Preservation Planner

City of Madison - Planning Division
Madison, WI
United States
Professional Areas: 
Urban Design
$67,192.06 - $80,752.62 Annually

The Opportunity

The City of Madison's Planning Division seeks an individual with a strong preservation planning background and excellent communication skills.  The Preservation Planner is primarily responsible for administering the City's historic preservation planning program, which includes developing plans and policies, administering the Historic Preservation Ordinance, and providing primary staff support to the Landmarks Commission.  The position serves as the City's expert on historic preservation issues and advises various City agencies, commissions, and the Common Council on such matters.  The position also is the City's liaison to neighborhood and preservation organizations, the development community, and other groups and individuals on historic preservation issues.  The position involves some limited day-to-day leadership for technical and other planning staff.
The City of Madison is currently creating its first ever Historic Preservation Plan to guide future work in this area.  This is an exciting opportunity to lead the expansion of Madison's preservation program.  If you are interested in working in a collaborative and challenging environment, please consider applying to become part of this team.  The City of Madison Planning Division is committed to promoting inclusion and an equitable work environment.   Bilingual, bicultural and people of color are encouraged to apply.

 As a member of the Planning team, members are expected to:

  • Support and promote collaborative efforts to achieve mission requirements.
  • Infuse racial equity goals and principles into all aspects of operations.
  • Promote teamwork.
  • Communicate openly and candidly.
  • Participate fully in discussions.
  • Employ techniques for problem solving and decision making


 Examples of Duties and Responsibilities:

Staff the Landmarks Commission

  • Meet and consult with applicants regarding proposals to maintain, alter, demolish, or redevelop historically significant properties.
  • Research and analyze proposals and prepare staff recommendations to the Landmarks Commission.

Administer and Revise the Historic Preservation Ordinance

  • Process applications for minor alterations, including meeting with property owners, architects, contractors, developers, alders, and others applicants.
  • Create new local historic districts and guidelines, and revise guidelines for existing districts as necessary.
  • Work with the City Attorney's Office, Building Inspection Division, and other City agencies to enforce the Ordinance.

Develop and Implement Preservation Plans and Policies

  • Oversee the completion of the Historic Preservation Plan and lead the implementation of its recommendations.
  • Educate community groups and others on the history of Madison, including the histories of underrepresented communities.
  • Educate policymakers at all levels, City staff, and other organizations on the benefits of historic preservation and advocate for a prominent role in City decision making as appropriate.
  • Conduct research and surveys on the historical background of properties to determine their historical significance and propose preservation measures as appropriate.

Provide General Planning Support and Participate in Other Division and Citywide Projects

  • Advise on preservation elements of the City's Comprehensive Plan, subarea plans, and development proposals.
  • Provide design support as needed on projects such as the Facade Improvement Program, Neighborhood Grant Program, and City building projects.
  • Participate in other Planning Division or Citywide efforts as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Four years of professional planning, architecture, or urban design experience including two years of historic preservation.
  • Graduation from an accredited college or university with a degree in Historic Preservation, Architectural History, Archeology, Architecture, Urban Planning, Urban Design, or a related degree.


If an applicant does not possess the experience listed above, HR will review the application materials to determine if the applicant possesses the following equivalent experience: 

Four years of experience applying the following:

  • Theories, principles, and practices of applicable land use, community planning, and urban design theories, principles and practices.
  • Reviewing development drawings such as site plans, floor plans, building elevation drawings, signage plans and similar development drawings.
  • Knowledge of and ability to use computer software applicable to the duties of the position.


Two years of experience applying the following: 

  • Theories, principles, and practices of historic preservation.
  • Development controls such as ordinances, laws, design guidelines, and approval standards.


The City of Madison strives to provide exceptional customer service to all its citizens and visitors.  Therefore, successful candidates will have demonstrated ability to work effectively with multicultural communities.

For a complete list of the knowledge, skills and abilities, please view the Planner 3 class specification.

Special Requirements:

Ability to meet the transportation requirements of the position.

Physical Requirements:

Incumbents must be able to physically access and inspect construction sites throughout the City.  In addition, incumbents will be expected to attend meetings and provide presentations outside the normal work schedule, including evenings and weekends.

*The payroll title is Planner 3.

Published on:
August 3, 2018 - 9:24am
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