MEET THE STAFF!
City Planner (802) 846-4106
Nick Atherton comes to South Burlington after several years working for state and local governments in Vermont, Minnesota, and New Mexico. Raised in Addison County, Nick is a longtime student of land use and conservation and is excited to help South Burlington foster economic and environmental resilience in a rapidly changing world. He holds degrees in political science and public policy from Bennington College and the University of Minnesota. In his free time, Nick can be found pedaling or wrenching on his bikes. He lives in Burlington with his cat, Elote.
Planning & Zoning Assistant/Acting Administrative Officer (802) 846-4106
Betsy Brown has returned to the City of South Burlington after a 10 year stint as a stay at home parent. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a BA in Geography after which she spent 6 years living and working in the Boston area. She returned to Vermont in 2003, working for the City of South Burlington as Planning & Zoning Assistant until her daughter was born in early 2009. In January of 2019, Betsy came back to the City to work on special projects and was hired as a permanent part-time Planning & Zoning Assistant in October of 2019. She greets visitors to the department with a friendly face, is leading the department’s digitization efforts (Laserfiche), and assists members of the department with any administrative needs including permitting. In her free time, Betsy enjoys downhill skiing, hiking and exploring the back roads of Vermont with her family.
Paul Conner, AICP
Director of Planning & Zoning (802) 846-4106
Paul joined the City of South Burlington in August 2008 and serves as Director of Planning & Zoning. He oversees the work of the Department, provides direct staff support to the Planning Commission, and is involved in a wide variety of planning projects including updates to the City Plan and Land Use and Development Regulations, transportation projects, water quality work, and establishment of South Burlington’s City Center and associated smart growth programs. In September 2017, Paul was named the City's Chief Sustainability Officer. Paul joined the City following a stint as a Senior Strategic Planner with the firm of Environmental Planning & Design, LLC, out of Pittsburgh, PA. Prior to that, he worked as a Regional Planner with the Rutland Regional Planning Commission in Rutland, VT. Originally from Montreal, Quebec, Paul has a Masters in Urban Planning from McGill University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Paul also serves on the board of the Vermont Planners Association.
Development Review Planner I (802) 846-4106
Marty joined the Planning & Zoning Department in August 2022 as a Development Review Planner. He graduated from the University of Vermont in 2020 with a BS in Environmental Studies, and spent time in South Dakota and South America before finding his way to South Burlington. In his role with the city, Marty helps a variety of projects and applicants through the permitting process. Professionally, he is most interested in helping create compact, vibrant, bike-friendly communities and is excited to make strides in that direction with the help of the great team in this department.
Marla Keene, PE
Development Review Planner (802) 846-4106
Marla joined the Planning & Zoning Department in the summer of 2017 and serves as the principal planner for projects before the Development Review Board. She brings 12 years of civil engineering consulting experience in Massachusetts and Vermont for an array of public and private sector clients. Her professional passions include finding the intersection of permit compliance and project success, and all aspects of stormwater management. She holds a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University and is a registered Professional Engineer.
City Planner (802) 846-4106
Kelsey joined the Planning & Zoning Department as City Planner in the Fall of 2021 and primarily supports the Planning Commission’s work and works on the Planning & Zoning Department’s planning projects. Previously, she worked for six years as an attorney based in Concord, New Hampshire and is happy to come back home to Vermont. She holds a JD from the University of Colorado, an MA in Geography from the University of Guelph, and a BA from Brown University.