Atlanta planning department head Tim Keane leaving after nearly seven years

Tim Keane

Credit: contributed

Credit: contributed

Tim Keane

Atlanta Planning Commissioner Tim Keane is leaving City Hall, according to the mayor’s office.

A spokesman for Mayor Andre Dickens said Keane has accepted a job leading the planning department in another city. Deputy Planning Commissioner Janide Sidifall will serve as interim commissioner as Keane transitions out in the coming weeks. Keane’s last day is Feb. 18.

Recently, Keane led the push for zoning changes in Atlanta to increase density in residential areas. The proposals were met with pushback from many neighborhood groups and ultimately voted down by the City Council late last year.

Tim Keane, commissioner of the City of Atlanta Department of Planning and Community Development, speaks at a town hall hosted by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms at Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta on March 19, 2019. (Emily Haney /

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Keane was hired as the city’s planning czar in July 2015 just as the city’s auditor released a report slamming Atlanta’s Office of Buildings as inefficient, glacially slow and at risk for conflicts of interest, according to an August 2015 report from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

At that time, he left his job as planning director in Charleston, S.C., with the mission of expanding Atlanta permitting and development under then-Mayor Kasim Reed.

Since then, Keane has been credited for the development of Atlanta City Design, operational improvements to permitting and inspections, and “bold policy ideas to facilitate equitable and ambitious growth,” according to the mayor’s office.

“Mayor Dickens greatly appreciates his service to our city,” the spokesman said in a statement.