Harris Chosen as Planning Board Chair Over Former Councilmember Riemer

Artie Harris Jr., vice president of real estate at Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP), is the new chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board. Montgomery County Councilmembers voted for Harris over former Councilmember Hans Riemer by a vote of 6-5.

Peter Fosselman also applied for the position but was not nominated.

Councilmembers chose Josh Linden, cochair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government Transportation Committee, to be a commissioner. He was chosen by a vote of 7-4 over Carolyn Gallaher, an American University professor in its School of International Service.

Members of the planning commission board and its director, Casey Anderson, were asked to submit their resignations in October 2022 following a vote of no confidence by Montgomery County Council.

During its Tuesday meeting, Councilmember Natali Fani-Gonzalez nominated Harris, a Democrat, praising his knowledge and the fact that he works for a nonprofit and has supervised a large number of employees.

Councilmember Kate Stewart seconded that nomination, calling Harris “a fierce advocate for housing affordability” and noting that he “has a wealth of experience.”

Councilmember Dawn Luedtke nominated Riemer, who she said has fought for more housing and “been among the most active in this.”

Councilmember Gabe Albornoz seconded Riemer’s nomination. “I feel he is uniquely qualified right now to lead the planning board to the next phase where it has to go.” He also praised Riemer’s passion, depth and experience.

According to Harris’ resume, he has been with MHP since 2009 and has 30 years of experience developing multifamily housing and retail facilities as well as an additional 9 years of managing design and construction projects for commercial high-rise and industrial buildings and power plants as a civil engineer.

Before joining MHP, Harris was a vice president at Bozzuto Development Company, where he led teams in developing more than 2,000 units in both market rate and mixed income communities.

Council Vice President Andrew Friedson nominated Linden to serve as a commissioner, praising him for his “unmatched knowledge” and “holistic mindset.”

Councilmember Marilyn Balcombe seconded the nomination, citing Linden’s community experience in the planning field.

Linden, who is unaffiliated, is a planner, data analyst and visualization specialist who lives in Bethesda. He is a planner and analyst for BERK Consulting,

Photo of Artie Harris from MHP


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