Zoning Administrator

Charles County Government

La Plata, MD

Experience Level: Mid-Level

AICP Certification: AICP Preferred

Salary: $77,335.69 - $101,309.75 Annually

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The Zoning Administrator performs administrative and advanced professional planning work in overseeing the operation of the Zoning Administration Section of the Planning Division and performs supervisory technical land use work in administering the county’s zoning ordinance. The work includes preparing and presenting the results of application and plan reviews, zoning reviews, and field investigations of zoning violations to appropriate boards and commissions for action. In addition, the Zoning Administrator develops and implements policies and procedures relevant to the administration of the County’s zoning administration program. The position is responsible for overseeing all activities relating to the Board of Appeals and is responsible for zoning staff that brings issues to the Planning Commission. The incumbent is expected to exercise initiative and considerable professional judgment, discretion, and independence of actions in accomplishing assigned tasks and also be able to take direction from supervisors. 


Performs management and advanced professional planning work in overseeing Zoning Administration functions including supervisory technical land use work and administering the zoning ordinance to ensure compliance and enforcement of zoning regulations.

Essential Job Functions:
  • Administers and enforces the Zoning Ordinance for the County by ensuring consistent performance of staff in interpretation of policy and code.
  • Manages the coordination of Zoning Text and Map amendments, special exceptions, and variance.
  • Manages all components of comprehensive Zoning Code updates and rewrites.
  • Serves as the Zoning Officer for Zoning Determinations.
  • Supervises planning staff:  assign and review work, and take actions to adjust work, staffing and operations to meet requirements.  Select, train and evaluate staff, and take appropriate actions to improve performance when necessary.  Initiate actions regarding hiring, transfer, promotion, payroll, leave, performance and other personnel actions.
  • Develops policy and procedures, provides policy direction to staff, and develops and manages assigned budget.
  • Manages activities of the Boards of Appeals
  • Serves on boards and committees and work groups as assigned, providing technical support and assistance, often representing the County on a regional or state-wide basis. Makes presentations before the Planning Commission, Board of Appeals, County Commissioners, and the public.
  • Meets with parties involved to discuss and clarify issues and explain requirements; advises and assists parties on how to achieve compliance with applicable rules and regulations.
  • Coordinates with the County Attorney’s Office on Interpreting and administering County regulations, as well as the due process and legal obligations for various situations.
  • Develops and reviews/revises applicable codes, policies, and ordinances for implementation of plan goals, objectives, and policies.
  • Reviews staff findings regarding a particular application. Resolves questions regarding an applicant’s submission. Reviews ordinances, procedures, precedent cases and regulations impacting a pending application. Ensures the consistent performance of staff in interpretation of policy and code.
  • Applies various specialized analysis including environmental, land use, area and structure, economic and/or demographic, and statistical analysis as appropriate to projects to discern relevant issues and facts and formulate appropriate recommendations.
  • Develops, reviews, and evaluates the results of application and plan reviews, zoning reviews, and field investigations of zoning violations to and presents to appropriate staff, boards, and commissions for action.
  • Manages the Zoning Inspections and Enforcement program; reviews reports and correspondence; testifies in court hearings; ensures files are maintained; and cases are completed. Provides guidance and support as necessary.
  • Prepares and administers the budget for assigned program area; coordinates with consultants and staff to keep projects on time and on budget.
  • Develops, reviews and evaluates studies, reports and recommendations and take or recommend appropriate actions.
  • Performs field visits and on-site inspections as required.
Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Education and Experience: 

Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree preferred in Planning, Engineering, Geography, or Public Policy. Seven (7) years of progressively responsible professional experience performing technical land use or related planning or zoning including one (1) to three (3) years of supervisory experience.


Licenses or Certifications:   

Valid driver’s license

AICP Certification

Special Requirements/Qualifications:

Subject to work beyond the normal scheduled hours of work.

Work is subject to frequent interruptions.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: 

  • Knowledge of the purpose and nature of zoning laws and regulations 
  • Knowledge of the principal and practices of public administration (example: policies, personnel, and budget administration).
  • Knowledge of principles and practices of management, supervision, training, and personnel management.
  • Knowledge of modern theories, principles, and practices of urban planning; zoning best practices, current and future trends.
  • Knowledge of County government organization, functions, and operating relationships.
  • Knowledge of State statutes and their relationship to and impact on local zoning and land development practices.
  • Knowledge of Administrative hearing procedures and rules of evidence. 
  • Knowledge of processes associated with interpretations of zoning codes, maps, drafting, and applying the Zoning Code requirements as they relate to the overall land and infrastructure development standards. 
  • Ability to monitor, manage, provide support, and supervise the work of an assigned functional area within the planning division.
  • Ability to conduct zoning inspections for compliance.
  • Ability to apply the county zoning ordinance and regulations to varied situations. 
  • Ability to translate plan policies, goals and objectives into development regulations. 
  • Ability to develop, implement and interpret City policies, procedures, codes, and regulations; organize and present facts, evidence, and precedent in a clear and logical form. 
  • Ability to maintain records and prepare related reports and correspondence. 
  • Ability to exercise considerable independent judgment in rendering decisions. 
  • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing; and 
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others encountered in the work.
  • Ability to be innovative and detail-oriented.
  • Ability to manage multiple, high priority assignments.
 Additional Information:


Typical positions require workers to sit, walk, or stand for long periods; walk over uneven terrain; lift and carry up to 20 pounds; climb stairs, bend, reach, hold, grasp and turn objects; and use fingers to operate computer or typewriter keyboards.  The work requires the ability to speak normally and to use normal or aided vision and hearing


The work is mostly sedentary with periods of light physical activity and is performed in office and field surroundings (if necessary).


Department/Division:      Planning and Growth Management/Planning                        

Pay Grade:                           118

FLSA Status:                         Exempt

Telework Eligible:              Yes

Reports To:                          Planning Director 

Supervises:                          Planning Supervisor & Inspections Supervisor

Posted September 1, 2021, 8:42 AM PDT

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