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karen kiehnaKaren Kiehna

Principal Planner
Economic and Community Development

828.251.6622 (x135)


University of Tennessee, School of Interior Design, Knoxville, Tennessee, Bachelor of Science, concentration in Interior Design, and Architecture, Art History, Architectural History, Furniture History, Art, and Design - August 1983
Georgia Southern University, Rural Preservation Planning
National Grantsmanship Foundation - Grant development and management training.
Federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation - Federal Projects and Historic Preservation Law, Section 106 Compliance
NC School of Government – Community Development Academy

Professional Experience

Support the Land of Sky Regional Council and its 19 member governments in housing rehabilitation, housing development, community revitalization, community development and community infrastructure activities through grant development, administration and implementation. Develop, inspect and manage housing rehabilitation, infrastructure, and urgent repair activities including: developing project activities, develop scope of work, develop project specifications, perform periodic and final inspections, budgets and ensuring project compliance with various federal, state compliance regulations. Coordinate and promote community participation in housing related planning, housing non-profit board development, and community development activities such as public input meetings, leadership development, advisory committee and public hearing.

Professional Affiliations

  • North Carolina Community Development Association – Board Member and Past President


  • Housing, Community Development, and Infrastruction grant project development, and administration

Representative Projects

  • Town of Hot Springs – CDBG Concentrated Needs Housing Rehabilitation Project
  • Town of Mars Hill – Water System Interconnection with the Town of Weaverville
  • Town of Mars Hill – Water Transmission Line Rehabilitation Project
  • Town of Marshall – CDBG Walnut Creek Water Transmission Line Replacement Project
  • Town of Marshall – Water System Improvements Project
  • Town of Rosman – CDBG Concentrated Needs Housing Rehabilitation Project
  • Henderson County – CDBG 2005 Scattered Site Housing Rehabilitation Project
  • Henderson County – CDBG Shoey Knolls Housing Development Project
  • Henderson County – CDBG-Small Business and Entrepreneurial Assistance Project
  • Madison County – CDBG 2008 Scattered Site Housing Rehabilitation Project
  • Transylvania County -- CDBG Incubator Initiative / Blue Ridge Community College
  • Transylvania County -- CDBG Small Business and Entrepreneurial Assistance Project
  • Transylvania County – CDBG Building Reuse – GAIA Herb Project