Feb 1, 2022 - News

Scoop: Atlanta Planning Commissioner Tim Keane to exit City Hall

A headshot of Tim Keane wearing a suit and tie on a white background

Photo: Courtesy of City of Atlanta

Tim Keane, the Atlanta planning commissioner who co-created an ambitious long-term vision for the city's future, called for affordable housing, and tested neighborhoods' appetites for growth and density, has accepted a job in another city, a spokesperson for Mayor Andre Dickens tells Axios Atlanta.

Why it matters: After arriving in Atlanta in 2015 from Charleston, South Carolina, Keane brought new energy and ideas to the often quiet planning department.

  • He quickly won buy-in from the local urbanism, transportation and design communities for his big-picture thinking.

Some communities organized to oppose Keane's proposal to increase density near MARTA stations, reduce parking requirements and make building accessory dwelling units — smaller, single-family homes in backyards, for example — easier.

Details: Keane shared a four-page memo with Axios Atlanta announcing his exit to Mayor Andre Dickens and members of the Atlanta City Council. He urged elected officials to view MARTA's Five Points redevelopment as an opportunity to reconnect the neighborhood.

  • They should also try creative approaches to increase affordable housing and focus on making Peachtree Street in Downtown less car-oriented, the commissioner said.

"So much is possible in Atlanta if City leaders are working together for the change that is needed and beneficial to people," Keane wrote. "Decisive action by the City will address so many of our frustrations about linchpin issues like affordability, mobility, and sustainability."

  • The statement from Dickens' office did not say where Keane was hired.
  • Janide Sidifall, Keane's deputy, will serve as interim commissioner, the mayor's office says.

What they're saying: "Atlanta has benefited from Commissioner Keane’s leadership and vision — exemplified through the development of Atlanta City Design, operational improvements to permitting and inspections and bold policy ideas to facilitate equitable and ambitious growth," Dickens says in a statement to Axios.

This is developing story.

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