J. Spencer Hutchison RPP, MCIP, MRTPI
Senior Associate Planner

RFA Planning Consultant - J. Spencer Hutchison

Spencer is now into his 30th year of working in the field of municipal land use planning. Until recently this experience had been as a municipal planner with the City of Trenton, then the Municipality of Port Hope and most recently with the City of Belleville. This extensive exposure to public and private sector planning has provided Spencer with a real understanding of the municipal planning process in eastern Ontario.

Spencer’s experience includes the processing of Plans of Subdivisions and Condominium, site plan approval application preparation, and minor variance and severance application processing as well as Official Plan and Zoning By-Law Amendment review and preparation. In doing so, Spencer has needed to pull together and manage multiple Municipal departments and independent consultants to shepherd development projects through the land use approvals process.

As a life-long resident of the Quinte Region Spencer has a great appreciation for the lifestyle that can be found in Central and Eastern Ontario communities.

Spencer is very active with minor sports in Quinte West both in terms of coaching and management. Previously he served as Tournament Director on the Executive for Quinte West Minor Hockey Association and currently serves as Tournament Director for Quinte West Minor Soccer.

For the past 14 years Spencer has served as a parent representative on the School Council of Prince Charles Public School, Bayside Public School and Bayside Secondary School. Being involved in education is very important to Spencer.

Before embarking on a career in municipal planning, Spencer volunteered and worked in southern Africa to help establish a new secondary school. He spent two years living in a small rural village in Botswana that did not have electricity or running water. Arising from this great opportunity came a vast network of family (wife) and friends and an appreciation of land development in other parts of the globe.

“For almost 30 years I was a civil servant who enjoyed going to work every day to move projects along and to find answers and solutions for the citizens of the communities in which I was employed.The end result is that I can drive through three different municipalities today and see an untold number of buildings and properties which went through some sort of municipal planning process and are now part of the fabric of the community.”

  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Geography  – Queen’s University (1979)
  • Master of Urban and Regional Planning – University of Edinburgh (1982)
  • Bachelor of Environmental (Intermediate/Senior Program) Specialization in Geography and Biology – Queen’s University (1988)
  • Employed for just under 30 years in municipal planning in three different municipalities
  • Gained extensive exposure to a wide range of local land use issues and projects
  • Processed over 40 plan of subdivision applications including the drafting of subdivision agreements
  • Processed over 200 site plan control applications including the drafting of site plan control agreements
  • Processed over 40 Official Plan amendments and 90 Zoning Bylaw amendments including the drafting of by-laws and amendments.
  • Testified before the Ontario Municipal Board on consent and minor variance applications on behalf of the City of Belleville
  • Testified before the Ontario Municipal Board on site plan, rezoning, plan of subdivision and minor variance applications on behalf of the Municipality of Port Hope
  • Reviewed and commented on over 760 Committee of Adjustment severance and minor variance applications
  • Negotiated final approval of Official Plan update for the then Town of Port Hope and Official Plan update for the former Township of Hope
  • Expedited final approval of secondary plan for rural land annexed to the Town of Port Hope from adjacent municipality to facilitate future urban growth
  • Worked with several provincial ministries and agencies to create special policy area (SPA) for the Ganaraska River floodplain which runs southward through the centre of Port Hope
  • Composed first policy and procedures checklists for newly created municipal planning department
  • Compiled a wide range of statistical and background planning reports (e.g. vacant land study, rental accommodation review and status and implications of water pollution control plant capacity)
  • Written over 4,000 zoning compliance letters
  • 2006 – 2018
    City of Belleville, Ontario – Manager of Approvals

  • 2002 – 2006
    Municipality of Port Hope, Ontario – Director of Planning Services

  • 1994 – 2002
    Municipality of Port Hope, Ontario – Municipal Planner

  • 1988 – 1994
    City of Trenton, Ontario – Assistant City Planner
  • Full Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Ontario Professional Planners Institute since July 15, 1991
  • Full Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (Great Britain) since April 8, 1992