planning, special area, and neighborhood planning

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Planning and Development Department

Contact Us

Planning and Development Department

102 N. Neil St.
Champaign IL, 61820

217-403-8800

271-403-8810 (fax)

planning@champaignil.gov