NEW CANAAN — After just under a year with in New Canaan, Town Planner Steve Palmer will step down effective Sept. 15, marking Palmer’s second major job change in less than two years.

Palmer came to New Canaan in November after a seven-month stint as planning director in Westport. Before his time in Westport, Palmer worked as planning and zoning director in Bethel since 2003.

Town officials announced on Aug. 18 that Palmer had informed them of his intent to leave his role at the head of the town’s Planning and Zoning Department. The announcement comes amid continued debate within the Planning and Zoning Commission over the controversial Grace Farms.

First Selectman Robert Mallozzi III said he was surprised to learn of Palmer’s decision.

“He has a very good opportunity to join a successful family business his dad runs,” Mallozzi said. “He is ready to take a new direction.”

Palmer did not respond to multiple email requests for comment and was not in his office on Tuesday. It is not known what his family business is.

In his time in New Canaan, Palmer facilitated deliberations and decisions with the Planning and Zoning Commission on difficult applications like the Merritt Village redevelopment, the West Road Sober House, the Roger Sherman Inn redevelopment proposal and Grace Farms’ ongoing application.

“He was very complimentary of the Planning and Zoning Commission, myself and the Town Hall staff in general,” Mallozzi said. “I’ll miss him.”

According to the town’s Personnel Director Cheryl Pickering Jones, as of Tuesday, the town has started to advertise to fill the position.

justin.papp@scni.com; @justinjpapp1