After 29 years of service, Jerry Rusthoven is retiring as Austin’s chief zoning officer at the housing and planning department, and moving on to serve Sunset Valley.

Rusthoven will see out December in Austin before beginning his new role as development services coordinator in Sunset Valley on Jan. 11.

“After 29 years with Austin, I’m looking forward to transitioning to a place that’s close to where I live, and I look forward to the opportunity to work on all aspects of planning,” Rusthoven told Community Impact.

According to Barbara Boulware-Wells, Sunset Valley city attorney, Rusthoven will be responsible for handling and facilitating permits for the city. He will be the sole person in the development services coordinator role.

On Dec. 8 Austin City Council honored Rusthoven during a council meeting, presenting him with the Distinguished Service Award for his service to the city.

“I feel fortunate to have had a seat at the table where decisions are made about the future of our city,” Rusthoven said Dec. 8. “I’m lucky to have been a city planner in a city as dynamic as Austin and with a population that is so engaged in the work that we do.”

After Greg Guernsey, former director of the Austin Planning and Zoning Department, retired in 2019 after 13 years with the title, Rusthoven stepped up as interim lead for the planning and zoning department before becoming chief zoning officer of the housing and planning department, or HPD, the year after.

In 2020, the HPD was formed when the neighborhood housing and community development, and the planning and zoning departments merged together.

“Public service is a calling that one cannot just take lightly, and in his service to Austin, Jerry has been instrumental in collaborating with neighborhoods, developers, city departments and community leaders to assist development in our city with a keen eye on preserving the assets that we value as a community,” City Manager Spencer Cronk said Dec. 8.

Rusthoven’s last day with Austin is Dec. 31.