About Dept. of Planning & Development
Director Elizabeth Terenik brings 20+ years of planning experience to Atlantic City.
Since March 2014, Ms. Terenik has lead the City’s Dept. of Planning & Development. Ms. Terenik's background includes substantial consultation work with both local government and developers. Ms. Terenik overlooks 3 key departments for the City: Engineering, Planning & Land Use, as well as Community Development.
Previously, Ms. Terenik served as Director of Planning and Engineering for the City of Ocean City, NJ, a planner for several Cape May County municipalities, and the ACUA; Atlantic County Utilities Authority.
She also has experience as a zoning and code enforcement officer.
Ms. Terenik holds certifications & licenses from the New Jersey State Board of Professional Planners and the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Ms. Terenik graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Villanova University, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from California State University and studied Urban & Community Planning at Rutgers University.
She also teaches a mandatory training class for planning and zoning board members.
Mr. Russell Cipolla comes to the City with almost 30 years of Professional Engineering, Design Management and Construction experience. Mr. Cipolla directly supervises:
- City Engineering Department
- Office Staff and Field Inspectors
- All in-house or Contract Administered infrastructure projects from conceptual design to finishes construction.
Mr. Cipolla was hired in September 2015 to lead the City’s Engineering Department. Most recently, Mr. Cipolla has acted as a Structural Engineering Consultant to County Governments, Engineering Firms, Architects, General Contractors and Manufacturing and Industrial facilities.
Previously, Mr. Cipolla served as Director of Civil/Structural Engineering for various consultants, his own Engineering firm, and as Supervising Engineer for the Gloucester County Bridges and Structures Division. The latter included responsibility for all county owned bridges, culverts, dams and major drainage facilities and structures.
Mr. Cipolla is a licensed Professional Engineer in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and Massachusetts. He is also a Certified Municipal Engineer in New Jersey. Currently he is working towards becoming a certified Flood Plain Manager.
Mr. Cipolla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering (Structural Specialty) from Drexel University. He has been a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) since 1987, National State and Local Chapters and has served as a local ASCE board member. He is active with the Association of State Flood Plain Managers and The New Jersey Society of Municipal Engineers.
The Department of Planning & Development is made up of 3 divisions.
- Planning & Zoning
- Community Development
The Planning Division, sometimes referred to as the Land Use Division, is charged with maintaining the integrity of the City’s Land Use Ordinance which contains all zoning provisions.
Land Use provides permits and approvals that confirm all development is consistent with the zoning laws. This includes issuing certificates of land use compliance, and approvals from the Planning and Zoning boards. Land Use certificates are required to transfer property, rent a residential or commercial unit, subdivide land, open a business, or build anything...well, just about anything.
We strive to provide approvals in a timely and predictable manner at a reasonable cost to the property owner or developer. Staff of the Land Use office includes Assistant Planning Director Regina Armstrong, Principal Planning Aide Betty Lewis, Board Secretary Arlene Wilkerson, Planning Aide Muhammad Ayub.
City Engineer Division has a chief administrative authority over design and supervision of the construction and major repairs of such things as City owned buildings, roads, bridges, tunnels, storm water drainage systems, flood control structures and pumps, Boardwalk structures and street and Boardwalk lighting
Engineering handles all capital improvements to the City and City buildings.
Staff of the Engineering Division includes City Engineer Russell Cipolla, Contract Administrator Steve Lilley, GIS coordinator Donna Weiss-Piergaro, Engineering Aides Gene Kirby and Steve Greenwood, and administrative support Kiana Dato and Rosario Rellosa.
The Community and Economic Development Division.
Through the use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) Program entitlement funds carries out a wide range of community development activities.
Revitalizing neighborhoods, economic development, improved community facilities and services principally for low to moderate-income persons in the City of Atlantic City.
Community Development administers the Community Development Block Grant funds. The funds are used for home improvement projects, community programs, parks and playgrounds and housing rehabilitation.
The HOME funds are used for the First Time Home Buyer program and to supplement the construction or renovation of residences for low and moderate income residents. This program is administered by Donna Harris along with Triad Associates. All administrative costs for the program are funded by HUD as well.