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February 05, 2012

Meet Your Government: Craig Fabio

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Craig Fabio

Zoning Inspector, City of Charlottesville
CraigFabio

Where were you born (and raised, if different)?

I was born and raised in a little cow town between Buffalo and Rochester, New York. 

When and why did you move to the Charlottesville/Albemarle area?

While in Charlottesville for a weeklong vacation in summer of 2003 a buddy from college and his special lady friend spent the week selling me on the area. Three months later I packed up and moved here. 

What neighborhood do you live in now?

I’ve lived in Belmont for the last five years. 

Family (spouse, kids, etc)?

My amazing fiancé and her fat little pug live with me, my little brother lives across town and our mother will be moving here in the fall. 

What is your alma mater and when did you graduate?

I graduated from the University of Connecticut in lovely Storrs, Connecticut in the late nineties. 

What were you doing before coming to the county government?

Prior to working for the City I managed the Starr Hill Music Hall on West Main Street. Through the years I’ve worked at a big box store, managed a beer, wine and liquor store outside of Boston, spent a summer doing construction, waited tables and tended bar. 

Your job title is Zoning Inspector – what, in your own words, would you say you do?

As Zoning Inspector for the City I have many varied responsibilities. Zoning deals with land use. In Charlottesville the Zoning Administrator, Read Brodhead, and I are tasked with interpreting and enforcing the Zoning Ordinance. We deal with where and what you can build, sign allowances, occupancy and even the vendor and the outdoor café spaces on the Downtown Mall. 

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of the job is absolutely the people I work with. The fact that every day we get to deal with something different certainly helps. There is no such thing as a routine day. 

The most difficult part?

Sometimes the difficult part is trying to explain why something is prohibited. Not everyone will like what we have to say, but they understand why the rules are in place. 

How does your job most directly impact the average person?

The great thing about zoning is the fact that it impacts everyone every day, but if we are doing good work no one notices. If we can make sure that there isn’t a negative impact we’re doing something right. 

What is the most interesting project or work experience that you’ve had while with the city?

The Downtown Mall re-bricking was a huge project. Trying to figure out how to lay out all of the vendor and outdoor café spaces was a really interesting experience. There are quite a few citizens who have expressed sincere thanks for helping in a situation when they didn’t know where to turn. It’s nice to be able to help out and not always have to deal with enforcement. 

What is a little known fact about you?

If I were to divulge a little known fact it would no longer be little known. You have to keep some things under wraps, though in the interwebs era who really has secrets? 

What do you do outside of work hours – hobbies, etc?

When I’m not at work I play softball, watch college basketball (2011, certainly not 2012, National Champion UConn Huskies mostly), work on the ever growing list of projects around the house, make dinner for my fiancé, work on teaching stupid tricks to the above mentioned pug and I will soon be venturing into the world of road biking. 

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