Laszlo Papp, the longtime chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, has decided to resign from his post in December.

"Thank you for the confidence trusting me to lead the commission during the last 12 years," he said in a letter to the commission. "It was a privilege to serve our beloved town and its citizens."

Papp will continue as a member of the P&Z, but said he would nominate another person to take the chairman's seat. The annual organizational meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 16.

"I don't believe people should occupy a position like this for a pretty long time," he said in an interview Friday. "A good democratic system requires some rotation, some new bloods. It's about time."

Papp previously served as a regular member of the commission starting in the late 1970s for 12 years. He's also served a term on the Inland Wetland Commission as a charter member, two terms on the Town Council, and is now also on the Historical Review Committee.

"When (then-First Selectman) Judy Neville asked me to take up this job I did not expect it to last this long. But it was a very rewarding experience with many important issues being tackled and resolved. Now it is time for a change," he wrote in the letter.

First Selectman Robert Mallozzi issued a news release Friday thanking Papp for his 12 years of leadership on the panel.

"In many ways, the New Canaan we love and cherish today is a reflection on our outgoing Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman's stewardship and leadership," Mallozzi said. "In the many years Laszlo Papp has served this community, he successfully fostered a dialogue amongst his fellow commissioners, institutions, and developers alike that is reflective in the beautiful town we live in today."

Papp, a native of Hungary, has served as president of the New York State Association of Architects. He gave up his Democratic Party affiliation when he became chairman of the commission. He's still not affiliated with any political party today.

His most recent accomplishment as chairman was leading the review and adoption of the 2014 Plan of Conservation and Development, a road map that's meant to guide growth in New Canaan for the next 10 years.

"You will agree, that this town is a beautiful oasis in a very turbulent world," Papp said in his letter. "To a large extent it rests on this commission's shoulders to keep it that way. This commission is not a bureaucratic authority, but a group of neighbors who assure preservation all that is worthy, and who guide orderly development."

noliveira@bcnnew.com, 203-330-6582, @olivnelson