Community Planner

CITY OF SOUTH PORTLAND
Position Description: Community Planner
FLSA: Non-Union Grade K; Non-Exempt
Date: December 2017

Nature and Variety of Work:

This is professional planning work in the field of municipal planning which involves the application of professional knowledge and skills to various land development and municipal planning problems.  Work may require extensive contact with other public agencies, developers and neighborhood groups; and affords considerable opportunity for independent judgment in laying out work details and making technical determinations. The employee in this classification performs planning related research, analysis, policy development, project management, public process and facilitation, report preparation and public presentations to the Planning Board and various standing and special committees, as needed.

Supervisory Relationships:

Works under general directions from the Director of Planning & Development and in accordance with City established policies and procedures.  This position does not supervise other staff members.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Reviews development projects for compliance with municipal land codes, standards, and design guidelines; in addition, coordinates requests for comments, prepares agendas and notices, writes review memos and findings of fact, and similar functions to support the work of the Planning Board.
  • Assists in guiding, or providing staff assistance to, various types of planning projects, such as neighborhood or activity center master plans, alternative mode transportation projects, new or updated zoning, comprehensive plan updates, and waterfront planning.  May be the lead staff person for a project at the discretion, and under the close supervision, of the Planning Director.
  • Assists in planning, conducting, organizing, and facilitating community involvement and participation programs such as workshops, forums, public hearings, design workshops, focus groups, or other methods as appropriate to generate citizen and stakeholder input into planning programs and projects.
  • In addition to the Planning Board, attends the meetings of, and provides staff assistance to, a number of City boards, commissions, and/or standing committees, such as, potentially, the Arts & Historic Preservation Committee and the Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee.
  • Prepares or oversees preparation of graphic material, maps, and diagrams as needed to convey relevant planning information.
  • Writes background and summary memos for Planning Board and City Council agenda items; researches and prepares written reports on planning topics as assigned.
  • Coordinates with the Code Enforcement Officer to ensure compliance with applicable zoning codes.
  • Answers general citizen inquiries, coordinates requests with other departments and the public.
  • Performs related work as required.

Knowledge and Special Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in land-use planning, urban planning or a closely related field.  Master’s degree in urban planning or related field is preferred.
  • Two or more years of relevant professional municipal planning or related experience is desirable.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of municipal planning and their application to the area of assignment.
  • Demonstrable ability to read, interpret, and evaluate development plans including project site plans, subdivision plats, elevations and floor plans, landscape plans, utility plans, stormwater plans, and etc.
  • Knowledge of development regulations and standards of review, including but not limited to transportation, environmental quality, public infrastructure and safety, and design.
  • Ability to negotiate effectively with developers as an advocate for high standards of development in the City.
  •  Knowledge of research methods and the ability to apply pertinent techniques to planning problems.
  • Organizational skills to manage a demanding work load and the ability to complete work products on schedule and accurately.
  • Communication skills including ability to accomplish the following: a) produce clear, articulate, and comprehensive written reports (writing sample will be requested); b) negotiate effectively with developers for quality development, and c) present oral reports in public settings.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with officials, employees, community groups, and the public, in order to promote a cooperative team approach to the development review process.
  • Ability to use existing and emerging technologies in planning, such as GIS, web-based communications, digital graphic applications, file management, spreadsheet, word processing, and project management software; proficiency with MS Office Suite software.
  • State of Maine Driver’s License in good standing.
  • AICP preferred.

Physical Demands:

The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Work involves walking, talking, hearing, using hands to handle, feel or operate objects, or controls and reach with hands and arms. Vision abilities required by this job include close vision and the ability to adjust focus.  The employee may be required to push, pull, lift, and/or carry up to 25 pounds.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderately quiet.

The physical demands and work environment described here are representatives of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The statements contained herein reflect general duties as necessary to describe the principal functions of this job, the level of knowledge and skill typically required and the scope of responsibility, but should not be considered an all-inclusive listing of work requirements.

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