City of Vancouver names Gil Kelley as new chief planner

The City of Vancouver has announced former San Francisco chief planner Gil Kelley will replace Brian Jackson, who left the job at the end of 2015.

Kelley formerly held top planning jobs in San Francisco, Portland and Berkeley

Gil Kelley will step into his new role as Vancouver's chief planner and head of the city’s Department of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability on Sept. 15 (City of Vancouver)

The City of Vancouver has appointed Gil Kelley as its new chief planner.

Kelley was previously director of city-wide planning for San Francisco and has previously served as Portland's director of planning and Berkeley's director of planning and development.

In addition to being Vancouver's chief planner, Kelley will also head up the city's department of planning, urban design and sustainability.

"Gil will help take Vancouver to the next level in becoming a greener, more affordable and inclusive city," Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a written statement.

"Gil's extensive experience in cities like San Francisco and Portland is highly valuable at a time when Vancouver is facing an affordability challenge like never before, and we are thrilled to have him join our team at city hall."

Kelley succeeds Brian Jackson, who stepped down from the role at the end of 2015.

Jackson's work on some files, in particular the Grandview-Woodlands community plan and the removal of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts, was highly controversial.

In today's statement from the city, continued work on the viaduct removal was listed as a priority for Kelley's term, as were sustainability initiatives, housing affordability and a focus on development along the Broadway corridor.

Kelley will officially step into his new role Sept. 15.