Associate Land Use Planner

City of Bellevue

Bellevue, WA

Experience Level: Mid-Level

Salary: $78,785.33 - $108,713.57 Annually

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Bellevue is building the city of the future.  Our welcoming, multicultural, innovation-focused community attracts technology pioneers, outdoor enthusiasts, and family-focused professionals from around the world.  At Bellevue, you’ll be part of a team committed to providing exceptional customer service, upholding the public interest and being a part of 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.  The City invests in its employees and encourages and rewards employee growth and development by building on our commonalities and our differences. Our diversity is our strength and it’s what makes Bellevue an exciting place to work, live, and explore.

Development Services is a department that unifies cross-departmental review functions including Building, Planning, Utilities, Transportation, and Fire disciplines into one line of business.  This allows for one-stop shopping for information and permits needed for all development activity in Bellevue.  We are code compliance officers, engineers, finance analysts, inspectors, planners, plans examiners, permit technicians, and support staff from the Fire, Transportation, and Utilities departments.  

We are currently looking for an Associate Planner to join the Land Use Division.  Current planning and review of discretionary land use applications and development permits is the main focus of the associate planner.  The scope of potential assignments is diverse, varied, grows with experience, and utilizes any specialization or expertise of the planner.   Desired expertise or specialization can include education or experience in environmental science, law, architecture, landscaping, design, geography, or other associated learning or discipline.  Project types will include both residential and commercial and involve simple to complex project management of the review process.  Projects may be subject to special design and environmental requirements that impact the complexity of the project and the review process.  

In addition to development review the work includes consulting with potential applicants regarding possible future development and providing exceptional public service and information on polices, codes, review processes, and project proposals.  The associate planner position requires strong customer service skills in order to engage and collaborate with a very diverse client base and interested public.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Successful candidates will have experience or an interest in land use planning and issues pertaining to design and the environment.  Those with experience with critical areas, shorelines, sustainability, tree preservation, habitat restoration, mitigation, and landscape design are encouraged to apply.  Field work is occasional in this role and most activities involve the review and evaluation of plans and consultant documents and reports. Candidates with strong analytical and technical writing skills and experience presenting technical information to nontechnical audiences are desired. Successful candidates should have experience with the following:

  • Development review and project management predominantly focusing on medium range land use applications and permits for projects that have varying complexities, processes, and interested public.
  • Substantive analysis of discretionary reviews of all types with modest direction from supervisors.
  • Monitoring project review according to pre-agreed timelines.
  • Managing workload to review projects in a timely manner.
  • Coordinating and managing information received from technical reviewers into consolidated documents for transmittal to applicants.
  • Using technical expertise to advise junior staff on complex and politically sensitive projects.
  • Training and coaching junior staff in areas of expertise.
  • Organizing and performing original research and preparation of written findings and recommendations for land use code or policy development.
  • Working closely with senior management on policy development issues.
  • Providing official responses to inquiries from local, state, federal, and tribal entities.
  • Acting as consultant to other departments within city
  • Preparing and making presentations for councils, hearing examiner, boards and commissions, community groups, and private organizations.
  • Engaging in independent routine problem solving, negotiation, and decision-making.
  • Preparing in-depth analysis and written documentation of land use and environmental interpretations, decisions, and determinations with minimal assistance.
  • Working effectively and predominantly with teams of consultants and City staff.

Knowledge of:

  • Applicable codes and policies used in current planning for land use and SEPA review.
  • Comprehensive plan and development review processes.
  • Development review and planning principles, practices, regulations, and techniques as they relate to land use, environmental , or transportation planning.
  • Zoning laws and comprehensive plans including their formation, process of adoption, an enforcement.
  • Local government and political decision-making processes.

Ability to:

  • Read and interpret architectural, civil, and landscape plans and documents.
  • Utilize computer programs created for the benefit of facilitating development services review including permit tracking, electronic plan review, timekeeping, GIS, and other applications.
  • Communicate effectively with individuals, and groups regarding complex or controversial proposals and how the City’s land use and planning policies orally apply.
  • Explain complex code and review processes to architects, contractors, developers, owners, supervisors, employees and the general public.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with other staff, applicants, interested public, and members of state and federal agencies as applicable.
  • Provide in-depth technical expertise in specialized area of planning such as development review, SEPA, landscaping, critical areas, architecture, urban design, or other related areas.
  • Write clear and concise staff reports and communication that is understood by the anticipated audience.
  • Negotiate solutions to development review issues in a collaborative manner.
  • Apply project management techniques to independently coordinate review teams and manage workload ensuring completion of review within established timelines.
  • Develop and implement systems improvements related to assigned body of land use professional project types.
  • Demonstrate leadership by staffing or chairing committees and internal improvement teams

Education, Experience, and Other Requirements:

  • Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a degree in land use planning, urban planning, landscape architecture, environmental studies, or a closely related field; or unrelated field and completion of an accredited professional planning certificate program.
  • A minimum of three years’ experience and comprehensive knowledge of planning principles, practices, and techniques as they relate to all functional areas of land use, environmental impacts, design review or other related areas and must include two years of project management and development review experience.
  • Four or more years’ related professional experience in any of the following is preferred: land use planning, the development process, environmental planning, or urban design.
  • Or, any demonstrated combination of education and applicable experience which provides the applicant with the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Physical Demands:
The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  

  • Work involves walking, talking, hearing, using hands to handle, feel or operate objects, tools, or controls and reach with hands and arms.
  • Vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.
  • The employee may be required to push, pull, lift, and/or carry objects up to 40 pounds.
  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderately quiet.

For more information on this position please contact Reilly Pittman, Environmental Planning Manager, at [email protected] or 425-452-4350.  For technical assistance with the online application contact 855-524-5627.

The City of Bellevue values diversity in its workforce and is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, marital status, genetic information, veteran's status, disability, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state or local laws.

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 February 9, 2023, 1:38 PM PST

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