Asheville Planning & Urban Design Director accepts new position with Metro Nashville Government

Todd Okilichany

Asheville Planning & Urban Design Director Todd Okolichany has accepted a position as Deputy Executive Director of the Planning Department in Metro Nashville, TN government and will leave the City of Asheville January 27, 2023.

During his tenure with the City of Asheville, Todd was instrumental in managing several projects that will have long lasting impacts on the Asheville community including:

  • Adoption of the Living Asheville Comprehensive Plan, the city’s fourth ever comprehensive planning document that lays out an environmentally and socially responsible framework for equitable community growth over the next 20 years.
  • Creation of the city’s Urban Design and Place Strategies team to implement the public’s vision for community-driven planning, high-quality urban design and inclusive public spaces.
  • Rezoning of over 250 acres in the city into “Urban Centers,” a growth strategy from the Living Asheville Comprehensive Plan that encourages the transition of larger underutilized properties along commercial corridors located along high frequency transit routes into mixed-use areas that include higher density residential, affordable housing and commercial uses.
  • Adoption of a new hotel development review process, which incentivizes new hotels to provide community benefits, such as contributing toward the city’s Reparations and Affordable Housing Trust Funds, paying living wages to employees and integrating green building elements into hotel building design.

“I’ve been humbled to be Asheville’s Planning and Urban Design Director over the past seven years. I’m extremely proud of what my team, other colleagues in the city and community partners have been able to accomplish during my time here that I know will positively impact our city for years to come,” stated Okolichany. “Just as important as our work in the built environment are the meaningful relationships that I’ve been able to make with community members, forged by the countless hours of dedicated residents and volunteers that care so deeply about the well-being of their city. Thank you for inviting me into your homes, businesses, places of worship, community gathering spaces, and into your lives. I am forever grateful and will take those experiences with me wherever I go.”

“It has been a pleasure working with Todd,” said City Manager Debra Campbell. “Under his leadership, Planning and Urban Design staff were able to develop and propose new policies and practices that will help positively shape growth in Asheville for years to come. We are grateful for his leadership and wish him well.”  

Assistant City Manager Ben Woody will serve as Interim Director. 

A selection process for Planning and Urban Design Director will kick off at the beginning of 2023.