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Senior Planner

City of Tacoma City of Tacoma Employer:
Tacoma, WA, USLocation:
Thu, Apr 26 '18Posted on:
Full-timeType:

Positions:

  1. Senior Planner: Comprehensive Planning Section
  2. Senior Planner: Design Studio Section

The Community:
The City of Tacoma is a mid-sized urban port city located along Washington's Puget Sound and at the foot of the Cascade Mountains. With a population of approximately 208,000, Tacoma is the second largest city in the Puget Sound region and the third largest city in the state of Washington. Tacoma is home to one of the west coast's largest international ports, and is the center of business activity for the South Puget Sound, which has a population of around 1 million people.  Tacoma is a diverse, progressive, international city that serves as a gateway to the Pacific Rim and the rest of the world.
 
Named one of the most livable areas in the country by Livability.com, Tacoma and the surrounding area is a playground for hikers, runners, bicyclists, boaters, and maritime enthusiasts. Tacoma is renowned for its charming neighborhoods, great parks and big city amenities. The city is home to the University of Washington Tacoma, the University of Puget Sound, and a number of local trade and technical colleges. The city is also a contemporary cultural center, boasting Washington State's highest density of art and history museums, historic theatres, and a vibrant, creative community of artists, musicians, passionate entrepreneurs and small business owners who add to the city's colorful landscape. Tacoma is a great place to work, live and play.
 
Tacoma has steadily evolved since the 1990's and the advent of the Growth Management Act, and has been propelled by significant public and private investments that include the arrival of the University of Washington Tacoma, the Tacoma LINK light rail system, and the restored urban waterfront of the Thea Foss Waterway. The next wave of investments includes the expansion of Central Link light rail to the Dome District, High Capacity Transit on Pacific Avenue, and continued investments in the City's system of Signature Trails. After experiencing a lag in housing and economic development, Tacoma has experienced a recent surge in residential construction and adaptive re-use of historic structures, such as the Historic Elks Lodge in North Downtown. Located in the fastest growing county in the United States, Tacoma is poised for sustained growth with all of the opportunities and challenges that this growth presents.
 
The Department:
The City of Tacoma's Planning and Development Services Department encompasses all aspects of building, land use, and site development.  The Department is organized in two divisions – the Planning Division and the Development Services Division. The mission of the Planning & Development Services Department is to partner with the community to build a livable, sustainable and safe City by providing strategic, timely, predictable, cost effective planning and development services with a culture focused on community engagement, customer service, creativity, accountability and continuous improvement.
 
The Planning Division includes long-range land use, neighborhood, housing and environmental planning, as well as the City's Historic Preservation Program. The Division's goal is to guide community growth and development in a manner that protects environmental resources, enhances quality of life, promotes distinctive neighborhoods and a vibrant downtown, and involves citizens in the decisions that affect them. We work together with the community, City Council, Planning Commission, and Landmarks Preservation Commission to develop and update the One Tacoma Comprehensive Plan, along with neighborhood and subarea plans, and associated regulations and implementation strategies that guide the future development of the built and natural environment of Tacoma.

Position Profile:
The City of Tacoma's Planning and Development Services Department (PDS) is accepting applications for two Senior Planner positions. These positions are responsible for complex, long-range initiatives and programs that require the application of significant professional judgment and effective operational relationships.
 
Under the general direction of the Planning Division Manager, and in partnership with the other members of the long-range planning team, the Senior Planner independently performs and leads professional level planning assignments in one or more areas of the planning function such as short-term and long-range planning programs and projects, comprehensive planning, urban design, environmental/natural resource planning, assisting in the formulation of departmental goals and objectives, interpreting and preparing data for planning studies, reports and recommendations, providing staff support to planning and other commissions, boards and committees and the City Council, overseeing grant-funded projects and consultant contracts, and may supervise or lead professional or other staff members. Responsibilities include resolving complex planning issues having broad potential impact. Issues may involve competing interests, multiple clients, conflicting rules or practices, a range of possible solutions or other elements that contribute to complexity.
 
Senior Planner – Comprehensive Planning. This position will be situated within the Comprehensive Planning section of the Planning Services Division, with a focus on leading policy, regulatory, and capital planning initiatives to implement the One Tacoma Comprehensive Plan.
 
Senior Planner – Design Studio. This position will be situated within the new Design Studio section of the Planning Services Division, with a focus on developing a design review program, design guidelines/standards, and educating the public about the program and principles of urban design.
  
Candidate Profile:
Senior Planner – Comprehensive Planning
The successful candidate will have broad experience and knowledge of long-range planning and regulatory development in the public sector, and an understanding of how such issues can positively impact this community and its citizens. The candidate will need to work well with others in a collaborative team setting and have the ability to effectively and sensitively oversee highly visible and sometimes controversial projects. To effectively navigate in a complex organization, the successful candidate will possess strong interoffice and interagency relationship building and management skills, as well as a nuanced understanding of organizational decision-making and operation.

Senior Planner – Design Studio
The successful candidate will have broad experience and knowledge of long-range planning and policy development in the public sector, and an understanding of how such issues can positively impact this community and its citizens. The candidate will need to work well with others in a collaborative team setting and have the ability to effectively and sensitively oversee highly visible and sometimes controversial projects. To effectively navigate in a complex organization, the successful candidate will possess strong interoffice and interagency relationship building and management skills, as well as a nuanced understanding of organizational decision-making and operation. A strong design sensibility and extensive experience with visual communication are a must.
 
Essential Duties:
The following are illustrative examples of the essential functions of the job:

  • Provides project management and coordinates long-range planning projects for the City;
  • Interprets and applies applicable state and municipal codes, ordinances and regulations;
  • Administers updates and maintenance of Comprehensive Plan and development regulations;
  • Conducts extensive research in specific or general project areas;
  • Writes and presents formal and technical reports, working papers, and correspondence;
  • Conducts technical research and prepares statistical reports on land use, physical, social & economic issues;
  • Provides professional planning assistance on varied land use projects;
  • Identifies community problems, issues, and opportunities in particular neighborhoods or areas that could be mitigated through better community planning;
  • Develops plans and strategies for areas with common developmental issues;
  • Develops strategies to promote economic and community development or efficient land use consistent with city goals;
  • Writes, or assists in writing, a variety of plans, ordinances and regulations relating to development controls;
  • Explains and interprets complex rules, policies and operating procedures;
  • Coordinates work of unit with that of other areas in division, department, other departments or other agencies;
  • May represent City or division on regional boards, committees or other governmental organizations;
  • Attends substantial number of evening and weekend meetings;
  • Performs other work as assigned.

Our Ideal Candidate(s) are people with the following competencies:

  • An organized, self-starter with strong ability in the prioritization and management of projects and work tasks.
  • Outstanding public speaking skills.
  • Excellent ability to make high-level public presentations before the City Council, to the business community and other groups.
  • A person who is able to readily adapt to constantly changing and multiple business needs and projects, resulting in frequent re-prioritization of project tasks and timelines.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Outstanding ability to relate to diverse audiences.

City of Tacoma Recruitment Information: One of the primary goals of the City of Tacoma Equity and Empowerment Initiative is that the City of Tacoma workforce reflects the community it serves. We actively work to eliminate racial and other disparities and we welcome candidates with diverse and/or multicultural skill sets and personal experiences. Our goal is for Tacoma to be an inclusive and equitable place to live, work and play.

 

Applications accepted online only at https://www.governmentjobs.com...


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