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Assistant Planner

Chelan County Community Development
Wenatchee, WA
United States
Professional Areas: 
Community Development
GIS / Technology
Land-Use Management
Regional Planning
Experience Level: 
Entry Level
AICP Certification: 
Not required
$3,725.02 to $ 5,241.49 - DOQ


Serves as a first-level professional planner.  Implements the mission of the Department in order to assure orderly growth of the County and coordination of planning efforts in Urban Growth Areas.  Undertakes and coordinates professional planning services for a broad range of planning activities involving:  long range comprehensive planning, drafting of development regulations, processing of discretionary and ministerial development applications, collection and analysis of geographic/socioeconomic data, and providing public information about County planning policies, regulations and activities.



First-level non-supervisory professional planner.  Reports to Planning Manager. Coordinates work with other staff when appropriate. Provides information to the public about County land use regulations and policies. Applies professional judgment to prepare recommendations on policy and regulatory issues to the Director, Assistant Director, Planning Manager, and hearing bodies. 


  • Depending upon assignment, the incumbent may perform a combination of some or all of the following duties, which are representative sample of the level of work appropriate to this classification.
  • Provides information to the general public, permit applicants, and public officials – over the telephone, at the counter, through e-mail, through mail, and at meetings – regarding the County’s land use regulations and policies.
  • Processes development proposals requiring discretionary County approval, for example:  Planned Unit Developments and subdivisions. Reviews proposals for compliance with zoning and related regulations and comprehensive plan policies, coordinates with other departments and, prepares written staff reports, and makes recommendations to decision makers.
  • Performs technical review of building and other ministerial development permits to ensure compliance with zoning and related development regulations, comprehensive plan policies, and conditions of approval for prior discretionary development permits.
  • Represents the Department at public meetings hosted by the County, Community Councils, developers, and civic groups.
  • Prepares and delivers public presentations of staff reports at public meetings and hearings before the Board of County Commissioners, Planning Commission, Hearing Examiner and other hearing bodies.
  • Reviews development proposals and planning projects for compliance with the State Environmental Policy Act.
  • Works with individuals and interest groups to resolve disputes and facilitate consensus on issues pertaining to development permits and planning projects.
  • Manages projects involving the preparation of policies, regulations, and implementing programs influencing the growth and development of the County.  Conducts research, prepares options, makes recommendations, and drafts proposed amendments to planning and regulatory documents such as: Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Code, Shoreline Master Program, Subdivision Ordinance, and Chelan County Code. As assigned, coordinates the work of other staff and citizen task forces or advisory committees.  Develops and implements public involvement programs.

Additional responsibilities:

  • Prepares legal documents associated with development permits.  Monitors maintenance and performance securities, including wetland mitigation and landscaping.
  • Performs research tasks as assigned.
  • Creates and/or revises administrative procedures to implement changes to policies and codes.
  • Works with other members of the Department in collaborative problem solving and completion of tasks.
  • May assist Code Enforcement Officer in performance of his/her duties.
  • Represents the department on interdepartmental service teams and technical groups.
  • Collects and analyzes demographic, land use, and related data.  May manage automated mapping, database, and geographic information systems.
  • May assist the Director, and Planning Manager in the preparation of budget requests for planning projects.
  • May assist the Director and Planning Manager in the preparation of applications for grants.
  • May serve the County in a support role in the event of an emergency or disaster.
  • May be called upon to supervise Interns or volunteers during periods of Planning Manager absence.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Knowledge of:

  • Knowledge of planning practices and land use codes.
  • Knowledge of one or more planning issues such as:  rural planning, site design, agricultural issues, transportation, housing, natural resources, economic development, computerized information systems, comprehensive planning, and land use regulation.
  • Growth Management Act, SEPA, Shoreline Management Act and other State laws.
  • Principles and practices of research and data collection of land use information.
  • Statistical, algebraic, or geometric knowledge and ability to apply such knowledge in practical situation.

Ability to:

  • Ability to work independently.
  • Ability to work well with peers.
  • Ability to follow direction of supervisors.
  • Ability to analyze code provisions.
  • Ability to be flexible to changing priorities.
  • Ability to organize and carryout the work program for planning projects.
  • Ability to communicate clearly both in writing and verbally, including the ability to make public presentations before hearing bodies and diverse groups.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize workload.
  • Ability to negotiate solutions and facilitate consensus on planning issues.
  • Ability to operate personal computer programs, including those involving word processing, spreadsheets, presentation graphics, project management, and permit tracking.
  • Ability to read and understand maps, architectural plans, and ability to use architect’s and engineer’s scales and perform mathematical calculations.
  • Ability to perform site visits on varied terrain and conditions required.

Skills in:

  • Oral communication and interpersonal skills to explain rules and procedures clearly and concisely to the public, elected officials, and stakeholders with tact and confidence.
  • Creative problem-solving skills to gather relevant information to solve vaguely defined practical problems.
  • Effective written and oral communications.
  • Highly proficient public relations and interpersonal communications.
  • Computer and equipment operations necessary to the functions of the position including the use of a variety of software programs such as Windows, MS Office (inclusive of Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint),  and ESRI GIS viewing products.
  • Being flexible and adaptable to changing priorities.


  • Respectful, courteous, and friendly to customers, other County employees, and County leadership; demonstrates and maintains honest and ethical behavior.  Develops and maintains a positive working relationship with peers and management.
  • A team player that helps the organization meet its objectives; takes initiative to meet department and County goals.
  • Effectively communicates with customers and other County employees.  Positively represents the County, maintaining the trust County residents have placed in each of us.


  • Duties are performed primarily in an office environment and public settings, but do include outside inspections subjecting this position to a variety of weather and driving conditions.
  • Work is mostly performed independently but does include small and large group settings.
  • Demands of managing multiple activities, addressing citizen needs and meeting established timeframes for work performance may cause stressful situations.
  • Work under pressures and under high visibility.
  • Position requires appropriate attire and image, projecting a professional, positive attitude.
  • Evening meetings are a required part of this position.
  • Infrequent out-of-town travel and a non-traditional work schedule may be required, at the sole discretion of the County.


  • A bachelor’s degree with major coursework in planning, law, architecture, engineering, natural resources, government administration or other closely related field.
  • Equivalent combination of education and experience to perform the essential functions of the position may be considered.
  • Bi-lingual preferred.
  • Must possess or have the ability to possess a valid Washington State Driver’s license.


This job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee and is subject to change as the needs of the employer and requirements of the job change.

Published on:
December 30, 2019 - 8:53am
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