Meet the Planning & Development Team

Christopher Spencer
Commissioner
 
 
Contact: 518-465-6066
 
As Commissioner, Chris coordinates the work of three City Departments: the Planning and Development, the Buildings & Regulatory Compliance, and the Albany Community Development Agency (ACDA). Since 2014, Chris has directed the Department of Planning and Development, helping to coordinate a two-and-a-half year initiative (ReZone Albany) which was the first major overhaul of the City's zoning and land use ordinance in over 50 years.

Chris also oversaw the design and creation of the One-Stop-Shop, which has brought all three of these Departments together under one roof in an integrated and collaborative work environment at 200 Henry Johnson Boulevard. “I see our work as improving the quality of life in the City of Albany,” Chris says. “Our goal is to create more walkable and livable neighborhoods that are economically vibrant and also interesting.”

Chris previously worked as a Campus Planner at the University at Albany, where he drafted Standards and Guidelines for Preservation of the Campus. Prior to that, he served as the first professional planner for the Town of Tiverton, Rhode Island.

Brad Glass
Planning Director
 
 
Contact: 518-465-6066
 
Brad coordinates the development review process in the City of Albany and acts as the principal staff for the City of Albany’s Planning Board. Brad was the project manager for ReZone Albany, which modernized the City’s zoning code, making it easier to invest in sustainable, appropriate development in the City of Albany. Brad earned a Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning at the University at Albany. In his free time, he likes to travel and take photographs of buildings and urban landscapes.
 

Mary Millus
GIS Services / Data Management
 
 
Contact: 518-465-6066
 
Mary provides geographic information system (GIS) services for the City of Albany, as well as other local and regional partnering organizations.  For those that aren't familiar with GIS, she explains, "GIS is a 'mapping' tool that has moved well past Randy McNally--it's technology used to create a visual interpretation of your data.  If you collect information, then I can give it geometry and make it interactive." 

Mary also creates and manages data in part with OpenAlbany, a State-wide collaborative to provide transparency and public access to digital municipal information.  Overall, she develops customized maps, online interactive applications, graphics, and manages other public platforms, like Search Albany

Mary has a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University at Albany, and has previously worked for the NYS OPRHP; NYS DEC; (former) URS Corporation; Hartgen Archeological Associates; and Continental Placer.  When she is not in the office, she can be found gardening, playing competitive volleyball, romping with her adorable rescue--Hudson--or skiing one of the many great mountains of the Northeast.
 

Sean McLaughlin
Confidential Assistant to the
Commissioner
 
 
Contact: 518-465-6066
 
Sean provides the initial point of contact for the One-Stop Shop. He answers the phone and mail, schedules meetings, and also handles accounting and finances for the Department of Planning and Development. He previously worked as an Administrative Assistant for the Albany Community Development Agency (ACDA), in the business office of the Albany Public Library, and in the Legislative and Political Action Department of the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA). He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University at Albany. Sean has a passion for volunteering in the community, and has co-produced, hosted, and engineered an award-winning news and public affairs talk radio show on WRPI since 1997. He is also an all-occasions mobile disc jockey for a variety of dances, weddings, and community events.
 

Lauren Alpert
Senior Planner
 
 
Contact: 518-465-6066
 
Lauren works as the staffer for the City of Albany’s Board of Zoning Appeals, Planning Board, and the Sustainability Advisory Committee. She assisted CDTA in the launch of CDPHP Cycle!, the Capital Region’s first bike share program. She currently oversees the South End Connector project which will link the Albany County Rail Trail and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail. From 2014 to 2016 she was a Peace Corps volunteer in Albania and worked with local government and non-governmental organizations. She has a Master’s of Urban and Regional Planning from the University at Albany. Outside of work, she goes on walks with her dog, Sparkles, and trains for triathlons.
 

Erin Glennon
Senior Historic Preservation
Planner
 
 
Contact: 518-465-6066
 
Erin works with homeowners and contractors who are looking to carry out alterations or new construction in Albany’s historic districts. Erin guides people through the process to obtain a certificate of appropriateness – which grants approval for alterations, modifications and construction to a landmark or a structure in a historic district. Erin also reviews permits for compliance with the city’s design standards using the new Unified Sustainable Development Ordinance. Previously, Erin worked in the Historic Preservation Division of the City of Houston Planning Department, at the Historic Albany Foundation, and as a consultant with the Preservation League of NY State. She has her undergraduate degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Mary Washington and a Master of Science in Architectural Conservation from the University of Edinburgh. In her free time, Erin likes to hike, kayak, travel, visit museums and play with her dog, Sadie.
 

Zach Powell
Planner
 
 
Contact: 518-465-6066
 
Zach reviews applications for zoning compliance, lot consolidations, lot line adjustments, subdivisions, and State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) compliance. Zach also works as a staffer for the Planning Board. He holds a Master of Regional Planning from the University at Albany. In his free time, Zach likes to go paragliding and hiking.
 

Yasmine Robinson
Deputy Director
 
 
Contact: 518-465-6066
 
Yasmine manages complex planning and place-making projects including Brownfield Opportunity Area, Local Waterfront Revitalization, Maiden Lane Waterfront gateway and other NY State grants. She also assists the Planning Board in the review of State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) applications. Yasmine earned a Master of Arts in Urban Planning from Hunter College and previously worked at the New York City Department of City Planning as a Senior Environmental Planner. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her dog, Juma, knitting and going to weekend brunches.