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Senior Planner

City of Avondale

Avondale, AZ United States

OPENING DATE: 08/21/19

CLOSING DATE: Continuous


The City of Avondale's Development and Engineering Services Department is seeking two (2) "can-do" Senior Planners with strong interpersonal, communication, and problem solving skills. This FLSA exempt position is full time with benefits.

This position is open until filled. The first review of applications will occur the week of September 9, 2019

Performs an advanced level of professional and technical city and urban planning work associated with community planning and development. Manage, review and implement both current and long range planning and development projects. The differentiation of this position compared to a Planner position is the emphasis on managing more complex planning assignments and exercising greater independence and judgment. Act as project manager and review development proposals. Provides technical support, information and guidance to property owners, developers, City staff, other City departments, outside agencies, elected and appointed officials, and the general public on adopted ordinances, policies, plans and procedures.


Serves as project manager for planning projects and land development proposals by administering applications, directing consultants and coordinating staff, scheduling meetings and public notifications, planning data research and analysis and mediation with developers. Planning projects include high-profile, economic development-oriented, controversial and sensitive master planned single-family residential communities, commercial and office developments, multi-family residential, and industrial business parks. Reviews plans for compliance and makes recommendations and resolves issues. Coordinates application review process with affected parties including applicant, property owner, developer, City staff, architects, engineers, landscape architects, traffic engineers and legal counsel. Serves as the City's primary point of contact as project manager for the development to other City staff, design consultants, developers and the public on all project-related matters.

Conducts technical site plan review and analysis of preliminary and final subdivision plats, development site plans and construction plans for compliance with City development policies and design guidelines. Conducts design review of site plans, building architectural plans, landscape plans and signage for commercial, industrial, residential, mixed use and other project types. Conducts residential design review for production and custom single-family residential homes and multi-family residential. Conducts field inspections of projects under construction including final site inspection and approval of residential, commercial and industrial development projects.

Prepares various amendments to City documents and processes long range planning functions by gathering, analyzing and presenting data and making recommendations on changes, compiling information on special studies and preparing reports, attending and facilitating action committees, coordinating the review process, preparing surveys and gathering information related to land use. Participate or manage updates to specific plans, design manuals, General Plan, and similar long range planning documents.

Assists in the interpretation and application of City codes, ordinances, regulations, standards, guidelines, policies and procedures pertinent to planning, zoning, land development, land use, and development design proposals. Researches code-related issues as needed and makes new policy recommendations to management.

Evaluates complex land development proposals for Pre-Applications, General Plan amendments, Text Amendments, Rezonings, Conditional Use Permits, Variances, Annexations, land subdivisions and other development requests. Reviews and provides recommendations on Development Agreements and Maintenance Improvement Districts. Formulates staff recommendations and conditions. Schedules legal notifications and public hearing dates. Presents findings and recommendations before the Board of Adjustment, Planning Commission and City Council. Serve as the City's project manager at neighborhood meetings.

Drafts and reviews ordinances and resolutions.  Participates in the preparation and implementation of development policies, design guidelines and code updates.

Conducts meetings with development clientele and City staff to discuss Pre-Applications and project reviews.

Prepares and manages the creation of maps, exhibits, aerial photographs through GIS and Adobe Acrobat, PowerPoint presentations and other visual aids in conjunction with staff reports and presentations before hearing boards.

Coordinates with and acts as liaison with internal groups and committees and external committees.

Schedules and prioritizes work assignments, meets review timelines and prepares review comment and approval letters.

Assist customers with application submittals and processes, research and inquiries.


Bachelor's Degree in Urban Planning or closely related field. Work requires  knowledge of land use principles and concepts and the purposes of land use plans, codes and ordinances. Advanced knowledge of the principles, practices and techniques of planning and development design including architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, site design, traffic engineering, land use compatibility and economic development. Knowledge and experience in construction processes.

Three (3) years of Municipal and/or County experience reviewing and managing the full range of development applications and projects.

Valid Arizona Driver's License

AICP certification desired.


Work requires the ability to read city documents, development plans and cases, laws, maps and agreements.

Work requires the ability to perform general math calculations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and statistics.

Work requires the ability to write reports, amendments and general correspondence. Excellent oral and written communication skills for preparing and presenting planning reports and projects.

Planning responsibilities include serving as project manager for development related projects and coordinating required meetings.

Work requires the occasional direction of helpers, assistants, seasonal employees, interns, volunteers or temporary employees.

Work is governed by broad instructions, objectives, and policies.  Work requires the exercise of considerable initiative and independent analytical and evaluative judgment. Ability to work on several projects or issues simultaneously and have creative problem-solving skills to gather relevant information to solve problems.

The incumbents in this position have daily contact with professional staff in other departments including Engineering, Fire, Utilities, Economic Development, the City Manager's Office, and the City Attorney. These contacts may involve decision making or providing approval or decision-making authority for projects. In addition, these incumbents work with individuals outside the City who may belong to professional or peer organizations.

The incumbent will be a strategic planner with the interpersonal communication skills to be able to build positive working relationships with external stakeholders, developers, and various county, state and federal agencies. Incumbents may also be required to host or facilitate public meetings. Meetings and discussions are routinely conducted with citizens, property owners, developers and their representatives. Employee must maintain regular attendance. Ability to work in a constant state of alertness and safe manner.



Experience Level
Mid II (4-8 years)
AICP Level
Land Use and Development Regulation and Zoning
Salary Range
$67,080.58 - $97,267.91 Annually