Senior Land Use Planner

The City of Bellevue

Bellevue, WA

Experience Level: Senior

Salary: $82,007.40 - $113,161.44 Annually

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Job Summary

The City of Bellevue is one of the hottest tech markets in the nation due to its prime location, ranking as one of the best mid-sized cities in country in which to live, and business friendly environment. As a result, Bellevue is seeing an unprecedented amount of growth in its commercial districts.  This growth is also being fueled by a major light rail connection that will open in 2023, providing frequent and convenient access to and from Seattle and the region. Planners in the City of Bellevue are in a unique position to affect meaningful change in this rapidly growing urban environment as we work to create a vibrant, livable city of the future.

The Land Use Division is looking for a Senior Planner to join a dynamic work group within the Development Services Department. Duties include development (entitlement) review and project management of large, complex, and politically sensitive development projects in the Downtown, Bel Red, and other commercial and design districts in the city. Projects that are under review range from private commercial developments to nonprofit housing projects to infrastructure installations.  The scope and scale of projects is broad and provides room for professional growth. The scope of potential assignments is diverse and varied and ranges from predevelopment consulting and providing public information on policies, codes and processes to project managing entitlement review of complex planning development proposals.  Duties may also include providing code updates related to review work as well as assisting in the preparation of ordinances and the design and implementation of process improvements.  Multi-faceted urban design analysis, project management skills, and strong site and architectural design expertise is often required.  The position requires the senior planner to use expert depth of knowledge to mentor, train, and support less experienced staff.

Our welcoming, multicultural, innovation-focused community attracts technology pioneers, outdoor enthusiasts, and professionals from around the world. At the City you'll be part of a team committed to providing exceptional customer service, upholding the public interest and being a part of building and enhancing the community vision. Our people bring unique skills and qualities to the table, embrace the values of honesty, accountability and commitment to service, and take pride in the work they do. You'll work in an environment where being innovative, collaborative, and future focused are the status quo. Bellevue welcomes the world. Our diversity is our strength. It's what makes The City of Bellevue an exciting place to work, live, and explore. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

A Senior Planner performs duties and responsibilities related to development of the built and natural environment, which may include any combination of the following tasks:
 Development Review and Management 

  • Performs reviews and approves projects where the combination of size, scope, complexity, policy implications, gray areas, and political sensitivity or client goals and expectations require unique skill and planning/design expertise. 
  • Serves as project manager for a variety of complex administrative and quasi-judicial development projects.  In the role as project manager, is responsible for ensuring timelines and client satisfaction for a large array of application types.
  • Prepares detailed staff reports supporting each project's compliance with city codes and guidelines, incorporating reviews by other city departments.
  • Conducts pre-application conferences and other predevelopment client services.
  • Makes recommendations on quasi-judicial project review to the Hearing Examiner.
  • Conducts public meetings, land use hearings, and presents technical material to citizen groups, commissions, and the City Council.
  • Uses technical expertise and experience to mentor and advise less experienced staff in resolving land use and environmental issues.
  • Manages or contributes to special projects having to do with land use policy and code development.


Policy Analysis and Code Development 

  • Assists on development of ordinances and processes related to the Land Use Code.
  • Participates in staff training, public outreach, and inter-departmental teams to advance Bellevue's urban design vision.
  • Represents the City or Department in various regional and local decision-making forums, including regional forums, governmental bodies, and community groups.
  • Oversees and establishes methodologies for data collection, analysis, and complex studies related to land use, transportation, community development, and environmental impacts.

 Public Information 

  • Provides official responses to inquiry from citizens as well as local, State, and Federal entities.
  • Makes presentations to Boards and Commissions, community groups, and private organizations.
  • Writes and produces public information materials.
  • Assists visitors at the Land Use desk in the Development Services Permit Center with general information about land use, environmental issues, and other regulations under the authority of the Land Use Division.


  • A degree in architecture, planning, urban planning, or landscape architecture is required. 
  • Seven or more years of professional or related experience described above with experience reviewing urban design development projects, making presentations to large and small audiences such as boards and commissions, and experience working on cross-disciplinary teams. Experience with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review policies is preferred.   

Skills include: 

  • The ability to communicate planning and architectural concepts clearly and concisely orally, graphically, and in writing.
  • Organization and writing of detailed staff reports using strong writing skills to communicate a project's compliance with City codes, approval criteria, and guidelines.
  • The ability to perform specialized and complex planning assignments such as code and design guideline development.
  • Project management of cross-disciplinary teams reviewing complex development projects and/or technical planning studies.
  • Independent interpretation of adopted guidelines and policies and ability to negotiate design outcomes to achieve them.
  • Code and policy conflict identification and resolution.
  • Analytical competency and the ability to effectively communicate methodology and results.

Knowledge of: 

  • Principles, practices, regulations, and techniques in the field of land use, site planning, architecture, urban design, and/or environmental planning as they pertain to current planning and development review.
  • Local government and political decision-making process.


Ability to: 

  • Communicate effectively with individuals, applicants, and groups regarding complex and/or controversial land use and planning policies and regulations.
  • Organize and participate in committees and public meetings and communicate ideas effectively.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff of other departments, work groups, agencies, elected and appointed officials, and the community/public.
  • Manage review teams to ensure review is meeting required timelines.
  • Provide exceptional customer service to citizens, developers, consultants, and staff. 
  • Become an integral member of the Land Use Division and work collaboratively to interpret the Land Use Code and assist with architectural and site design expertise.

The City of Bellevue supports workplace diversity and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, national origin, marital status, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or any other protected status. Persons needing assistance in the application process may call the Human Resources Office, at 425-452-6838 or [email protected]. If you are invited to participate in the selection process and need ADA accommodations, please notify HR before you are scheduled for an interview or testing.

For more information, call Sally Nichols at 425-452-2727 or via email at [email protected]. For any technical difficulties with your application, please contact the NEOGOV support line at 855-524-5627. 

Posted November 12, 2021, 12:05 PM PST

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