Senior Planner

Town of Reading

Reading, MA

Experience Level: Mid-Level

AICP Certification: AICP Preferred

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Full Salary Range
$67,548.00-$87,379.50 annually 

4-day workweek (Fridays off)


At the direction of the Community Development Director, the Senior Planner provides high-level technical and administrative support related to community development. This includes current and long- range land use, sustainability and redevelopment planning.   The Senior Planner may be assigned responsibility to conduct studies and research, manage special projects, oversee the work of junior employees, serve as technical staff support to specified boards/committees/commissions and special committees as needed, and perform other duties as assigned.   

Essential Functions

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  1. Provides project management related to master planning, land use, downtown revitalization, zoning, parking/traffic/transportation, economic development, affordable housing, sustainability, and energy conservation initiatives. May be required to act as staff liaison to special committees established in furtherance of these efforts, and/or to assist with public outreach efforts and attend/facilitate community workshops.
  2. Assists in the preparation and maintenance of databases of information, reports, maps, records, and files in support of planning operations; and assists with preparation of study maps, sketches, charts, and graphs for presentation of material related to planning activities.
  3. Provides professional planning and land use advice to supervisors and other officials and engages in and strategizes on long-term planning efforts. (i.e. Housing Production Plan, Hazard Mitigation, Net Zero, etc.)
  4. Provides technical and administrative support to the Community Planning and Development Commission (CPDC), and to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) on an as-needed basis.
  5. Coordinates and/or oversees inquiries and filings related to planning, zoning, and development review:
    • First point of contact for application filings related to Site Plan Review, Subdivision, 40R, and other regulatory reviews under the purview of CPDC.   Coordinates internal review of applications, through the Development Review Team (DRT) meetings.
    • Ensures that submittals meet requirements and that communication with project proponents is clear, thorough, and proactive.
    • Assists with technical review of plans and proposals submitted to ensure compliance with the Zoning Bylaw, Subdivision Regulations, Scenic Road Regulations, and other local bylaws, and ensures consistency with the Town’s Master Plan and other plans. 
    • Organizes DRT staff technical review of development projects and provides information and direction to project proponents.
    • Confirms that the CPDC regulatory process will adhere to statutory timeframes.
    • Coordinates meeting postings, legal notices, meeting packet material, draft decisions, abutter correspondence, and meeting minutes.
    • Responds to local citizens and abutters inquiring about applications before the boards, committees and commissions including the CPDC; strategizes ways to resolve any impasses or disagreements between staff, applicants, and abutters.
    • Assists in the review of Building Permit applications to ensure compliance with CPDC and other approvals; provides ongoing tracking of CPDC Decision conditions.
  6. Assists as needed with zoning bylaw amendments including Form 7 filing requirements, CPDC coordination, and preparation of materials needed for Town Meeting.
  7. Manages inquiries related to planning and zoning regulations and bylaws and coordinates responses with Community Development Director as needed.
  8. Collaborates with other Department and Town staff as needed to address ongoing issues related to infrastructure, zoning, conservation, and development as they relate to Site Plan Review or planning activities.
  9. Provides technical support regarding climate resilience, sustainability, and energy conservation as follows:
    • Attends, as-needed, Climate Advisory Committee (CAC) meetings;
    • Assists CAC, on a limited-basis, with special projects;
    • Assists with management of Green Communities designation, implementation and annual reporting;
    • Collaborates with other staff departments and RMLD on initiatives related to stormwater, solar, electrification, fuel efficiency, and local resiliency.
    • Explores ways to advance the cause of non-vehicular connectivity throughout Town (i.e., trails, open space, multi-modal paths, etc.).
  10. Prepares and writes grant applications in support of planning, conservation, sustainability, and economic development initiatives, including but not limited to the following grant programs: Housing Choice, MVP, BRIC, MDI, DLTA, Green Communities, etc.
  11. Spearheads or assists with initiatives related to downtown beautification, activation, arts and culture.
  12. Participates in visioning work and community engagement to ensure public participation in the planning process.
  13. Serves when needed as a member of a planning task force composed of town, county or state groups. May attend as a member guest of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, North Suburban regional planning task force.
  14. Answers phones and performs various clerical duties; staff support at transaction center or administrative tasks as necessary.

Work Hours

This is a full-time position with a typical 37.5 hours per week and varied hours to suit both the department and the needs of the community.  Office operating hours include Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 7:30 am – 5:30 pm, Tuesday 7:30 am to 7:00 pm.  Evening hours are required to accommodate various board and committee meetings.

Minimum Qualifications

  1. Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a degree in land-use planning, urban studies, town planning, landscape architecture or a closely related field, and
  2. Three (3) to four (4) years’ experience in municipal planning preferred; and
  3. A general understanding of the State's Zoning Act, Subdivision Control Law, and current initiatives/programs related to climate resilience, sustainability, and energy conservation is a plus; or
  4. Any equivalent combination of education and progressively responsible experience, with additional work experience substituting for the required education on a year for year basis.

Posted January 25, 2023, 10:26 AM PST

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