Planner and developer David Hoover is League City’s new planning and development director with a salary of $130,000.
It is a key position in the largest city in Galveston County that has more than 102,000 residents and continues to grow at a fast pace. Officials and staff have been fighting a perception that the planning department makes it difficult for developers to do business in League City.
Hoover has been on both sides of the fence as a real estate developer and as a city planner. Guiding the future shape of League City intrigues him because of its location south of Houston and its proximity to NASA and Galveston Bay, he said.
“Clearly, good things are going on here,” Hoover said. “It’s a great location. It doesn’t get any better.”
Hoover replaces Paul Menzies, who left the planning director position in October to take a job as assistant city manager of Wichita Falls.
Hoover, who is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, was president of the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association from 2006 to 2007, and he has been an active board member for more than 20 years.
Hoover has spent much of his career working in planning departments of Texas cities.
Hoover was planning director for the city of Allen from 2001 to 2008. He was business development coordinator for the city of Rosenberg from 1998-2001. He also worked in planning for South Padre Island and Friendswood. He was a city planner for Galveston from 1988-1990, evaluating development proposals and design review and maintenance in the island’s historic districts, among other responsibilities.
The population of Allen almost doubled while Hoover was planning director, and he developed several high-end projects there, he said.
“Bad development is really hard to fix in a short amount of time,” Hoover said. “It’s important to know if there is going to be a potential problem.”
After leaving Allen in 2008, Hoover started two companies. One was Plan This LLC, a company specializing in planning and economic development consulting for public and private sectors.
The other was Isle Development LLC, a development and construction company in Galveston. That business has built several homes in Galveston, including four in Magnolia Court.
Hoover won’t be involved in the day-to-day operations of the business that is still building houses, he said.
His previous work with Plan This included a three-month stint as an economic development consultant for Galveston and preparing a master plan for Stewart Beach development in Galveston.
In 2015, Hoover ran for Galveston City Council, but lost the race to Norman Pappous.
The League City Regional Chamber of Commerce spearheaded an effort this year to work with the city to iron out the misconceptions developers have and fix problems and unnecessary roadblocks in the planning department. Part of that effort was a task force committee that has met for a year and is now completing a white paper with recommendations for a city master plan that addresses planning, zoning, transportation and utilities.
Hoover has the right background to help League City, Chamber of Commerce President Steve Paterson said.
“I was very impressed,” Paterson said. “He’s a great addition to the team.”
Hoover’s top priority is learning where League City is now with its planning so he can evaluate what needs to happen, what should happen and what should not happen, he said. Part of that evaluation includes the business community.
“It has to be a partnership,” Hoover said. “The city has to understand that developers need to make money. And the developers need to understand the city needs quality development. The two need to work together.”