McIntosh served in municipal planning role

Ian McIntosh feels much lighter these days, since retiring from his position as director of development services.

Now retired from his role as director of development services for the municipality

Now retired from his role as director of development services for the municipality

Ian McIntosh feels much lighter these days, since retiring from his position as director of development services for the municipality of Summerland.

“The weight of responsibility is surprisingly heavy,” explained McIntosh. “You don’t realize how much it weighs on you until it’s not there anymore.”

McIntosh was born and raised in Summerland. After graduation, he studied landscape horticulture and worked in the business.

In 1985 he landed the job of head gardener for the City of Penticton, but soon moved into the Parks Technician position, where he was responsible for the planning of city parks. He later moved into the planning department at city hall and also acquired more university training.

Upon hearing of an opening in Summerland’s planning department, McIntosh applied and in 2005 was hired as assistant planner. In 2009 he became manager of development services and shortly thereafter became the director.

McIntosh feels that one of his greatest strengths was his ability to help people get through the system.

“I certainly understand how government works and how regulation works,” he said. “It is incredibly complicated and complex to work your way through the government approval system.”

His job was twofold. He was responsible for planning and for assisting people to get things in front of council for approval.

The day to day work involved helping people get building permits, develop sub-divisions, re-zone properties or process development variances. His position was very much one of being the “middle man.”

“The joke in planning is if everybody hates you equally, you’re in exactly the right spot,” explained McIntosh. “So if the developer or home owner thinks you’re being completely unreasonable and the rest of the community and council think you’re being way too easy, then you are probably in the sweet spot.”

McIntosh became an expert on determining what was reasonable and would advise people on where they could “push” and where they couldn’t. Often if what people asked for was reasonable, rules could be changed after much consideration. If what they wanted was unreasonable, McIntosh would suggest other options.

“I always told it the way it was. It wasn’t always good news, but it was what I believed was the best course of action,” he said. “I think if you’re honest with people and treat them with respect they appreciate that.”

As a result of this attitude, McIntosh doesn’t remember a time when people directed any attacks against him personally and in his experience he found people were for the most part very respectful to him in return.

“I enjoyed trying to find solutions,” he explained. “I’m very much an optimist and I always think there’s a way to get a win for everybody.”

One of the challenges McIntosh dealt with was what he calls “fear of change.” He felt it was very important to point out the facts or science of a matter, rather than allowing rumours based on emotion to circulate in the community. He likened these rumours to a rock rolling downhill.

“If you put your shoe in front of it in the very beginning you can stop it, but if it gets going it takes out everything in its path,” he said.

Having his second degree black belt in karate, McIntosh said, helped his demeanour and helped him to stay calm and centred during stressful times.

With no big plans set for his retirement, McIntosh said his wife Chris will also be retiring from her teaching career in June and together they plan on keeping in touch with their son and daughter, who are both in university, doing some home renovations and perhaps taking a trip.

He believes “Summerland is a fabulous place to live” and is happy that his parents and sister also live here.

McIntosh’s philosophy has served him well in his life and it is as follows;

“Look for the gwws, surround yourself with positivity and stay away from negativity in a big way.”

It comes as no surprise that McIntosh has already received calls from folks in the private sector, looking to see if he is interested in helping them out.

“I’m interested,” he said. “I still think I have something to offer.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Peachland resident and cleanup volunteer Lloyd Stinson Sotas holds up a discarded TV riddled with bullet holes. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
PHOTOS: Peachland residents clean up community watershed

More than 70 people gave back to Mother Earth by assisting with the cleanup

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Steven Brown is running for Penticton city council in the June by-election. (Contributed)
Penticton race director throws hat into city council ring

Steven Brown will run with a focus on small business

Penticton Vees celebrate a goal in their second win to start their season on Saturday night at the SOEC. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Vees head into final weekend tied for first in league

The Vees have two games to take the top spot

Coronavirus 3D illustration. (CDC photo)
Two Summerland businesses closed due to COVID-19

The businesses are listed on the Interior Health website

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

City of Vernon Coun. Dalvir Nahal proposed two blocks of Main Street be closed to bolster recovery for downtown businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
Vernon’s ‘support local’ Main Street closure would cost city $24K, staff say

Bylaw costs, loss of parking revenue and equipment logistics behind price tag

Five properties have been added to the Lake Country fire protection zone, after council moved to expand the local service area Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Google Maps)
Lake Country expands fire protection zone, covering 5 exposed properties

The properties petitioned to join the local service area after being left out ‘for reasons unknown’

VSAR’s Air Rescue One unit assisted in a rescue in West Kelowna May 3, 2021. (VSAR screenshot)
VIDEO: VSAR’s Air Rescue One team assists in West Kelowna Rescue

The Vernon Search and Rescue helicopter team pulled off a successful rescue Monday

Officials are surveying the streets of Vernon to get a better sense of the issue of homelessness in the city, as part of the province’s point-in-time homeless count for 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Province conducts homeless count in Vernon

It’s the first time Vernon has been included in the provincial homeless count

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

A proposed development would see two four-storey affordable housing complexes erected on Adair Street in Armstrong, next to the Nor-Val Arena. (Google Maps)
Local tenants to be prioritized for Armstrong affordable housing project

Staff have drafted an expression of interest to find a developer to move forward with on the project

Most Read