Chief Community Planner

Lehigh Valley Planning Commission

Allentown, PA

Experience Level: Mid-Level

AICP Certification: AICP Preferred

Salary: $76,956-$115,434 per annum; plus, excellent retirement, medical, paid time-off and other benefits.

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CHIEF COMMUNITY PLANNER

The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission (LVPC)/Lehigh Valley Transportation Study (LVTS)  is looking for a Chief Community Planner to provide regional and community planning services for the Lehigh Valley.  The Chief Community Planner will assist with comprehensive and subarea planning projects addressing complex, sometimes politically sensitive issues, and serves as the lead planner for subdivision, land development, community ordinances and plans review.  The Chief Planner also serves as advisor to the Executive Director.   The LVPC Community Planning Section is responsible for the regional comprehensive plan, specific community plans and special planning projects, subdivision and land development review, community ordinance analysis, supports the Planning Commission and leads cross-departmental planning and policy efforts.  The Chief Community Planner as advises and coordinates with the Environment and Transportation and Data (LVTS) sections on land use issues.

Team members act as project leads managing projects, and act as community consultants with a high degree of independence and provide direct guidance to the LVPC leadership, other LVPC sections, boards and commissions, and the public. Team members are expected to be highly capable communicators and collaborators that work well with complex, multifaceted problems that require innovative solutions.  The LVPC Team is entrepreneurial, innovative, highly motivated, cross-disciplinary and committed to effectively planning for and responding to 21st century needs.    

ESSENTIAL DUTIES + RESPONSIBILITIES 

Working under the general direction of the Executive Director, the Chief Community Planner:

  • Advises the Executive Director on section projects, plans, reviews and related matters. 
  • Stands in for the Executive Director as needed.
  • Monitors and ensures compliance with local, state and federal laws.
  • Oversees specialized planning functions such as large-scale new development proposals and environmental studies.
  • Acts as project manager for reports, projects and plan research, development and publication as assigned
  • Evaluates operations and activities of assigned responsibilities.
  • Prepares reports on operations and activities, recommending improvements and modifications.
  • Manages and carries out planning projects involving complex technical analysis and policy development for a broad spectrum of interested parties.
  • Plans, develops and executes work programs for projects that have a high level of impact on the organization and the region.
  • Works constructively in teams that span multiple LVPC sections and, at times, outside agencies, using communication and shared leadership skills to successfully collaborate and achieve multiple objectives.
  • Reviews subdivision and land development plans, zoning ordinances, subdivision and land development ordinances, street vacation requests, local comprehensive plans and associated planning and engineering documents for the broader implications as they pertain to land use planning. 
  • Coordinates and oversees Community Planning Section activities as it relates to subdivision and land development plans, zoning ordinances, subdivision and land development ordinances, street vacation requests, local comprehensive plans and associated planning and engineering documents for the broader implications as they pertain to land use planning. 
  • Conducts research, prepares and presents reports that clearly communicate technical analyses and make the case for policy and other recommendations, as appropriate. Utilizes geographic information systems (GIS), computer modeling and other technical tools, and works with GIS team as needed.
  • Assists communities with planning needs including comprehensive plans, subdivision and land development ordinances, zoning ordinances, etc.
  • Coordinates and teaches the portions of the Lehigh Valley Government Academy, which may include community planning, subdivision and land development/local planning commission training, local zoning administration and zoning hearing board operations.    
  • Communicates effectively with peers, Planning Commission, local governments and other stakeholders on planning issues in a manner that develops and maintains positive relationships and advances the understanding of the issues at hand.
  • Represents the LVPC on various committees, at neighborhood organizations and community meetings, at public hearings, and before governmental bodies.
  • Prepares and implements community engagement strategies, including development of innovative collaborative methods for the greatest collective community impact.
  • Constructively reviews planning studies, reports, presentations and other products completed by consultants, communities and other staff members and provides guidance and mentorship to less experienced staff members.
  • Evaluates program accomplishments against established goals and timetables, and makes recommendations based upon evaluation, concerning future plans.
  • Other duties as assigned.

The candidate will be responsible for project outcomes and is expected to work independently when executing project plans, while receiving overall guidance from the Executive Director.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS + ABILITIES 

General Knowledge of: Principles of land use and long-range planning; regional comprehensive planning; city, county, state and federal laws, codes and regulations pertaining to community planning; real estate markets, national and international trends; research techniques for land use trends and regulations; nomenclature, symbols, methods, practices, techniques, and computer software used in planning, drafting, mapping, and statistical analysis as applied to land use; principles of record keeping and records management.

Skills in: Researching and analyzing the factors affecting community planning projects; organizing, evaluating, analyzing and presenting data and information; preparing reports and checking designs, details, estimates, plans, and specifications of planning projects; use and interpretation of national economic data sets for supplementing existing research to write clearly and concisely; analyzing planning issues, evaluating alternatives, and making logical recommendations based on findings; maintaining accurate and interrelated technical records.

Ability to: Assess and prioritize multiple tasks, projects and demands; communicate effectively in verbal written, and graphic forms; establish and maintain effective working relations with co-workers, elected and appointed officials, community groups and the public; understanding and interpreting land use regulations, comprehensive planning processes, community engagement and state and Federal laws.

QUALIFICATIONS + MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

  • Degree from an accredited four-year college or university in urban planning, architecture, environmental studies or closely related field. A Master's degree or equivalent experience that would meet the experience requirements for the American Institute of Certified Planners.  
    • Ten or more years of progressively responsible related experience in comprehensive and growth management planning at the state, regional or municipal level.  Municipal planning experience is preferred.
    • Any equivalent combination of education, experience, and training that provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.
    • Ability to obtain admittance in the American Institute of Certified Planners within one year of employment, if not already achieved.  Ability to maintain American Institute of Certified Planners status.    
  • Ability to utilize Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook) and various social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn).  GIS, REMI, Sketch-Up, Adobe Creative Suite and/or other specialty skills are encouraged but not required. 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including presentation and group facilitation abilities.
  • Refined organizational skills, including time-management abilities. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work within and contribute to a team structure.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse groups of people and in diverse environments.
  • Participation in some early morning, evening and weekend meetings. 
  • Possess or immediately obtain a Pennsylvania driver’s license

COMPENSATION

$76,956-$115,434 per annum; plus, excellent retirement, medical, paid time-off and other benefits.

APPLY

Only e-mail submissions to [email protected] will be accepted and must include:

  1. Current resume detailing your education and experience.
  2. Letter of interest describing how you meet the qualifications for this position and why you would like to be considered.  Please address this letter to, Becky Bradley, AICP, Executive Director, Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, 961 Marcon Blvd, Suite 310, Allentown, PA 18109.  
  3. Minimum of three (3) references with names, address, telephone number, e-mail and relationship information for each person.  

Position open until filled. Review of applications and interviews will begin immediately.

TEAM COMMITMENT

The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. The LVPC provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or identity, national origin, age, disability, or genetics.  In addition to federal law requirements, the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment.  This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment.

Persons with a disability who need assistance with their application or that need this announcement in an alternative format may call (610) 264-4544.

FURTHER INFORMATION

In Compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, applicants hired by LVPC must show acceptable proof of identity and evidence of authorization to work in the United States.

Visit www.lvpc.org for more information on the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, our work program, products and services.

Posted August 24, 2021, 9:44 AM PDT


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