Owen Kerney Appointed Deputy Commissioner of Planning & Sustainability

Published on January 24, 2024

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Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announced the appointment of Owen Kerney to Deputy Commissioner of Planning and Sustainability in the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development. In this role, Kerney will be responsible for urban planning and sustainability initiatives for city government, including the development of strategic plans and projects.

Kerney will develop and implement plans and initiatives that improve the quality of life in Syracuse, and provide policy recommendations and information to boards, commissions, the administration, and the Common Council. He will also ensure the ongoing development of NBD programs and services, represent the city on advisory groups and associations, and manage grants at the local, state, and federal levels.

Kerney has worked with the City of Syracuse in several capacities for over 15 years. Prior to his role as Deputy Commissioner, Kerney worked as the assistant director of the City Planning Division of the Syracuse-Onondaga County Planning Agency. In this role, Kerney oversaw the development and implementation of ReZone Syracuse, delivering a new zoning map and ordinance for the first time in decades. Kerney has also worked as the deputy director of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, a zoning planner for the Office of Zoning Administration, and as a planner for the Syracuse-Onondaga County Planning Agency.

Kerney received his master’s degree in Geography from the Northern Arizona University with a concentration in community planning, and his bachelor’s degree in Geography from the University of Delaware. He has served as a Trustee of the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, and recently served as President of the Board of Directors at the Baltimore Woods Nature Center in Marcellus, New York. He lives on the eastside with his family.