Hannah Jacobson named planning director for Salisbury

Published 6:30 pm Thursday, April 11, 2019

SALISBURY — The city has hired Hannah Berg Jacobson as its new planning director.

She will begin the job April 22.

Jacobson will lead the code enforcement, urban planning and development services departments.

“I am very excited and honored to be selected as the next planning director,” Jacobson said. “I look forward to working with the talented staff, committed elected officials and the entire community to help honor the history and shape the future of Salisbury.”

Jacobson comes from the Durham City-County Planning Department as a senior planner. She led the community planning process to update comprehensive planning policies and the future land use map in the planned light-rail transit area. She also worked with Durham residents and community stakeholders to update land use, downtown and urban open-space plans, and she designed a land use study to remove zoning regulatory barriers for businesses in a historic retail district.

Before her work in Durham, Jacobson was a transit-oriented development consultant with the Urban Land Institute in Minnesota and a consultant with the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission.

“As our city continues to grow and take shape, I’m excited about Hannah’s arrival in our community,” City Manager Lane Bailey said Thursday. “Not only does she have a solid background in planning, but she is well-versed in historic preservation, working collaboratively with diverse groups on comprehensive planning, and in the relationship between transportation and urban design.”

Brian Hiatt has been interim planning director since Nov. 19. He was formerly city manager in Concord. Janet Gapen was the city’s planning director before retiring on Nov. 9 after working for the city since 2003.

“I would be remiss not to mention my indebtedness to Brian Hiatt, who served us as interim planning director following Janet Gapen’s retirement,” Bailey said. “I wish him the best as he continues his retirement, uninterrupted.”

Jacobson has a bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College in Minnesota and a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is accredited by the American Institute of Certified Planners.