Bill Fulton -- photo courtesy of City of San Diego

Bill Fulton -- photo courtesy of City of San Diego

San Diego City Planning Director Bill Fulton has resigned from the post to take a position at Rice University in Houston.

Fulton, who was named to the city post in June 2013, will be leaving the planning director job Aug. 30, according to a memo to City Council from David Graham, the city’s deputy chief operating officer. The planning department is the city’s central development permitting agency.

In its own statement, Rice University said Fulton will be the new director of the university’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, effective this fall.

The Kinder Institute was established in 2010, with a $15 million gift to Rice University from Kinder Morgan CEO Rich Kinder and his wife Nancy. The institute houses numerous urban research programs, including the Houston Area Survey.

Graham said the city of San Diego will begin a national search to fill the planning director post, and he will be notifying council on whether an interim appointment is required.

Fulton is a former mayor of Ventura and a nationally known urban planning expert. He wrote the textbook “Guide to California Planning,” and co-authored “The Regional City: Planning for the End of Sprawl” with fellow urban planning consultant Peter Calthorpe.

Fulton is also a former vice president at Smart Growth America, a think tank in Washington, D.C., that advocates for nonsprawl planning. He also taught urban planning at the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy.