City of Hamilton Makes Significant Changes to Planning Department Structure

Hamilton’s Chief Planner Steve Robichaud has changed the structure of the City’s planning department to streamline functions and clarify responsibilities.

The planning department now consists of four sections: Development Planning, Heritage and Urban Design, Sustainable Communities [Community & Policy Planning], Zoning and Committee of Adjustment.

Development Planning

The development planning section is responsible for processing planning applications with four sub-sections. Applications will continue to be processed by geographical location with three sub-sections: the Urban team, the Suburban team, and the Rural.

The fourth sub-section is Business Facilitation, the staff who handle development application intake and questions at the fifth floor counter in City Hall.

Anita Fabac remains the Manager of Development Planning. The Senior Project Managers leading the development application teams are Ohi Izirein for Suburban, and Charlie Toman for Rural.

The SPM Urban position is presently vacant. Shannon McKie has been promoted to Manager of Zoning and Committee of Adjustment. McKie continues to lead the Urban team until a replacement is hired.

Heritage and Urban Design

Ken Coit’s previous role as Manager Placemaking Public Art and Projects is expanding in this new position as manager for the heritage and urban design section.

There are two sub-sections: Design & Heritage, and GIS & Cartographic Services.

The City’s urban design, cultural heritage, and natural heritage planners are included in this section.

Coit’s expanded role will increase the importance of design and public art in new developments, especially intensification projects.

Sustainable Communities

Christine Newbold is the Manager of Sustainable Communities, continuing to manage the City of Hamilton’s longer-term land-use planning projects, including secondary plans and the urban boundary freeze.

There are two sub-sections: Community Planning and Policy Planning.

Heather Travis remains Senior Project Manager for Policy Planning.

The SPM position for Community Planning is vacant.

Zoning and Committee of Adjustment

Shannon McKie is the Manager of Zoning and Committee of Adjustment, a new section with three sub-sections: Zoning Review, Zoning Reform, and Committee of Adjustment.

All the planner positions in Zoning Reform are presently vacant, reflective of the planning department’s push to process applications before a potential Lame Duck City Council takes effect in August.

The section’s primary role will be reviewing minor planning and building permit applications.

The number of applications is increasing due to intensification.

More information, including a listing of all the City’s planning staff as of March 25, 2022, is on the City’s website here.

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