Principal Planner - Planning Department

La Plata County   Durango, CO   Full-time     Education
Posted on September 13, 2022







JOB SUMMARY: Under minimal supervision, supervises and participates in advanced, highly-complex professional planning activities including the processing of development proposals and supervision of staff. The Principal Planner may function as a deputy for the Planning Director.

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS: Essential functions may include any of the following tasks, knowledge, skills and other characteristics. The list that follows is not intended as a comprehensive list; it is intended to provide a representative summary of the major duties and responsibilities. Incumbent(s) may not be required to perform all duties listed, and may be required to perform additional, position-specific tasks. Reasonable accommodations, as defined under the American with Disabilities Act, will be made when possible Carries out supervisory responsibility in accordance with County policies, procedures and applicable laws including; interviewing, hiring and training, planning, assigning and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems. Performs and manages complex and sensitive professional planning projects, research and analysis in accordance with County policies, procedures and applicable laws. Monitors and ensures compliance with local, state and federal laws. Oversees specialized planning functions such as large-scale new development proposals and environmental studies. Administers and supervises the requirements and activities of the permit system including all project scheduling, record maintenance, project review, public notices, preparing of agendas, and developing staff reports. Performs special studies and project management including: meeting with project applicants, describing submittal requirements, reviewing submitted applications for completeness, analyzing submittals against existing regulations and guidelines, conferring with outside agencies regarding concerns, needs and requirements; meeting with neighboring property owners, preparing analysis and presenting projects to Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners with recommendations. Advises the Planning Director on all planning-related matters. Advises various councils, boards, commissions and elected officials in planning-related issues. Serves as liaison and performs all necessary functions in support of Planning Commission. Assigns work to professional staff and ensures appropriate training is provided. Evaluates operations and activities of assigned responsibilities. Prepares reports on operations and activities, recommending improvements and modifications. Assists in budget preparation and administration, monitors and controls expenditures. Attends substantial amount of evening and weekend meetings. Represents the County on a variety of committees and boards. Performs other related duties as assigned; and as deemed appropriate and necessary by the Director Regular and predictable attendance is required.

MATERIAL AND EQUIPMENT USED: General Office and Computer Equipment Vehicle

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED: Education and Experience: Master's degree from an accredited four-year college or university in Planning or a related field; and, Six or more years of progressively responsible experience. Any combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Licenses and Certifications: • AICP certification preferred. • Valid Driver’s License.


Knowledge of: Rural and urban planning and development and local government policies and procedures. Planning specializations such as transportation, housing, zoning, historic preservation, and economic development. Research methods and statistical principles related to urban growth and development. Methods and techniques of effective technical report preparation and presentation. Pertinent federal, state and local laws, codes and regulations including recent changes. Principles and practices of supervision, training and personnel management. Budgeting procedures and techniques. Recent developments, current literature and sources of information related to municipal planning and administration. Local government procedures and practices. Citizen involvement techniques and processes. Computer hardware and software programs, which may include Microsoft Office, Internet applications, econometric or transportation modeling, database management, or GIS.

Skill in: Using tact, discretion, initiative and independent judgment within established guidelines. Analyzing and resolving office administrative situations and problems. Managing multiple, high-priority assignments. Researching, compiling, and summarizing a variety of informational and statistical data and materials. Organizing work, setting priorities, meeting critical deadlines, and following up assignments with a minimum of direction. Applying logical thinking to solve problems or accomplish tasks; to understand, interpret and communicate complicated policies, procedures and protocols. Using mathematics. Communicating clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing. Planning, organizing, assigning, directing, reviewing and evaluating the work of staff. Selecting and motivating staff and providing for their training and professional development. Preparing clear and concise reports, correspondence and other written materials.

Ability to: Maintain strong interpersonal skills to develop good working relationships at various levels and to resolve complaints. Read, analyze and interpret professional periodicals and journals, technical procedures and government regulations. Speak effectively before public groups and respond to questions. Work with mathematical concepts such as probability and statistical inference. Solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands: Work is performed in a normal office environment with some exposure to outdoor temperatures or dirt and dust. The incumbent's working conditions are moderately quiet. Primary functions require sufficient physical ability and mobility to work in an office and setting; to stand or sit for prolonged periods of time, to occasionally stoop, bend, kneel, crouch, reach, and twist; to lift, carry, push, and/or pull light to moderate amounts of weight; to operate office equipment requiring repetitive hand movement and fine coordination including use of a computer keyboard; to speak and hear; to travel to other locations using various modes of private and commercial transportation; to verbally communicate to exchange information. While performing the essential functions of this job the employee is occasionally required to lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Salary $85-90,000/year DOE Full Time with medical, dental, vision, retirement, 39+ paid vacation/holiday days, 13+ paid sick days & paid parental leave benefits.

Application Deadline 4 pm 10/21/22.

We are an equal opportunity employer.