Written By: Prince William County
Prince William County has hired Mark Buenavista as the county’s new Planning Director, effective Jan. 23, 2023. The Prince William County Planning Office is responsible for reviewing development applications, including rezonings, special use permits, comprehensive plan amendments, Agricultural and Forestal District applications, zoning appeals, variances and public facility reviews.
Mr. Buenavista has 14 years in planning and architectural design, including nine years of experience with county governments in the region. During his time in county government, Mr. Buenavista has overseen the planning, programming, facility planning, design and construction administration of multiple large-scale projects and public-private partnerships. Most recently, he led new affordable housing development and existing market affordable housing preservation projects totaling approximately $1.7 billion.
Mr. Buenavista also brings expertise in fostering collaboration among elected officials, county executive leadership, businesses and key stakeholders. The county’s Planning Office Director oversees support staff to the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Historical Commission, Agricultural and Forestal Districts Advisory Committee, Architectural Review Board, and the Trails and Blueways Council.
“We are delighted to welcome Mr. Buenavista at an exciting time in our county as we continue our Pathway to 2040,” remarks Chair At-Large Ann Wheeler. “The Comprehensive Plan will shape growth and the future of Prince William County, and we look forward to Mr. Buenavista’s leadership in the Planning Office and contributions to help advance this plan.”
During his time as the Director of Design, Development and Construction Division at the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development, Mr. Buenavista directed the overall planning, acquisition, development and preservation of low- and moderate-income housing and associated community facilities in Fairfax County. He has also developed strategic plans for housing projects and inclusionary zoning programs and coordinated planning and application of funding sources.
Before joining Fairfax County, Mr. Buenavista led advanced project and construction management, created long-range real estate planning, acquisition strategies and disposal of property as an Engineering Specialist with the Howard County Department of Public Works as well as capital project management and development review for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.
“Mr. Buenavista brings a strategic mindset that will be an asset to the Planning Office and its essential role in our community,” comments Acting County Executive Elijah Johnson.
Mr. Buenavista has a Bachelor of Science and Master of Architecture from the University of Virginia. His credentials include membership in the American Institute of Architects, a Registered Architect License in the Commonwealth of Virginia and State of Maryland, a Certified Construction Manager License and a certificate from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, among others.