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Senior Planner - East Lansing Planning, Building and Development

City of East Lansing

East Lansing, MI United States

How to Apply
URL: https://www.cityofeastlansing.com/Jobs
Email: HR@cityofeastlansing.com

The City of East Lansing is seeking a Senior Planner to serve in our Planning & Zoning Division.

East Lansing, home to Michigan State University, is a dynamic community of nearly 50,000 people with historic, walkable neighborhoods and a vibrant downtown.  Recently approved and completed projects represent a significant investment in our community across residential, retail, and office projects. Our planning efforts are guided by our Master Plan, which was updated in 2018, and related community vision and plans. 

This is a responsible and professional position within the Department of Planning, Building and Development. This position will report to the Planning and Zoning Administrator and will work regularly with community members as well as the City’s Planning Commission, Historic District Commission, and Zoning Board of Appeals.  The City organization is deeply committed to customer based results, focusing on community needs, equity, and empowerment of staff to accomplish these results.

As a Senior Planner, you will:

  • Prepare clear and accurate written reports and visual presentations which describe the issue to be addressed, the research and analysis conducted, the conclusions reached and recommendations for action.
  • Be a committed advocate for the interests of the public, including residents of the City (permanent or not), elected and appointed officials, development professionals, and others.
  • Provide administrative support to the City’s Planning Commission, Historic District Commission, and/or Zoning Board of Appeals as assigned. This includes staff presentations in public meetings.
  • Identify and assess the costs and benefits of alternative courses of action, and evaluate those against local goals and objectives, applicable codes and regulations and professional planning practices.
  • Consider and develop effective strategies and methods to identify and resolve a variety of community planning and development issues, from the neighborhood to City level.
  • Help develop, update, and maintain the Master Plan and others; and implement strategies and actions to achieve their goals and objectives.
  • Collect and compile data, and perform research as necessary to identify, inform, measure, and forecast planning and development conditions in the City.
  • Research and understand general planning and development trends and practices and actions by other communities to identify those that may be applicable to address local issues and needs. Division staff maintain contact with other area planners.
  • Remain abreast of federal, state, and local regulations, guidelines, procedures and trends, and grants and other funding strategies, related to community planning and development. The Planning & Zoning Division is committed to providing our staff with meaningful opportunities for professional development. Staff regularly attend planning conferences and related events.
  • Support junior staff with understanding and executing division tasks.

Successful candidates for this position will benefit from graduate-level planning education and research. There are substantial opportunities for on-the-job learning, including formal professional development. AICP certification is not required, but desirable.

The City of East Lansing is committed to becoming a fully inclusive place to live, work, learn, visit, and do business. We believe an organization functions at its highest ability when a shared culture is fostered that promotes accepting, respecting, and valuing differences. These include age, income, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, sexual identity, ability, language, family circumstances and cultural backgrounds. We seek individuals who share our commitment to equity and inclusion and reflect the community we serve. 



Bachelor’s degree in urban planning, community development, landscape architecture or a related field;

An ability to:

  • Conduct research, analyze courses of action, and devise strategies to address local planning-related issues.
  • Prepare and present clear reports, verbally and in writing, and logical recommendations for action.
  • Work effectively and professionally with our customers – residents, neighborhood associations, developers, landowners, board and commission members, other City employees, and the general public.
  • Create basic thematic maps depicting zoning and land use, preferably using ArcMap or similar.

Significant experience:

  • Reading, writing, interpreting and applying zoning, land division and other related land use and development regulations fairly and accurately.
  • Reviewing land development applications against applicable codes and regulations, accepted planning and design principles, and community values and objectives.


  • A passion for modern planning opportunities, and desire to bring about positive change.
  • Five or more years of increasingly responsible experience in urban planning preferred, with emphasis on land use regulation and comprehensive planning.
  • Working knowledge and experience with ArcMap and similar software.
  • An interest in historic preservation ordinances and related topics.
  • A master’s degree in planning or a related field.
  • AICP, FAICP, Michigan Citizen Planner, and/or MSU Zoning Administrator Certification.
Experience Level
Mid I (1-4 years)
AICP Level
Land Use and Development Regulation and Zoning
Salary Range
$62,088.78 - $86,987/annual salary

Contact Information

Leighanne Keener
410 Abbot Road
East Lansing, MI
United States
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