Planner I

City of Evanston
Evanston, IL
United States
AICP Certification: 
Not required

*Starting salary is dependent upon qualifications, but in most cases is no higher than the midpoint for the range.


Under the direction of the Zoning Administrator, this position is an entry-level position responsible for performing professional, administrative, technical, regulatory and programmatic functions that are the responsibility of Planning and Zoning Division. This position examines the working plans of proposed buildings and other structures for their compliance with the City zoning ordinance; enforces the zoning regulations; makes interpretations and decisions in applying provisions to individual projects; performs zoning analyses work and other planning functions of the Planning & Zoning Division.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS OF WORK (Specific assignment will include some or all of the following):

  • Researches existing records; analyzes and interprets the regulations of the zoning ordinance pertaining to uses, structures and construction within the City of Evanston and responds to FOIA requests for zoning related information from external customers.
  • May make zoning-related field inspections of properties to check for compliance with the zoning ordinance and prepares investigative reports on inspections.
  • Performs zoning analyses for applications to determine if zoning relief (e.g., variations, special uses, and planned developments) is required. 
  • Performs zoning analyses for permit applications including, but not limited to:
    • Consolidations and subdivisions of property.
    • All work requiring building permits and developments, construction, addition, expansion and conversion of structures.
    • Change of use for business license applications, food services, and as a part of other licensing programs.
    • Control over use provisions, separation of lots, nonconforming status and elimination of uses and buildings.
    • Vacation of alleys and in some cases of sale and purchase of property.
    • Aldermanic and resident complaints of zoning ordinance violations.
  • Reviews submitted building plans with other plan reviewers of the Community Development Department and other City Departments as needed.
  • May subsequently consult with Developers, Engineers and Builders, during the successive phases of planning and on the completed project plan on items including, but not limited to, interpretation of zoning regulations, consultation on alternate plans, compliance, and timeliness.
  • Provides technical assistance, advice, and interpretation to residents and City officials by meeting with them or by phone or email on provisions and requirements of the zoning ordinance.
  • Reviews zoning applications and prepares staff report packets for Design and Project Review Committee, Zoning Board of Appeals, Plan Commission, Preservation Commission, Planning and Development Committee and City Council as required.
  • Attends evening meetings as required for neighborhood meetings, Zoning Board of Appeals, Plan Commission, Preservation Commission, Planning and Development Committee or City Council.
  • Performs other duties as required or assigned.


  • Must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in Urban Planning or substantially similar area.  Possession of a master’s degree is preferred. 
  • Must possess one (1) or more years of progressively responsible experience working in the public sector with land use policy, theory and analysis as applicable to developing land use regulations.
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license and a safe driving record.
  • Knowledge, skills, and abilities in the following areas:
      • Well-developed knowledge of one or more planning disciplines, such as land use, urban design, or preservation
      • Considerable knowledge of zoning and/or preservation ordinances and Land Use Regulatory policy.
      • Working knowledge of zoning principles and practices.
      • Working knowledge of modern principles and practices of construction.
      • Working knowledge of the legal procedures involved in enforcing zoning ordinances and other related codes.
      • Ability to read and understand architectural plans.
      • Considerable knowledge of and ability to use Internet search engines, word processing software, email, and Windows operating systems.
      • Ability to understand theory and process of land use regulations as administered by local municipalities throughout the U.S.
      • Functional knowledge of personal computer applications including word processing, spreadsheets, web-based applications, databases, and GIS.
      • Ability to work with and relate to a diverse group of residents from varying socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds.
      • Excellent organizational and project management skills.
      • Excellent oral, written and interpersonal communication skills in dealing with individuals and groups at all levels.
      • Self-motivated, disciplined, organized, and reliable.
      • Innovative, creative, resourceful and independent thinking.


  • The ability to work in a primarily sedentary position, with the ability to occasionally use force to exert up to 10 pounds
  • The ability to lift, carry, sit, bend, stoop, climb or otherwise move objects, books, materials, etc. using up to 25 pounds of force frequently, and/or a negligible amount of force constantly to move objects
  • The ability to occasionally work outside in a variety of weather and environmental conditions
  • The ability to use machines, tools, equipment, and work aids of those commonly associated with this type of work including but not limited to automobile, flashlight, telephone, code books, digital recorder, personal computer, software, copiers etc.


Work is performed under the general direction of the Zoning Administrator who outlines work assignments, reviews work in progress, and completed work.  Works closely with all relevant departments to assist and inform in the processing of planning and zoning related issues and policies; applies best practices as appropriate.  Employee is expected to provide coordination with all City departments.  Guidance is provided through the Comprehensive Plan, City Code, City policies and procedures, applicable state and Federal laws and regulations, ensuring that initiatives are met.  Work is evaluated at least annually with respect to progress toward achieving goals, leadership, communication skills, customer service, ability to work productively and effectively with employees at all levels in the organization as well as elected and appointed officials, community groups and the general public.


The employee has regular and frequent contact with City employees, property owners, agents, tenants, contractors, developers, residents and groups, including elected officials.

Published on:
January 10, 2019 - 9:18am
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