James has over 30 years of experience in land use planning and development review in Silicon Valley cities. Most recently, he served as Community Development Director for the City of Los Altos. While in that position, he was made Assistant City Manager which encompassed managing the Planning, Building, Economic Development and Engineering Divisions and the Capital Improvement Program budget. His experience in Los Altos included significant Downtown and El Camino Real commercial corridor revitalization efforts. He has also managed numerous commercial, mixed-use, and high-density housing projects. James has served as staff to Planning, Historic Preservation, and Complete Streets Commissions, and has overseen several General Plan and Housing Element updates.
James brings a strategic and collaborative approach to resolving land use issues. He has a strong understanding of urban and architectural design and how to draft effective zoning regulations. He has written zoning ordinances to be both clear and effective, and created efficient project review processes that add value to development proposals. In the private sector he has represented property owners and developers, assisting them through the development review, community outreach, public hearing, and environmental permitting processes.
James graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science degree in City and Regional Planning. In addition to home improvement projects, reading, and outdoor activities, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons, now both young adults.