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Manhattan Beach Names New Community Development Director

Dec 17, 2019 09:37PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Carrie Tai

The city of Manhattan Beach announced this week that it has named Carrie Tai as its new director of community development.

Tai most recently served as the manager of master planning for the Port of Long Beach, where she advanced the first comprehensive update of the Port Master Plan in 30 years.  

“I am so thrilled to join the city of Manhattan Beach and to help provide excellent services to the community," said Tai in a statement. "I look forward to partnering with community stakeholders and the City team to see that Manhattan Beach remains one of the premier coastal cities in California."

Tai's planning experience ranges from work in New York City to the agrarian small community of Los Banos, CA. Prior to the Port of Long Beach, Tai served as the city of Long Beach’s current planning officer and as its city’s zoning administrator.

Earlier in her career, Tai was a senior-level planner for the city of Lake Forest, CA, where she managed the three largest development applications since the city’s incorporation, including the 2,400-home master-planned community Baker Ranch.  Prior to that, she was a planner in San Clemente overseeing projects with architectural and historical significance as well as those subject to review by California’s Coastal Commission.

Tai has served as a panelist on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), climate change, and career development at conferences of the Association of Environmental Professionals and the American Planning Association.  She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

A native of Boston, MA, Tai completed a bachelor’s degree with dual majors in urban studies and music, as well as a master's in urban planning, at Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also worked in client services and debt capital markets at Lehman Brothers Holdings, a former global financial services firm. 

Currently an Orange County resident, Tai has connections to Manhattan Beach through her life partner, a longtime Manhattan Beach homeowner and a Mira Costa High School graduate.  Once she moves to their home near Mira Costa, she hopes to walk or bicycle to work.

Tai will assume her position on December 18.

She fills the role vacated by community development director Anne McIntosh, who left the position earlier this year for a job in Rancho Cucamonga. The city had hired Jeffrey Gibson, a retired community development director from Torrance, to serve in an interim position until a new hire was made. 

The community development department oversees building and safety; planning and zoning; residential construction and code enforcement; and traffic, parking, right-of-way, and trees.

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