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April 15, 2013
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Neighbors: City employee Brian Davis envisions better Roseburg through planning

Brian Davis has spent the past seven years planning for Roseburg’s growth and development.

But ask the city’s community development director what is really important to him, and he may well pull out his smart phone and show you pictures of himself, his wife, Wendy, and their six children, lined up like the opening credits of “The Brady Bunch.”

Davis said he and his family love living in Roseburg and plan to stay.

Four years ago Davis was named head of the planning department. He has helped create the city’s plans for waterfront development, transportation and urban renewal.

Davis said he enjoys thinking about what the community ought to look like two, five or even 50 years down the road.

“When we see things happen on the ground that’s usually the result of some public process that’s happened years earlier,” he said. “A well-planned city is one where there are goals the city council and the public and the staff can all work toward in unity, and I think we have that here.”

He anticipates the city will have new jobs five years from now. More people will be working in businesses yet to be developed along Diamond Lake Boulevard. Urban renewal projects will have improved areas around the city, including downtown.

“Downtown will have a different look to it, which I’m confident will be for the better,” he said.

He hopes entrances to town will be more attractive.

“There’s a lot of things the city could do, but there are also a lot of things that property owners could do. We need to work together to reduce the appearance of blight,” he said.

He started his career as a natural resource planner for the Bureau of Land Management.

“I enjoyed it, but I was very insulated from the public and I’m more of a people person,” he said.

So he became a community planner instead, first as planning director for Lincoln County and then for Roseburg.

Davis, 39, began considering a career in planning after his mother-in-law made an observation.

“I was always looking at maps and she said, ‘Why don’t you do something with maps?’” he said.

It was not what he studied in college. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Brigham Young Universtiy and a master’s in business administration from Oregon State University. He said he worked hard to learn land-use planning, and he is glad he did.

Downtown Roseburg Association Vice President Gary Leif said Davis was instrumental in creating the merchants organization that contracts with the city to improve downtown and manage downtown parking.

He praised Davis for his commitment to the community and his work on projects such as planning for waterfront improvement.

“He’s here because he really cares about Roseburg. He has a love and a passion for what he’s doing,” Leif said.

As much as Davis enjoys planning, he said what he most loves is spending time with his family. It is a busy one. His three sons and three daughters, ages 2 to 13, are involved in sports and music as well as social and church groups.

He sees his wife as the backbone of the family. The two met at a church dance and were married when he was 22 and she was 19.

Brian Davis grew up in Corvallis and Wendy Davis in Bend, so Roseburg was “a nice compromise.”

“We’ve loved living here. It’s been a great community,” Davis said.

They enjoy outdoor activities together such as bicycling and camping.

Every week they make one evening “family night,” and spend it teaching their kids about Christian values.

“That’s who I really am. My work here will come and go, but my family will always be there,” he said.

When he is not at work or home, Davis is often volunteering. He serves on the Roseburg School District budget committee, the district executive board of the Boy Scouts, the YMCA board of directors and the county’s solid waste advisory committee.

“I like making a positive impact on the community that I live in,” Davis said.

• You can reach reporter Carisa Cegavske at 541-957-4213 or ccegavske@nrtoday.com.


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The News-Review Updated Apr 15, 2013 03:31PM Published Apr 17, 2013 08:30AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.