The Town of Vinton and the Vinton Messenger are partnering to put the spotlight on Town of Vinton employees. The Town is proud to have these individuals on staff and want to make the community aware of who is “behind the scenes” making the town look great and operate so successfully.
“The members of the Town of Vinton Planning and Zoning Department are some of the unsung heroes of our Town staff,” said Vinton Mayor Brad Grose. “The Planning Department is the first point of contact for many important daily functions such as zoning questions and permits. In addition, the department performs many crucial functions such as grant application and administration, future land use planning, code enforcement and various other duties.”
The Director of the Vinton Planning and Zoning Department is Anita McMillan. She has been employed with the town for 27 years, since February 1995, and has been with the town longer than any other employee. She started as the Town Planner/Code Enforcement Officer and then became the Town Planning and Zoning Director in March 1996.
McMillan’s main responsibilities include the day-to-day operations of the Department including the administration of its zoning, subdivision and sign ordinances, and nuisance codes; review and approval of development and redevelopment projects; building, zoning, and sign permits; administration, implementation, and enforcement of its stormwater management program including the Town Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit; and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) grant funded projects.
She represents the Town on the Roanoke Valley Greenway Commission, the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany the Regional Commission Pre-Disaster Mitigation Committee and Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Stormwater Committee, the Roanoke Valley Urban Forestry Council, the Roanoke Valley Regional Transportation Technical Committee (TTC) and Clean Valley Council (CVC).
Prior to joining the Town of Vinton, McMillan worked for the County of Roanoke Department of Planning and Zoning as a Planning Technician, and as a City Planner for the Department of City Planning and Building Control, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and as a Planning Intern for the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in 1984 and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech in 1987.
Ms. McMillan was very proud with the completion of the Wolf Creek Greenway Trail; the first trail constructed in the Town of Vinton and completed in 1999.
She was also responsible for the following: the Downtown Revitalization Project planning grant in 2011 and CDBG Downtown Revitalization grant in 2013; the Tinker Creek Canoe Launch Improvement Project; the Glade Creek Greenway (two sections were completed and with one on-going); two Commonwealth’s Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment (OIPI) Urban Development Area (UDA) Tier 1 and Tier 3 Planning Grants to establish eight UDAs in the Town and to review the Town’s zoning and subdivision ordinances to promote redevelopment and development projects that incorporate Traditional Neighborhood Design (TND) principles to make the community to become a bikeable and walkable community.
Currently she is overseeing the Walnut Avenue Bike/Pedestrian Accommodations Project, (5th Street to Town West Limit) with construction to start this September; Walnut Avenue Bike/Pedestrian Accommodations Project, (W. Lee Avenue to 1st Street on the right-of-way phase); Hardy Road and Gus Nicks Blvd Pedestrian Crosswalks Projects with design engineering plans to start in August 2022.
McMillan was responsible for the Town to be designated as a Tree City USA in 2001 and has maintain this designation for the last 21 years by making sure that trees are planted in the Town and an Arbor Day Celebration event is observed on an annual basis.
McMillan has been married to her husband David for 33 years. They met at VA Tech in 1986, while they were both completing their graduate study at the school. They are blessed with a son, Jameel, a graduate of VA Tech in Mechanical Engineering, an engineer with the Naval Shipyard in Norfolk, his wife Emily, and a granddaughter, Leyna, residing in Chesapeake; and a daughter, Kiara, who will be graduating this May, with her Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from VA Tech, who will be working in June with Vorbeck.
McMillan enjoys cooking, reading, walking, hiking and riding her bike with her husband along the trails in the Roanoke Valley and surrounding areas. She misses her relatives in Malaysia and visits them when she can.
“The Planning Department staff consists of very special individuals with diverse talents, training, and education,” Mayor Grose said. “Perhaps some of their most outstanding qualities include their flexibility and their dedication to doing a professional job for our citizens and customers. The Town of Vinton is truly blessed to have such a devoted staff in our Planning Department.”