Director of Planning and Community Development

CIty of Redmond
Redmond, WA
United States
March 6, 2017
Professional Area: 
Community Development
Experience: 
5-7 years
Salary Range: 
117,540-165,420

About the Community

Redmond is a vibrant city in the Seattle metropolitan area with a population of over 60,000. It has two urban centers, Downtown and Overlake, and offers a variety of businesses and established neighborhoods nestled amidst a picturesque natural setting that offers forested hills and mountain views. Portions of the City border Lake Sammamish, with waterfront areas along the Sammamish River.

As the Puget Sound area’s fifth largest employment center, Redmond boasts over 87,000 jobs and is home to several corporate headquarters, including Microsoft and Nintendo of America.  Major industry clusters include technology, aerospace, new space, interactive media, and digital arts.

The City’s population is diverse and relatively young with a median age of 33.2 as of the 2010 census. The award-winning Lake Washington School District serves the majority of Redmond’s neighborhoods.

There are a variety of attractive places to live in Redmond, with choices spanning urban settings in Downtown and Overlake, where new residential and civic developments are contributing to the area’s vibrancy and interest, to more traditional neighborhoods such as Education Hill. Redmond’s recreational system includes three recreation centers, a pool, more than 40 miles of trails, and over 1,300 acres of parklands.

Residents describe their community as one that is complete, offering a wide range of services, opportunities, and amenities. Redmond’s high quality of life, cherished natural features, mix of employers, shops, and restaurants, and overall character are a result of the community’s evolution that has successfully woven the small town feel of older, established neighborhoods with the energy and vitality of Redmond’s urban centers. People are friendly, often meet others they know, and feel comfortable and connected. As home to people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, diversity and innovation are embraced, and action is taken to achieve community objectives, all contributing to the richness of the City’s culture.

City Government

Redmond’s vision is a community of connected neighborhoods with two vibrant urban centers – inspired by nature, powered by innovation, and committed to excellence. Its mission is to deliver on the community’s priorities in support of a dynamic Redmond where all can live, work, play, and invest. Redmond values: commitment to service, integrity, and accountability.

The City is governed with the strong mayor form of government. The Mayor serves as the full-time Chief Executive. Seven Council members and the Mayor are elected at-large for four-year, overlapping terms. The Mayor’s immediate staff includes two Deputy City Administrators and seven Department Directors, including the Director of Planning and Community Development.

The City of Redmond has 654 regular employees and a biennial budget of $679 million for operating and capital expenses. A majority of City employees have recognized collective bargaining rights and are represented by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Redmond Police Association (RPA), the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), and the Redmond City Hall Employees Association (RCHEA).

Department of Planning and Community Development

The Department of Planning and Community Development works to:  develop long range land use and transportation plans; partner with citizens to promote community and environmental quality and public safety; review new developments and enforce codes to ensure City and Washington State laws are followed; and serve as a catalyst to build community partnerships in human services.  With a total of 76 employees, the Department consists of two divisions:  Community Planning (Long Range Planning, Transportation Planning, and Human Services) and Development Services (Development Review, Inspection, and Engineering; Permitting; Construction Inspection; and Code Enforcement).

A majority of staff are engaged in development review, funded primarily by fees for service, with some specific tax support.  Other department planning staff update plans and codes and focus on neighborhood redevelopment planning for two of the City’s dynamic employment centers, Overlake and Downtown.  Human Services staff guides Community Development Block Grant allocations, along with City tax-funded contributions to human services programs.

Planning staff provide technical support to a Planning Commission, which makes policy and code recommendations to the Mayor and City Council.  Staff also supports a Design Review Board that makes final determinations on architecture and landscaping for all commercial and multifamily buildings. 

City planning is guided by the State Growth Management Act, Shoreline Management Act, and Environmental Policy Act.  City staff work closely with state agencies, both in policy and plan development, and permit review.  All divisions are involved in regional collaborative partnerships.

Duties and Responsibilities  Redmond’s Director of Planning and Community Development is responsible for ensuring the City moves forward in achieving its vision, contributing to overall leadership of the City as a member of the Directors Team, and overseeing effective and efficient Department activities. The incumbent provides expert guidance, advice, and counsel to the Mayor, City Council, Directors Team, and departmental staff on community development and land use. The Director is responsible for the development and implementation of City procedures and practices relating to land use, community planning, and community service programs. 

In addition the Director is responsible to:

  • Develop current and long range strategic plans
  • Implement and update the Comprehensive Plan to advance the Community’s vision, and measure and report progress via community indicators
  • Work jointly with Public Works to address the City’s transportation challenges and align capital plans with the City’s vision and priorities
  • Establish and implement work-plan initiatives in support of the Mayor’s and Council’s goals and objectives
  • Comply with the City and Department’s mission of delivering high-quality service to the public in permitting and all other functions
  • Preserve the City’s natural systems and beauty of the community
  • Continue the principles and values of a community-oriented government, which ensure Redmond is a safe, enjoyable, friendly, and interesting place to live, work, play, and invest
  • Maintain and upgrade all administrative, technological, and supporting systems
  • Coordinate and evaluate all departmental budget and fiscal matters

Challenges and Opportunities

  • Redmond has strategically invested and leveraged regional funds to ensure a safe, well-maintained city, improve transportation choices and mobility, and support economic vibrancy in its two urban centers, Downtown and Overlake. With the passage of the ST3 ballot measure, Sound Transit's East Link light rail extension project will bring high-quality rail transit to Downtown and Southeast Redmond by 2024, in addition to service starting at two stations in Overlake in 2023. The City of Redmond is coordinating closely with Sound Transit during design, construction of light rail, and land use around the station locations. The next Director will oversee the transformation of the Overlake Village area to a vibrant and walkable urban village with jobs, housing, and retail. Transit-oriented development, including over 1,000 new homes, ground-level retail, and a 274-room hotel, are now in design or under construction within a half-mile of the future Overlake Village light rail station.
  • Housing conditions have a direct impact on Redmond’s quality of life. Redmond residents place a high value on having a safe and comfortable place to live—a home that is affordable and conveniently located within an attractive neighborhood. These factors must be considered when planning for housing needs to support the City’s sustainability principles and ensuring that Redmond’s high quality of life is maintained.
  • As a city enriched with valued natural features, the next Director will be responsible for creating an actionable environment and energy plan that accommodates new growth, yet preserves cultural and natural resources.
  • The City of Redmond is dedicated to continuous improvement and building and sustaining a LEAN culture. The next Director will continue to foster innovative ideas and streamline operations to provide meaningful value for customers and the community.

The Ideal Candidate

The City of Redmond is seeking a Director of Planning and Community Development who is committed to building vibrant communities with a variety of housing and transportation options. This critical role requires a talented and unifying leader to translate the big picture vision and goals into realistic plans with effective and well-coordinated project implementation. The Director should be a visible leader, able to not only embrace but to forward Redmond’s vision.

To be successful, candidates should possess the following key characteristics:

Leadership:

  • Inspiring, Courageous, Leadership: Ability to inspire, build trust, persuade, engage, speak directly about complex planning and community development issues, make tough decisions, and take difficult actions. Display balanced thinking that combines analysis, wisdom, experience, and perspective. Produce data-driven decisions that withstand the “test of time.”
  • Strategic Vision: Ability to influence, articulate, and translate the vision and goals for building a vibrant community into tactics that are realistic and effective.
  • Creativity and Innovation: Ability to generate innovative and visionary approaches to problem solving that are effective and responsive.
  • Build a Talented, Effective Staff Team: Hire, mentor, develop, retain, and manage a diverse staff. Assemble and reinforce a cohesive, dedicated, and highly effective interdisciplinary team. Ability to lead team through change processes.
  • Business and Management Acumen: Ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically. Bring innovative approaches and solutions. Streamline and remove processes that do not bring value. Measure success based on results. Set high standards of performance, using accountability measures and benchmarks to track progress.
  • Flexibility: Manage effectively in a rapidly changing environment while staying focused on priorities.

Constituent Relations and Collaboration:

  • Partnering: Build alliances and collaborate across boundaries to build strategic relationships with other City departments, outside agencies, various levels of government, and private interests.  Bring diverse leaders together to discuss and resolve regional planning and community development issues and break down traditional silos. Inspire action without relying solely on authority. Listen skillfully. Perceive the complexity of situations quickly.
  • Drive External Communications and Relationships: Develop and nurture mission-critical relationships with labor, the media, business, political leaders, neighborhood groups, advisory groups, and the public.
  • Interdisciplinary Approach: Effectively manage and integrate multiple disciplines, including technical, operational, planning, and policy development.
  • Cultural Competency: Focus on racial equity and social justice in ways that enable positive working relationships in diverse communities and cross-cultural situations.

Desirable Qualifications

The City is looking for an individual with strong leadership skills who has significant experience working in planning and community development within the public sector. Successful candidates will have a bachelor’s degree and at least five (5) years progressively responsible management experience. A master’s degree and American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification is an advantage.

Total Compensation

The City of Redmond offers a salary of $117,540 to $165,420 depending on experience. A competitive program of Employee Benefits exists including participation in the Municipal Employee’s Benefit Trust (MEBT); a high-yield supplemental retirement program; participation in the Washington State Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) with both plans having a five-year vesting schedule; and no social security contribution. Department directors are granted 21 vacation days on January 1 each year and receive an additional six days of administrative leave annually (both are prorated the first year). Redmond self-insures for medical, dental and vision benefits. The opportunity to live and work in a “world class" community and the ability to enjoy the overall benefits of living in the Pacific Northwest make this an outstanding career opportunity.

Application Process

Persons Interested in this position should submit the following information:

  • Cover letter
  • Salary history
  • Current resume

If you have questions regarding this announcement, please call Marissa Karras at 360.956.1336.

This position will remain open until filled. In order to be considered for the first round of interviews, please submit your application materials to marissa@karrasconsulting.net by March 6, 2017.

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