Senior Planner

City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Department

Boulder, CO

Experience Level: Senior

AICP Certification: AICP Not required

Salary: $79,847.00 - $121,561.00 Annually

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The City of Boulder is a great place to live, work, grow and play. 
With over 300 miles of dedicated bikeways and more than 150 miles of hiking trails, Boulder values active lifestyles and access to nature. Forty-five thousand acres of land provide open space for parks and a green belt around the city. With world class restaurants and art and music venues, The City of Boulder values diverse culture.  
Respect is one of our five City Values (including Customer Service, Collaboration, Integrity and Innovation) and we are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion. We celebrate and support our differences across all spectrums, including but not limited to ethnicity, gender, age, disability, and sexuality. Through our focus on Racial Equity, our employee benefits, and the many programs resources we offer our staff, we continually strive to weave respect for one another into the fabric of our organization.
Help us grow in service excellence for an inspired future. 
This job posting is "continuous" or "open until filled” and will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired. 


The Senior Planner will work collaboratively across multifunctional teams to develop innovative and strategic land management solutions. Working with other staff, City departments, regional partners, and community members this position plays a pivotal role in crafting and integrating policy guiding the stewardship of natural, cultural, scenic, agricultural, and recreational land management. Consensus building is a key function, as is project management for a wide range of planning projects.  


  • System-wide planning: Coordinates and leads the development or updating of visitor and recreation management plans, land, and resource management plans, and the OSMP Master Plan, coordinating staff teams, contractors/consultants, and members of the public.  Develops systemwide policy in accordance with city practices and priorities, and plan commitments.  Develops and leads inclusive community engagement opportunities.  Makes recommendations to support the advancement and integration of all open space policy including policy around ecosystem health and resilience, agriculture, responsible recreation, stewardship and enjoyment, community connections, education and inclusion, and financial sustainability.   Presents and makes recommendations to boards and council.  
  • Area and site-planning: Coordinates and leads the development of area and site plans for discrete, geographic locations or regions within the larger OSMP system at the conceptual and/or schematic design level. Makes recommendations to integrate and help translate broader guidance into actionable implementation plans, integrated into coordinated workplans and the department’s capital and operating budgets that inform department work planning.  Develops and leads inclusive community engagement opportunities and presents and makes recommendations to boards and council.  
  • City-wide and regional planning:  Serves as a liaison and departmental representative to local and regional government agencies and serve as departmental project manager for local and regional planning initiatives and projects, including among other things regional trails and comprehensive planning.
  • Strategic leadership: This position offers the chance to help lead the workgroup in evolving and adapting the department’s planning framework, deliverables, and approach as well as how to integrate priority initiatives such as addressing the global climate crisis, resilience, and equity.  
  • Staff supervision and coaching: The senior planner may supervise and mentor typically 1-2 planning staff.


  • Planning Expertise
    1. Highly skilled and knowledgeable in plan development, strategy and/or policy development.
    2. Continuously updates skills, knowledge, and planning methods.  
    3. Enable to engage with ecologists and other subject matter experts (e.g., agricultural, water, trails specialists) and data to soundly analyze resources and develop recommendations. 
  • Demonstrated consensus-building with a broad range of stakeholders, partners, members of the public and decision makers
    1. Facilitate productive dialogue and structured decision-making. 
    2. Desire and ability to create meaningful community input opportunities and work with people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. 
    3. Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to maintain effective working relationships with, the public, consultants, and employees at all levels of the organization; demonstrate composure, confidence and respect when working with higher level management, boards and commissions and council members.  
  • Project management
    1. Demonstrated high level of skill in designing and managing complex projects related to the management of open space/public lands.  
    2. Ability to create plans that have practical implementation actions that include cost estimates to inform department work planning.
    3. Demonstrated verbal, written and graphic communication skills, including report writing, oral and graphic presentation techniques. 
    4. Understands how to get things done in the organizational or planning environment (with council, boards and commissions, departmental directors, etc.)
  • Dealing with Ambiguity:
    1. Can shift gears comfortably and effectively cope with and manage change.
  • Time Management
    1. Uses time effectively and efficiently.
    2. Concentrates efforts on the more important priorities.
    3. Can independently prioritize tasks.
  • Teamwork/Working Independently:
    1. Comfortable working in teams as well as independently with limited supervision.
    2. Leads and engages others with emotional intelligence.
    3. Actively listens and is open to the ideas of colleagues.  
    4. Patient and sensitive with people and processes.  


  • Master’s degree in Urban/Environmental Planning, Landscape Architecture, or related field, plus seven years of experience, or equivalent combination of education and/or experience. 
  • Demonstrated experience and success in plan development, strategy and/or policy development.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills including strong mediation, facilitation, consensus building, and diplomacy, including the ability to work effectively with a wide range of individuals and groups in potentially controversial situations.
  • Well-developed leadership skills and proven ability to recommended innovative solutions that meet multiple interests. 
  • Ability to participate in planning projects which involve politically sensitive or controversial issues.
  • Ability to analyze and synthesize large amounts of complex information.
  • Proficient in GIS and Adobe products to generate plans and graphics that communicate concepts and policy.
  • Valid driver’s license and Acceptable motor vehicle record. Acceptable background information including criminal conviction record and credit history.


  • Demonstrated experience in plan development, strategy and/or policy development on public lands, parks, open space or natural areas and knowledge of principles, practices, and trends in natural, cultural, agricultural, and recreational resource planning.  
  • Knowledge and understanding of Boulder or similar community.
  • Supervisory experience.  

For full details and to apply, please visit: Job Opportunities | Career Pages (

Posted July 12, 2021, 4:22 PM PDT

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