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Staten Island lawyer Anita Laremont is named general counsel for city planning

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Anita Laremont will take over as general counsel of the Department of City Planning, City Planning Director Carl Weisbrod announced on Monday afternoon.

Laremont, a resident of Staten Island, was most recently a partner in the law firm Harris Beach PLLC, where she had a real estate, land use law and government agency practice, according to the department's press release. She also served as general counsel of the Empire State Development Corporation for more than 16 years, contributing to economic development and land use projects in New York City and throughout New York State.

She has been involved with a variety of projects, including the 42nd Street Development project, Columbia University's Manhattanville campus in Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge Park.

"Anita Laremont has a stellar record with an extensive background in public service, private real estate practice and land use law," Weisbrod said. "She has proven time and again that she is a capable and adept leader through her involvement with several transformative economic development initiatives."

Laremont, for her part, hopes to address the affordable housing issues plaguing New York City residents.

"Among the planning and land use challenges facing the City, perhaps the most immediate is the development of an affordable housing plan, a signature initiative of Mayor de Blasio," she said in a statement. "I am excited to be a part of the administration's efforts to address the needs of New York's diverse communities, which is essential to ensuring the City's continued growth and preeminence."

Laremont is one of a few Staten Island residents appointed to a top position in Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration, the Staten Island Advance reported.

The administration's Staten Islanders include Ramanathan Raju, who runs the Health and Hospitals Corporation; Sherif Soliman, a former Staten Island resident, who heads de Blasio's state legislative affairs team; and Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano.