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Posted on: April 26, 2021

Leng Taps Experienced, Visionary Planning & Development Leader, Mr. Erik Johnson, as Town Planner

Leng Taps Experienced, Visionary Planning & Development Leader,

Mr. Erik Johnson, to Serve as Acting Town Planner

 HAMDEN – Mayor Curt Balzano Leng is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Erik Johnson as Hamden’s newest Acting Town Planner, filling the vacancy left by the retirement of long-time public servant Mr. Daniel Kops. 

            Mr. Johnson brings with him to Hamden a wealth of experience in the fields of planning and development, having previously worked closely with and led working groups responsible for the development of the City New Haven’s Hill-to-Downtown Plan, the Waterman Gardens Neighborhood Redevelopment Plan in San Bernardino, California and other community development projects in Connecticut, Maryland and California. Mr. Johnson is also the former Director of Development Services for the City of Hartford. In that role he was responsible for the negotiation and closing of $100m of development projects, oversaw the construction completion of Dillon Stadium and inaugural season of the Hartford Athletic Professional Soccer Team and was Chair of the LAUN[C]H Hartford initiative designed to coordinate Hartford’s insurance, medical, manufacturing and academic institutions and corporations to create jobs, attract new companies and foster innovation within the greater Hartford metropolitan area.

            Prior to his service in Hartford, Mr. Johnson served as Senior Director for Policy, Strategy and Innovation for Elm Cities Communities (the New Haven Housing Authority) and also served as Executive Director of the Livable City Initiative for the City of New Haven.  In addition to his work in the public sector, Mr, Johnson has held positions in finance and real estate development in Baltimore, Washington, DC and Southern California. He has held positions with The Reinvestment Fund, William C. Smith and Company and the National Community Renaissance Corporation.  

Mr. Johnson obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology from Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut, and secured his Masters in City and Regional Planning from Morgan State University in Baltimore Maryland. 

Speaking in regard to the appointment of Mr. Johnson, Mayor Leng commented, “I am thrilled to welcome Mr. Johnson to Hamden’s team. I know that Erik will be an excellent addition to our Town’s operations, and I appreciate the vision he is bringing to Hamden’s Town Planning Department. I know that our operations will be best suited with Mr. Johnson’s expertise and talents at the forefront, and I look forward to shaping the Department to be more service-centric to Hamden residents.”

In response to his appointment Mr. Johnson offered the following comment. “The Town of Hamden is an amazing community. I look forward to working with the Mayor, Council and residents to address challenges both small and large and to make common sense, fiscally responsible decisions that will result in positive change and continue the high quality of life that exists for Hamden residents.”

Mr. Johnson began his role as Acting Town Planner on April 26th, 2021 and his permanent appointment to the position will be proposed to the Legislative Council for approval at an upcoming meeting in the near future.

For further information, please contact Deputy Chief of Staff, Patrick J. Donnelly, at 203-287-7009 or by email at


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