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Associate Planner

City of Anacortes

Anacortes, WA United States

To learn more and apply go to: www.anacorteswa.gov

JOB TITLE: Associate Planner

DEPARTMENT: Planning, Community, and Economic Development

REPORTS TO: Planning, Community, and Economic Development Director


PRINCIPLE OF PURPOSE: The incumbent performs a variety of routine and complex technical work in both short and long-term planning and environmental analysis. The Planner may perform site design and plan review. Recommends conditions and/or alternatives to ensure projects are responsive to the emerging needs of the community and consistent with city policies and codes. This position is responsible to provide accurate information to the public, employees of the City and elected officials on many state and local code provisions, official land use maps, the comprehensive plan, and other pertinent information.

LEVEL OF AUTHORITY: This position performs work under the general supervision of the Planning, Community & Economic Development Director (PCED), exercising considerable latitude and judgment in accomplishing defined responsibilities and assignments. The Associate Planner provides assistance to the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer as directed.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: The physical demands and characteristics of the work environment described here are representative of those occurring in the performance of the essential functions of this job. While performing the essential functions of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls; and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to reach with hands and arms and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 20 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to toxic or caustic chemicals, i.e. copier toner. Work is performed primarily in an office, which is busy, oriented to public service and subject to constant work interruption. Employees may work under the stress of continual public and/or inter-departmental contact and pressure to meet deadlines. This position works a regular schedule; however, incumbents may be required to work some evening hours to attend public meetings.


  1. The Planner accepts and analyzes development of applications; processes shoreline permits, conditional use permits and variances; zoning and rezones; development agreements; comprehensive plan amendments; site plans and subdivisions.
  2. Planner prepares staff reports and attends public hearings, as required, before the City Planning Commission and City Council. The position may be required to conduct special land use, land economics, demographic, social and economic studies and review other relevant factors relating to advanced comprehensive planning issues.
  3. The position is responsible for the following technical functions: processing, tracking, analysis and making recommendations for a wide variety of applications for land use and land division permits, analyzing and making recommendations for preliminary and final approval of short plats, boundary line adjustments and over the counter land use permits; routing land use permit applications, conducting field inspections relating to short plats; informing interested parties about public hearings and final actions; and reviewing project plans submitted to assure compliance, preparing staff reports and attending Planning Commission and City Council meetings as needed.
  4. The Planner performs frequent customer service work both on the phone and at the front counter as the initial representative and liaison for the City’s planning department. This position deals with case sensitive and occasionally controversial issues affecting the public, City Council and Planning Commission. The Planner works regularly with diverse groups of people and organizations, including the City Council, Commission members, contractors, environmental agencies, the public and other City employees. The Planner is expected to respond to the public and other inquiries relative to the City’s policies and procedures.


  1. A Bachelor’s Degree in urban planning, public administration, or a related field.
  2. A minimum of three years’ experience in planning, permit management and/or municipal land development, or a combination of equivalent experience and education.


  1. A valid Washington State driver’s license.


  1. Knowledge of City ordinances and codes relating to land use, urban planning, zoning, community development standards, and the environment, to include knowledge of the Washington State Shoreline Management Act, State Environmental Policy Act, Growth Management Act, and municipal land use, zoning, annexation and subdivision statutes.
  2. Knowledge of principles and practices of land use planning and permitting. Basic understanding of public information processes as well as an understanding of the developer or architect. Knowledge of researching methods using a variety of information and data sources.
  3. Knowledge of methods and techniques of effective technical report preparation and presentation. Skill in providing effective customer service; the ability to communicate effectively to the public to explain permit procedures, codes and how to interpret technical information.
  4. General knowledge of office procedures, including effective filing and accurate record keeping techniques.
  5. Knowledge of Microsoft Office products required.


  1. Exercise independent judgment to make decisions about day-to-day issues and activities; interpret and apply policies and procedures to situations; effectively communicate, both verbally and in writing; deal tactfully and courteously with customers, both internal and external; and prepare, maintain and process a variety of documents.
  2. This position requires the ability to interpret, evaluate and apply complex rules and regulations; to conduct research and analysis; and to read and interpret complex grants, maps, permit applications and other public plans. Performs other duties as assigned.
  3. Must be oriented toward community service and be sensitive to the public process.
  4. Ability to read and interpret City plans, permits, maps, and environmental documents.
  5. Strong organizational skills and strict attention to detail and process.
Experience Level
Mid I (1-4 years)
AICP Level
Planning and Land Use Law
Salary Range
$4,887 to $5,500 per month