Planner III / Senior Planner

Planning Job Descriptions

The Planner III or Senior Planner most often requires advanced professional planning experience of high complexity and variety. Some functions are similar to those of the Planner II level, though the Planner III often leads or is significantly involved with larger, more complex planning assignments. Planners at this level exercise greater independence and judgment, receiving general supervision from senior management. The Planner III may supervise the Planning Technician, Planner I or II, depending on the structure of the organization.

Typical Functions

  • Performs advanced professional work related to variety of planning assignments
  • Manages complex planning studies, development applications and reviews consultant proposals
  • Reviews and processes complex comprehensive plan amendments, rezonings, annexations, site plans, plats
  • Develops project budgets, administers bidding process, verifies contract expenditures and compliance
  • Conducts research and prepares statistical reports on land use, physical, social & economic issues
  • Provides professional planning assistance to member communities on varied land use projects
  • Develops transportation plans, studies and analyses on regional basis
  • Works in regional program areas relating to natural/water resources planning, community development, hazard mitigation, coastal zone management and others
  • Performs field inspections to gather data relevant to the development review process and/or to verify that development projects comply with approved plans
  • Schedules and conducts meetings with advisory boards and elected officials
  • Presents reports and other findings to staff, planning and zoning boards and commissions, and elected officials and serves as liaison
  • Attends substantial number of evening and weekend meetings
  • Supervises more junior planners within organization

Typical Knowledge

  • Advanced knowledge of the philosophies, principals, practices & techniques of planning
  • Well-developed knowledge of one or more planning disciplines, such as land use planning/zoning, transportation planning, environmental planning, urban design, housing, historic preservation or economic development
  • Knowledge and experience in construction processes
  • Knowledge of principles, methodology, practices of research and data collection
  • Knowledge of effective writing techniques
  • Knowledge of computer programs and applications, which may include Microsoft Office, Internet applications econometric or transportation modeling, and database management
  • GIS programs and applications

Typical Skills

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills for preparing and presenting planning reports and projects
  • Excellent interpersonal skills for facilitating relationships with elected/appointed officials or other decision-makers
  • Creative problem-solving skills to gather relevant information to solve less well- defined planning problems
  • Group facilitation skills for use with community workshops
  • Ability to work on several projects or issues simultaneously
  • Ability to provide effective supervision and staff management
  • Ability to manage projects effectively and meet firm deadlines
  • Ability to facilitate in-person and virtual public participation activities

Minimum Qualifications

The Planner III, or Senior Planner, requires a master's degree in planning or related field and four years of professional planning experience. Organizations may accept candidates possessing a bachelor's degree in planning or a related field and six years of professional planning experience. Supervisory experience may be required or preferred. AICP Certification is preferred.

Updated May 2021