Coastal Planner - CREST

Coastal Planner

Employer: The Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce (CREST)
Job Title: Coastal Planner
Location: Astoria, OR
Opening Date: 02/01/2019
Closing Date: 02/22/2019
Salary: Depending on qualifications

Job Description: The Coastal Planner is responsible for current planning and development review services for CREST member jurisdictions and other local governments that contract with CREST for current planning services. The Coastal Planner is also responsible for assisting lower Columbia River and surrounding Pacific Coastal communities with development and implementation of long range, regional, and special planning projects.

Job Duties: Essential functions include current planning, partnership building; planning project development; grant writing and securing funds for identified projects; and planning project management.The Coastal Planner will develop and manage current and long-range planning projects in collaboration with local governments and other partners. The Coastal Planner assists local governments in obtaining funding and technical assistance, managing planning processes, and coordinating resources and stakeholders to implement development plans. Plan implementation takes a variety of forms and may include plan or code writing, program development, ecological restoration, or other public works or construction projects, among others.The Coastal Planner will manage plan processes to ensure that agency partners are capable of providing robust public processes that include both a broad spectrum of the public, and marginalized populations or segments of the public that have been traditionally underrepresented in public decision-making. The Coastal Planner is responsible for serving partner agencies in at least the following subject areas:

  • Current planning
  • Floodplain management
  • Comprehensive planning
  • Shorelines and coastal planning
  • Coastal hazard resilience
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Parks and trails planning
  • Local government land conservation and restoration
  • Drinking water source protection
  • Regional dredge material management

Specific duties will include:

  • Conduct current and long-range planning activities.
  • Maintain positive relationships with local and regional government agencies and CREST member jurisdictions.
  • Secure grant and contract funding to implement identified projects.
  • Implement current planning for CREST member jurisdictions and other local governments with Inter-Governmental Agreements with CREST.
    • Prepare staff reports and present oral reports to inform decisions by local planning commissions; County/City commissions and councils.
    • Perform technical review of zoning/development/subdivision applications.
    • Inspect new and existing developments for compliance with conditions of approval and development regulations.
  • Assist CREST member jurisdictions in the implementation of community development projects.
  • Perform other duties as directed.

Secondary Functions: The Coastal Planner position will also include the following functions: Developing relationships with local agency staff and funding agencies; organizing and synthesizing information; writing reports; making policy, regulatory, and programmatic recommendations as requested by partner agencies; grant writing; giving presentations;attending public meetings; facilitating open houses, workshops, and committee meetings; preparing state and federal permit applications for public projects;conducting field investigations for development and restoration projects, conducting dredge material sampling, permitting, and reporting.The Coastal Planner is also responsible for developing and implementing opportunities for inter-jurisdictional collaboration and regional planning among local, special purpose, state and federal agencies and for finding opportunities for partners to accomplish multiple community goals simultaneously.

Job Scope: The Coastal Planner is a part-time, hourly position, working 32 hours per week. The position has the potential to grow into a full-time position as the Coastal Planner is able to work with local jurisdictions to secure new land use planning contracts and grants.The position will typically work collaboratively with other CREST staff and members and other local jurisdictions and governmental agencies. The position is supervised by the CREST Director.

Supervisory Responsibility: This is not a supervisory position.

Interpersonal Contacts: The Coastal Planner will have contact with CREST Council members, staff and colleagues on a daily basis, will interact regularly with personnel from local jurisdictions and state and federal agencies, and will also have contact with the public.


  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, customer service, and time management skills.
  • Entrepreneurial, with a strong ability develop projects and to source and secure project funding.
  • Organizational and problem-solving skills to manage a work load with multiple deadlines.
  • Excellent writing abilities as well as proficiency with PC based word processing,spreadsheets, and basic GIS skills.
  • The ability to be a team player and to work collaboratively with a wide cross section of people is essential as the Coastal Planner will interface with CREST staff, member jurisdictions, local, state and federal regulators, developers,contractors and diverse segments of the public.
  • The ability to identify opportunities to assist local jurisdictions and see them through from conceptualization through planning and implementation.
  • Ability to review complex development plans and proposals for conformance with applicable development regulations with limited supervision; plan and organize work to meet deadlines; work independently and as part of a team;communicate effectively in written, oral and graphic formats.
  • Ability to effectively prioritize and resolve problems and maintain effective working relationships with local jurisdictions, stakeholders, agencies and partners.

Education and/or Experience: 

  • A Bachelor’s degree in a related field (e.g. planning, geography, marine sciences,public administration, or related field) is required and a graduate degree in a related field is preferred.
  • Two to five years planning experience.
  • An understanding of both Oregon and Washington planning laws and regulations; knowledge of coastal and estuarine environments, laws and regulations governing estuarine and coastal resource management; and experience working on short and long-range planning projects.
  • Experience creating and implementing public participation strategies
  • Experience managing projects.
  • Experience securing funding for projects through grants and contracts.
Supplemental Information: This position requires working both independently and with all staff members of CREST in an office setting. Must possess a driver’s license. Occasionally required to walk on uneven terrain and perform field work in inclement weather. Must be available to staff evening meetings in client jurisdictions up to 1.5 hours from the CREST office, typically two to four days per month. Must be able to commit to regular office hours one to two days per week in client jurisdiction offices up to 1.5 hours from the CREST office.

How to Apply: Please submit a CREST employment application form (available on the CREST web site), cover letter, and résumé to [email protected]