Rita Tungare, Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of St. Charles, announced in May she will retire Aug. 27, 2021. Tungare, who had held the position of Community Development Director since 2008, expanded her role to overseeing both Community & Economic Development since 2013.
Tungare has been responsible for leading all aspects of land development including economic incentives, annexation and development agreements, zoning entitlements, engineering, permitting and inspections, historic preservation, and affordable housing.
During her 21-year tenure, Tungare played an important part in an overhaul of the City’s Zoning Ordinance and executing a rewrite of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. She represented the City in a collaborative, multi-jurisdictional housing initiative with Geneva, Batavia, and North Aurora, resulting in an assessment of the future of the housing market, Homes for a Changing Region Plan.
Tungare and her team have been instrumental in managing complex projects, including the First Street downtown redevelopment, Eastgate Commons, Prairie Center, Anthony Place, Arcada theater renovations, Prairie Winds, and Pheasant Run. She contributed to negotiating incentive agreements for businesses such as Volkswagen, Audi, and McGrath Honda. Tungare’s team developed an economic development webportal “Think St. Charles” to offer resources and information to businesses. In 2020, the department laid the groundwork for redevelopment of the former Police Station prime riverfront property by completing a revision to the Downtown Comprehensive Plan and presenting a Request for Proposal to City Council.
“Rita’s knowledge and experience were instrumental in guiding the City through times of growth and development in St. Charles,” said St. Charles Mayor Lora Vitek. “Many of the projects she led to fruition brought the City Council’s vision to life. I thank her for her longtime commitment and service to our residents and businesses of St. Charles, and wish her well in this next chapter in her life.
“I have enjoyed a rewarding career with the City of St. Charles and it has been a privilege to serve,” Tungare said. “I instilled a culture of collaboration and teamwork within my department and we collectively took pride in facilitating the City’s processes with fairness and equitability. As a member of the City’s senior leadership team, I recognize that no one in my position could make things happen on their own. Collaboration with other organizations, public-private partnerships, support from elected officials, and contributions from our talented staff have been vital to all that we have accomplished together. I hope I have contributed in a small way in guiding the City Council on policies regarding growth and development over the years. St. Charles is a wonderful community that is well situated for success with countless opportunities. St. Charles will always hold a special place in my heart.”
Tungare joined the City in 2000 as a community planner. She was promoted to Senior Planner in 2001, Assistant Director of Community Development in 2006 and Director in 2008. In 2013, she was named Director of Community and Economic Development. Prior to joining the City of St. Charles, Tungare worked as a senior planner for the Village of Addison.