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Designer returns home after earning master's and joins the city planning group.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Marco Urieta-LeonA Madras High School graduate who now works as a designer for a Bend firm, Marco Urieta-Leon, of Madras, has been appointed to the Madras Planning Commission.

Urieta-Leon, 29, who graduated from MHS in 2006, attended the University of Idaho, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Master of Architecture in 2012. During that time, he also spent a summer term studying urban design at Chongqing University in Chongqing, China.

As a designer with Ascent Architecture & Interiors in Bend for the past three years, Urieta-Leon's experience includes commercial, multifamily residential, and senior living projects. He is an associate member of the American Institute of Architects.

Urieta-Leon is currently working for Ascent Architecture on interior and exterior renovation at Madras Vision Source, on Southeast Fifth Street.

"One of the main reasons I decided to join the commission is because I like to give back to the community," said Urieta-Leon, who moved to Madras with his family when he was about 4.

"He brings a different perspective that we don't have on the Planning Commission," said Nick Snead, Madras Community Development director, noting that Urieta-Leon is the only member of the five-member commission who works in design and architecture.

"He's a Madras High grad, with a master's degree and he has come back to our community to work," said Snead. "It's a great story."

The Madras Planning Commission works to engage members of the community in land-use decisions by posting public meetings, notifying adjacent land owners of land-use actions, holding meetings in different locations in the community and by actively informing citizens of planning issues and how they can participate.

When the commission makes decisions, members consider precedent, the mix and balance of public and private interests, models, reports, data, and other planning and development-related information.

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