Senior Land Use Planner

City of Bellevue

Bellevue, WA

Experience Level: Senior

Salary: $91,423.37 - $126,154.46 Annually

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Are you a forward-thinking planner with strong urban design development project review expertise? If so, the City of Bellevue wants you! 
The Land Use Division is looking for an urban design-focused Senior Planner to join a dynamic work group within the Development Services Department. 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 the country in which to live, and has a business-friendly environment. As a result, Bellevue is seeing an unprecedented amount of growth. To accommodate this development, current planners in the City of Bellevue are in a unique position to affect meaningful change by “growing” an urban environment with a view to creating a vibrant, livable city of the future. 
Primary duties include project management of development (entitlement) reviews that are centered around large, complex, and politically sensitive development projects in the Downtown, Bel Red, and other commercial and design districts in the city. 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.
Some of the many benefits of working in Bellevue include: 
  • Hybrid Work Environment
  • Exceptional Benefits
  • Commitment to Employees
  • Focus on Equity and Inclusion
  • Office location in the Downtown - close to transit, shopping, restaurants, and entertainment

If you are a collaborative problem solver, are customer-focused, and have urban design interest and experience, apply today and join our team!

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

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 the preparation of ordinances and process improvements.  Multi-faceted urban design analysis, project management skills, and strong site and architectural design expertise is often required.  The position also requires the senior planner to use expert depth of knowledge to mentor, train, and support staff and to assist in developing innovative ordinances and regulations related to a wide range of topics, including urban design elements of the Land Use Code, signage, and other issues related to design of the built environment and furthering the city's urban vision and goals.

A Senior Planner performs duties and responsibilities 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 urban planning, architecture, 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. 

 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.

For questions regarding this position please contact Sally Nichols, Urban Design Planning Manager, Bellevue Developmental Services Department, Phone:  425-452-2727 or email: [email protected]. For any technical difficulties with your application, please contact the support line at 855-524-5627.

At the City of Bellevue, you'll be part of a team committed to providing exceptional customer service, upholding the public interest and advancing the community vision. The five essential and enduring principles that guide our individual actions, our interactions, and our decision making in the City of Bellevue organization is: exceptional public service, stewardship, committee to employees, integrity, and innovation. You'll work in an environment that is innovative, collaborative, future focused, and committed to excellence. Bellevue welcomes the world. Our diversity is our strength. We embrace the future while respecting our past. It's what makes the City of Bellevue an exciting place to work, live, and explore.

Have we piqued your interest yet? Come join our team! The City of Bellevue supports workplace diversity. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, genetic information, disability, age, veteran status, or any other protected status. Persons needing assistance with 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. 

  ** Please be sure to check your junk folder for any messages that may be sent to you about this recruitment.**

Posted January 13, 2023, 9:35 AM PST

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