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BWCC Joins Many Others in Mourning the Passing of City of Laurel Economic Development Officer, Karl D. Brendle

Karl D. Brendle

With a heavy heart and profound sadness, Mayor Craig A. Moe announced the passing of City of Laurel Economic Development Officer, Karl D. Brendle. Mr. Brendle died on Christmas Eve

at Laurel Regional Hospital after suffering severe respiratory distress.

Mr. Brendle enjoyed an excellent career with the City of Laurel, first being hired by Mayor Robert J. DiPietro as the City Planner in December, 1979. Mr. Brendle quickly developed a passion for the City, especially its Main Street and historic district areas. From this he became one of the City’s strongest supporters for economic development, which fit well with his City Planner duties and responsibilities.

Mr. Brendle often joked about his three careers with the City. He left the City in April, 1986, to join the private sector in retail development. While he met with success in this private development venture, his heart was still with the City. He returned to City employment in 1990 when Mayor Joseph R. Robison appointed him Director of the new Department of Development Management, which included all City planning services as well as building inspection and code enforcement. The City Council unanimously confirmed Mayor Robison’s appointment.

Mr. Brendle remained with the City until March, 2001, when he left to join the growing cell phone/radio antenna business, where his employment was short-lived. He returned to his Planner role with the Prince William County, Virginia planning department because it was closer to his Virginia residence. In 2003, Mayor Craig A. Moe persuaded Mr. Brendle to return to City employment as the Director of the then named Department of Community Planning and Business Services.          At this appointment, again unanimously confirmed by the City Council, Mr. Brendle acknowledged he was “home”. He relocated to the City of Laurel and subsequently purchased a home in the City.

Mr. Brendle had a strong heart for the City of Laurel; his passion for Main Street and its historic district areas never wavered. He loved the economic development duties of his position, and immensely enjoyed the variety of activities that made their way to his Department.

Mr. Brendle oversaw many annexations, new developments such as Towne Centre at Laurel, Contee Road and Route 1, and several redevelopments, both residential and commercial. One of Mr. Brendle’s many significant accomplishments was the implementation of Mayor Moe’s Overlay Program that provided for additional density in exchange for public amenities.   Other accomplishments include several annexations, among them the large land area 2014 annexation, the Park Place Overlay development, several residential infill developments, and the Unified Land Development Code, making Laurel among the first in Maryland to place all development codes (zoning, subdivision, signage, etc.) in one overall code.

Having taken the Department of Community Planning and Business Services as far as it has come, Mayor Moe recognized Mr. Brendle’s first love, economic development, and named Mr. Brendle the City’s first full-time Economic Development Officer. Mr. Brendle was thrilled with this new opportunity, and began to establish his office around this new role when he was stricken.

Mayor Moe said it is a very sad day for the City of Laurel to lose an employee with the talent, insight, and love for the City that Mr. Brendle displayed throughout his employment with the City. He added Mr. Brendle was well respected beyond the City, throughout the State, for his knowledge of land use policy, zoning, and smart growth. Mr. Brendle will be missed by many for a long time to come.

Mayor Moe directed the City Flag to be flown at half-mast for seven days to honor Mr. Brendle for his service to the City of Laurel. Mayor Moe expressed his sympathy to Mr. Brendle’s sister Joyce, and to the family of City of Laurel employees.

Funeral arrangements will be announced by Mr. Brendle’s family.

 

 

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