City hires new design and planning director
David Berniker, the former vice chair and a founding member of Gresham's Design Commission, has been hired to lead the City's Urban Design and Planning department.
According to a city press release, Berniker, who began work June 16, oversees a staff of 12, who "work with elected officials and citizen groups to shape the vision for Gresham's growth and provide the tools to realize that vision through land use and development projects."
City Manager Erik Kvarsten said Berniker was a stand-out for his planning and design expertise, his public engagement skills and a deep connection to Gresham.
"David knows Gresham," Kvarsten said. "He has helped shape the built environment here for years, and he knows city leaders and the community. David also has an appreciation for design and development, and its strong and direct effect on quality of life."
Berniker is trained as both an architect and a planner, and has more than 20 years of experience in public and private sectors. He comes to Gresham from Hillsboro, where he worked as an urban design planner. Berniker also ran his own design and planning firm and as a consultant, helped Gresham create its first design standards for multifamily housing. For the past six years, since its inception, Berniker served as vice chair for the Design Commission, a citizen group appointed by the City Council to review and approve major new development projects. He holds a master's in architecture and urban planning and a bachelor's in environmental studies.
"I believe in Gresham," Berniker said. "It has a vibrant downtown, a gorgeous natural landscape with the buttes, and an extensive system of trails and parks. It's a great community with a lot of potential."