Winnipeg hires consultant Hazel Borys as new head of planning and development

28 April 2023 1 min. read
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The City of Winnipeg has hired Hazel Borys, managing principal of urban planning consultancy PlaceMakers, as director of planning, property, and development.

Borys, who runs the Winnipeg- and Wilmington, Delaware-based consulting firm, will take over the city’s land use planning department in July.

"I think we have a number of significant challenges that we'll need to address together and that's really similar to many Canadian cities right now," Borys told CBC News. "But I think we also have both the opportunity and the responsibility to become a more resilient, livable, and inclusive place."

The city is currently hemorrhaging industrial, commercial, and residential development opportunities to surrounding municipalities, including Macdonald, Rosser, and Springfield.

Winnipeg hires consultant Hazel Borys as new head of planning and development

Borys says the city is losing out because of outdated land use regulations. "What the development community most struggles with is our zoning bylaw hasn't yet caught up with the policies that we have in place to help do those things," she said. "That means that development takes longer — and time is money, from a developer's perspective."

A native of Alabama, Borys moved to Winnipeg in 2008 with her husband, Stephen Borys, who runs the Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq.

She has worked in urban planning for nearly two decades. Borys’ firm PlaceMakers advises developer and government clients on planning and urban design, context-specific coding, community engagement, implementation, and marketing.

Borys also sits on the Manitoba Municipal Board (MMB) and helped the City of Winnipeg develop its long-term planning framework.

To take on her new role in the municipal government, Borys will resign her seat on the MMB, divest her ownership stake in the US side of PlaceMakers, and dissolve the Canadian side of the company.