Vancouver's top planner, Brian Jackson, announces retirement after three-year tenure marked by controversy

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      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.

      Jackson successfully shepherded through long-term area plans for the Downtown Eastside, Marpole, and the West End, though there was considerable controversy in connection with the latter two.

      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.




      Jul 27, 2015 at 10:44am

      Is this the notorious, "Mr. Skyscraper"?

      Alive .. and living in Paris

      Jul 27, 2015 at 1:07pm

      Yea it was all so depressing to look back from Pareee at his work in the colonies and realize what a nightmare it all is by comparison. Textbook .. derivative..unpopular with the residents who recently voted with their souls and pocketbooks to communicate a robust message...."Shove your transit village egg crate housing'. I wont pay.

      Get the f##kin' planners OUT of my neighbourhood.


      Jul 27, 2015 at 4:24pm

      Wanted: planning director for Vancouver. Qualifications: must always prioritize developer profit above urban planning. Must treat citizens and neighborhoods as the"enemy." Experience in "theatrical" public consultation mandatory. Open dislike for landmarks, heritage buildings and urban character are valued. Please send your resume directly to Bob Rennie.

      Jaime Lerner

      Jul 27, 2015 at 5:51pm

      For Vancouver to be truly a "world class" city it needs more Brian Jacksons of the world and less nimbys complaining about towers springing up. Increased density is the only way this city will meet the insatiable demand there is for housing from all sides.

      News for you Jaime

      Jul 27, 2015 at 9:49pm

      Nobody lives in Canada. The demand for housing is satiable without hirise transity villages