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Community development director headed to Redlands

Claremont’s community development director Brian Desatnik will be leaving May 25 for the city of Redlands, City Manager Tony Ramos said during Tuesday night’s  council meeting.

“I want to thank him, and wish him the best of luck, for the last 23 years of his outstanding contribution to the city of Claremont,” Mr. Ramos said.

When reached by phone Wednesday, Mr. Desatnik said he will be starting a new position as Redlands’ development services director, a similar role to the one he held in Claremont.

He said he was attracted to Redlands in part because of its similarities to Claremont, including a strong downtown core, interesting neighborhoods and a historic residential character.

“It’s a well-planned city,” he said.

Redlands has seen a boom in commercial development in recent years. The city is also in the middle of building a packinghouse district of its own, a development in which Mr. Desatnik said he would play a role.

Mr. Desatnik began his career in Chicago, cutting his teeth in the Windy City before moving to Claremont. While Redlands isn’t quite the size of Chicago, it is about twice as large as the City of Trees.

He said he would miss the people he’s worked with most of all.

“I’ve worked with so many great people, many of whom are still here and many whom are not anymore,” he said.

In terms of projects, Mr. Desatnik most fondly remembers being at the ground floor of the city’s ambitious and ultimately successful Village West expansion. He negotiated the deal to purchase the Packing House in 1996, and did the planning work that led to the fulfillment of the expansion project.

He called Village West “by far, for me, the most interesting and far-reaching” project he’s done.

Mr. Desatnik also noted his work in creating affordable housing in the city. He noted Courier Place, a low-income residential community built on the former COURIER site, as a high point in his career.

“I think the Courier Place project was a real fun project to work on,” he said. “Everything sort of fell into place and it was good project.”

Mr. Desatnik starts his new job on May 30. 

During the council meeting Tuesday night, Mayor Larry Schroeder wished him well in his new endeavor, while Councilmember Sam Pedroza noted Mr. Desatnik would still be living in Claremont.

“Absolutely,” Mr. Schroeder said. “We’ll see you around town.”

—Matthew Bramlett

news@claremont-courier.com

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