Donald Lamm, Tustin's community development director, has been named to head Costa Mesa's Development Services Department, it was announced Monday.
Lamm, 33, replaces Douglas Clark, who left earlier this year to become city manager of Larkspur, in Marin County.
Lamm was chosen from among 70 applicants for the $60,000-a-year post, according to City Manager Allan Roeder, and will oversee a staff of 39 responsible for the city's planning, new construction, building safety, code enforcement and business license functions.
"The biggest challenge will be acceptance by the community, the City Council and the Segerstrom family," said Lamm, referring to the city's giant and sometimes controversial developer. "I would like to work together to resolve the community's future without major confrontations (between) the pro-growth and no-growth" factions.
Heated debate over the city's future has pitted local residents seeking to preserve Costa Mesa's quiet, small-town ambiance against private developers.