Gardner Appointed As City Planning Director

Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 2:23 p.m.

Mayor Nadine Woodward has appointed an experienced planner known as a collaborative innovator to lead the City’s Planning Department.

Spencer Gardner’s private sector experience bringing together different perspectives and ideas, championing policy and solutions, and leading and growing staff set him apart after an extensive national search to become Woodward’s choice for Planning Director. The City Council will consider Gardner’s appointment on Jan. 24.

“Spencer is a leader, mentor, and innovator who is experienced in bringing diverse voices together around complicated project, transportation and regional planning needs,” Woodward said. “I am excited about the vision he will bring as we pursue housing and growth opportunities.”

The Planning Director provides strategic leadership and support to Planning Services while overseeing growth management and comprehensive planning. This includes neighborhood planning and sub-area master planning projects to ensure alignment with long and short-term strategies. Additionally, the position is the liaison with federal, state and regional offices recommending planning policies, codes and ordinances.

“I am excited to get to work building a stronger Spokane that offers jobs, opportunities and housing choices, to everyone in our community,” Gardner said.

Gardner spent the past dozen years working for two private planning and design firms managing budget and staffing allocation, conducting public engagement related to planning projects, and leading technical task and analysis for large planning and comprehensive planning efforts. He earned a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds the American Institute of Certified Planners credential.

Upon Council approval on Jan. 24, Gardner will start with the City in February. He was selected from a national search and met with City staff, community stakeholders, councilmembers, Woodward, and members of the Mayor’s Cabinet. He participated as a member of the City Council Sustainability Action subcommittee and until recently, he was a board member of Spokane Housing Ventures.