When Paul Fritz was growing up, he wanted to be an architect.
“I loved looking at buildings and how they were put together,” he said, adding that he also was interested in history.
At one point during his childhood, Paul wanted to be a firefighter and a professional baseball player but he later realized those aspirations weren’t realistic.
Paul is now the new Technical Services Director at the Chester County Planning Commission. He is a certified planner and registered landscape architect with over 10 years of management experience with diverse public and private urban and rural projects.
So what does Paul like best about being a planner?
“What I like best is the forward thinking and being proactive about change because change is inevitable,” he said. “I also like thinking about the big picture and understanding different layers of our environment, such as land use and history, and how they fit together and how they impact local landscapes.”
Paul has a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the State University of New York College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry. He has a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Drew University. He was the managing principal of Oak Valley Land Planning & Design in recent years and served as a consultant for the City of Chester where he worked closely with the city’s Planning Department. He also previously served as a project manager for CHPlanning in Philadelphia and as project manager with Environmental Design and Research in Syracuse, New York.
Paul and his family moved from New York to neighboring Delaware County about six years ago so that they could live closer to his wife’s family. Paul resides in Nether Providence with his wife, Sara, and their two children: 10-year-old Sam and 7-year-old Leah.
Paul said he wanted to work for the Planning Commission because of the department’s reputation for high quality planning and the staff’s interest in exploring different ways to make planning work best for the public. He said he gravitates toward high standards and he wants his division to continue to produce high-level graphics and mapping for the county. In addition, he is willing to help wherever he can to make Landscapes3, the next comprehensive plan, a great project.
“I’ve been here for only a week and I feel very welcomed and I appreciate that,” he said. “Everyone has been generous with their time, and I think there’s a good crew here to work with which is a bonus.”
The Planning Commission staff is happy that Paul is a member of the team.
“We’re very pleased to have Paul joining us, and he already feels like a long-term member of our team,” said Planning Commission Executive Director Brian O’Leary. “He brings great design, project management, and community experience to the Planning Commission.”