City snags a planner from the Niagara Region: Mary Lou Tanner to head up Planning for the city.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 15, 2015


It took a while but after a solid search and some internal wrangling to determine how much influence the Chief Magistrate would have over the choice of a new planner for the city municipal planning veteran Mary Lou Tanner, was been named as the City of Burlington’s new Director of Planning and Building effective Nov. 2, 2015.

Tanner is currently the Chief Planner for Niagara Region and was Acting Commissioner of Planning and Development Services for Niagara Region. With over 25 years of experience working in the public sector, Tanner has previously worked at the City of Hamilton and Halton Region where she held a variety of planning roles and led infrastructure planning in public works.

Tanner Mary Lou

Mary Lou Tanner will join the city on |November 2 as the Director of Planning.

“Mary Lou is one of the top planning directors in Ontario and brings extensive municipal expertise to this role,” said Scott Stewart, the city’s general manager of development and infrastructure. “Throughout her career, Mary Lou has successfully led many large, complex projects with multiple stakeholders — her seasoned background will be a valuable asset to the City of Burlington.”

Stewart is the person who made the hire – these comments are expected from him.

Tanner served as the President of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute from 2011 to 2013 and has received numerous national and provincial awards for planning practice.

Tanner is a graduate of the Planning School at Queen’s University.

Scott Stewart will continue in the role of Acting Director of Planning and Building until Mary Lou Tanner begins with the city on Nov. 2, 2015.

With Tanner in place the city now has someone who is going to have to move at the speed of light to get caught up on where the city is with its Strategic Plan – which is now close to six months behind.

The Strategic Plan will inform the direction the city goes with its Official Plan Review which has been put on hold until the Strategic Plan is in place.

Tanner will lead a department that has some very good people in place but some problems with the “front desk” where contractors have to go for the various permits they need.

She would appear to be well connected in the region – let’s see what we can learn about this newest arrival to city hall.

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