Vancouver's general manager of planning and development plans to retire at the end of this year.
Brian Jackson told CBC Radio's Early Edition show that he decided to quit a couple of weeks ago while being on vacation in Paris.
"This is purely a personal decision that I've made," Jackson said.
Jackson has come under fire in the past for his handling of a planning process in Grandview-Woodland.
After a planning document included 11 towers near the Broadway Commercial Station, residents erupted in anger. That led to the creation of a citizens' assembly to offer greater public input.
He also was a lightning rod for criticism in the rezoning of Oakridge Centre to allow for 11 residential towers.
When CBC's Rick Cluff asked if he was leaving because former planning staff have criticized his actions, Jackson replied that this was a "distraction".
In 2012, Jackson replaced former director of planning Brent Toderian, who was ousted for reasons that still haven't been publicly explained.
When Jackson was hired, his official title did not include the words "director of planning" in the city news release. That caused some to wonder if Jackson could operate independently of the city manager.
Under the Vancouver Charter, the director of planning can be given powers by council directly. If the next general manager of planning and development is not given this explicit authority by council, it could mean that he or she will report to the city manager.