Chad Sary, AICP, CZO, CFM, Practice Leader for Stewart’s Municipal Planning practice, has enjoyed a career in planning and local government for over 20 years, 15 of those years dedicated to serving the Town of Wake Forest, North Carolina.
After serving on Wake Forest’s planning board for a year, Chad decided to run for an elected position on the town council with the express belief he could serve the citizens and affect change more quickly.
Still eager to follow his passion for planning, Chad joined Stewart where he applies his experiences to help communities that don’t have the expertise to execute long-term development.
Planning on the local level is vital to the wellness, progress, and longevity of any town. Chad was instrumental in spearheading the municipal planning practice at Stewart. “We are a community-driven group. When we begin a new project, we have a new client. When we complete the project, we have a friend.”
The goal of Stewart’s Municipal Planning team is to provide comprehensive planning services for small- and mid-sized communities.
Municipal Planning focuses on these four key areas:
As a preferred partner, Stewart works closely with the North Carolina League of Municipalities (NCLM), an organization that advocates for services to local governments across the state of North Carolina, primarily for small- and mid-sized communities.
Stewart’s planning project in the Town of Lillington, North Carolina, began in 2016. Chad’s relationship with the town manager sparked the genesis of this project to bring a little downtown into the future.
Chad led the planning team’s efforts in writing Lillington’s first unified development ordinance in 2015, after which on-going on-call services continued. Their relationship then evolved into grant writing for a parks and recreation trust fund and a downtown master plan and bicycle plan.
What began as a connection with Lillington’s town manager progressed into a rapport with the elected officials and other staff members. “It’s not a relationship we at all take for granted,” Chad assures. “Lillington will always be a special place to me.”
The Municipal Planning team is intentional about incorporating Stewart’s THREAD principles throughout every aspect of the practice. Chad ensures that clients can expect the highest quality of service from the team, promoting mutual collaboration and servant leadership.
The planning team can be involved with a client for up to a year and a half. Chad observes, “So many times, we walk away with a really good relationship—built upon the THREAD values.”
Chad believes that every town deserves the best plan, no matter the size. “There’s no reason a town or county with the population of 5,000 should have a lower-quality plan than a city of 100,000 people.” Above all else, his continuing quest to improve communities is all about service, civic duty, and giving back to the community. “I’m passionate about local government, and the ability local government has—more than any other level of government—to help its citizens.”