James Shelby

Master of Science, City and Regional Planning, Illinois Institute of TechnologyBachelor of Science, City and Regional Planning,Illinois Institute of Technology

Board of Director and Fund-raiser Chairperson, Natchez Association for the Preservation of Afro American Cultural Museum (NAPAC)

Board Director, United Way of the Greater Mississippi-Louisiana, Inc.

Board Member, Natchez Downtown Development Association

Board Member, Natchez Historic Foundations

Board Member, Mississippi Heritage Trust-Secretary


Principal Planner


James is a highly experienced executive with more than 25 years of experience in city and  regional planning involving technical work in planning and operations of the planning areas and extensive knowledge of land use, urban design, and federal, state and local governments programs.  James is a proven performer in recruitment and management encompassing personnel, contract negotiations, and customer relations. His area of expertise’s include; Organizational Skills, Housing Development, Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances, Transportation, Building Plan Review and Inspections, Budget, Development, Staff Development and Code Enforcement.


Commissioner of Planning and Community Development: Deputy Commissioner, Acting Commissioner

James oversaw a staff of approximately 200 personnel.  As Commissioner, James is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Offices of Housing, Buildings and Planning, advised the Mayor and City Council on the physical development and redevelopment of the City of Atlanta through effective planning, design review, construction plans approval, building code compliance and housing and economic development. Responsible for a budget of 25 mil.

Deputy Commissioner of Planning and Community Development

James assisted the Commissioner in making recommendations to the Mayor and City Council regarding  policies, strategies, projects and actions related to the City’s growth and development  and assist with planning and implementing comprehensive public and private housing policies and redevelopment plans. James supervised staff and prepare  annual budget, develop plans, coordinate policies, maintain liaison with public and  private sector and the media.

Director of Planning & Development

James planned, directed, managed the activities and operations of the Planning & Development Department, including the functions of urban planning, zoning, community development, economic development, public transit, transportation planning, building permits, housing, code enforcement, sign inspection, grants development, housing rehabilitation, minority business development, capital improvements planning and geographic information systems; coordinated activities with other City departments and outside agencies and provided highly responsible and complex administrative support to the Mayor.

Director of Planning, Mississippi

James managed all activities of the Planning Department. James held responsibility for comprehensive long-range planning, preparation of development regulations, development plan review, historic preservation, code enforcement and a variety of projects related to economic development.