WPCOG Promotes John E. Wear to Assistant Community & Regional Planning Director


Community and Regional Planning is one of the critical departments of the Western Piedmont Council of Governments that serves the region and its local governments. The department includes community and land use planning for several local governments as well as transportation planning, the Data Center, environmental planning, code enforcement, ADA planning, and stormwater planning.


The WPCOG is pleased to announce the promotion of John E. Wear to WPCOG Assistant Community and Regional Planning Director. Wear has been working at the WPCOG since 2006, where he started as a Planner.


In 2013 Mr. Wear became the Natural Resources Administrator in charge of environmental planning and staff to the Water Resources Committee. In 2015, he became a Senior Planner, managing the WPCOG planners that staffed local governments and overseeing short and long-range planning. Wear earned a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Catawba College and a Master of Arts in Geography with Emphasis in Community Planning from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Wear is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He has worked in the past at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore managing exotic vegetation removal and as a wildland firefighter, as a Naturalist for Rowan County Parks and Recreation, and as a planner for the Towns of Troy and Spencer.


Wear has been responsible for writing multiple comprehensive plans, small area plans, watershed protection plans, and source water protection plans for the region. He also manages the Unifour Septic System Repair Program. Within the WPCOG's Community and Regional Planning Department, Wear will manage the Community Planning Division, the Environmental Planning Division, and the Environmental Health Division.


The Community Planning Division includes developing comprehensive plans, small area plans, development regulations, strategic planning, and many other planning services. The division also provides Community and Regional Planners as staff for local governments. Currently, this includes staffing for nine local governments by providing administration of zoning, subdivision and other development related ordinances.


The Environmental Planning Division completes important work regarding air and water quality. The division provides staff support to the Water Resources and Air Quality Committees who work to improve our communities and the region's health. This division also prepares watershed plans and studies that measure the impact of projects and development on our region's water supply and water quality. Each year this division organizes the Western North Carolina Air and Water

Quality Conference hosted at Lenoir-Rhyne University. This division also manages the regional Stormwater Planning and Administration Program to provide coordination of stormwater programs for the region's local governments that must meet specific federal requirements to reduce the impacts of stormwater runoff.


The Environmental Health Division (EHD) is a new division that includes management of the Environmental Health Programs for counties. EHD includes wells and on-site wastewater, inspections for food, lodgings and institutions, and other programs that the state requires to protect public health.


The WPCOG is a regional planning, service, and economic development agency owned by and serves the 28 local governments in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba Counties.

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