Calling him an advocate of community growth and development, Salt Lake Mayor Palmer DePaulis Tuesday named acting Planning and Zoning Director Allen C. Johnson to the job permanently.

Johnson was appointed following a national search for a new head of the planning office, a division under the city's Development Services Department, vacated in December 1987 by retiring planning chief Vernon Jorgensen.DePaulis said community master planning is a crucial issue the city faces and called Johnson "an advocate for the Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team, urban design and solid master planning in the downtown area."

R/UDAT is a group of planners who visited Salt Lake City to study its ailing downtown and make more than 80 recommendations for downtown redevelopment.

Johnson is committed to becoming a "springboard for downtown planning activities," DePaulis said.

Consensus building among varied interests in the city and their reaction to the city's planning "vision" is the most crucial planning issue facing the city, Johnson told the Deseret News Tuesday.

"I think it's the visionary role that we need to address and we need to work with the community at large on long-range planning issues and further instill a feeling of consensus building," he said. The downtown planning process and maintaining an "ongoing, hopefully, never-ending" interest in R/UDAT are some of the important visions the city must foster, Johnson said, adding that neighborhood concerns must also be addressed.