Principal Planner | Gig Harbor, WA

Employer: City of Gig Harbor
Job Type: Full-Time
Job Number: 20-00005
Division: Community Development Department | Planning Division
Salary: $87,864 - $109,836 Annually
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Opening Date: 07/06/2020
Closing Date: Open Until Filled

Job Description:

Under the direction of the Community Development Director and as a member of the City’s supervisory team, this position is responsible for planning, organizing, directing and supervising the functions of the Planning Division within Community Development Department. The incumbent may have the responsibility for acting as the City Planning Officer, SEPA Responsible Official, and Shoreline Master Program Administrator. Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with contractors, government agency personnel, elected officials, city employees, and the general public. The Principal Planner participates in advanced, highly-complex professional planning activities. The Principal Planner may function as a deputy for the Community Development Director or even serve as Acting Director.

Job Duties:

  • Performs and manages complex and sensitive professional planning projects, research and analysis.
  • Monitors and ensure compliance with local, state and federal laws.
  • Oversees specialized planning functions such as large-scale new development proposals and environmental studies.
  • Provides overall management of division-related planning issues.
  • Advises the Community Development Director on all planning-related matters.
  • Advises various councils, boards, commissions and elected officials in planning-related issues.
  • Serves as liaison and performs all necessary functions in support of Planning Commission.
  • Assigns work to professional staff and ensure appropriate training is provided.
  • Evaluates operations and activities of assigned responsibilities.
  • Prepares reports on operations and activities, recommending improvements and modifications.
  • Provides coaching and mentoring to Planning employees to further the mission of the City.
  • Handles sensitive personnel matters with proper discretion.
  • Participates in budget preparation and administration, monitors and controls expenditures.
  • Attends evening and weekend meetings.
  • Serves as Acting Community Development Director in their absence.
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Community Development Director.



Required Education & Experience


  • Bachelor’s Degree in City and Regional Planning, Urban Planning, Community Planning or closely related field from an accredited college or university; AND
  • Four years of progressively responsible experience as a professional level planner; AND
  • At least two years of professional experience in a supervisory capacity, preferably in the Planning Field.
  • Experience in the principles of design, effective site planning and architectural design are essential.

Preferred Education & Experience

  • Master’s Degree in a relevant field is desirable.
  • Previous experience within a city, county or other municipality.
  • American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) membership.

Knowledge, Skill and Ability:

  • Thorough knowledge of urban planning and development and local government policies and procedures.
  • Thorough knowledge of specialization such as housing, zoning, historic preservation, and economic development.
  • Knowledge of research methods and statistical principles related to urban growth and development.
  • Knowledge and application of methods and techniques of effective technical report preparation and presentation.
  • Knowledge of pertinent federal, state and local laws, codes and regulations including recent changes.
  • Knowledge and application of principles and practices of supervision, training and personnel management.
  • Knowledge of budgeting procedures and techniques.
  • Knowledge of recent developments, current literature and sources of information related to municipal planning and administration.
  • Knowledge of local government procedures and practices.
  • Knowledge and application of citizen involvement techniques and processes.
  • Knowledge and application of computer hardware and software programs, which may include Microsoft Office, Internet applications, econometric or transportation modeling, database management, or GIS.
  • Skill and ability to exercise interpersonal skills including tact, diplomacy, patience, respect, courtesy and discretion in work, including confidential matters.
  • Skilled in innovative, detail-oriented, experienced in highly visible/controversial projects.
  • Skilled in managing multiple, high-priority assignments.
  • Skilled in developing professional working relationships at various levels and to resolve or de-escalate complaints.
  • Skilled in strong analytical skills to interpret research data for reports and apply mathematic techniques in practical situations.
  • Skilled in reading comprehension to understand technical and legal materials and to apply them accordingly.
  • Ability to work on several projects or issues simultaneously.
  • Ability to provide effective coaching, mentoring, supervision and staff management.
  • Ability to manage projects effectively and meet firm deadlines.
  • Ability to effectively present plans, programs and recommendations to the Community Development Director, Mayor, City Administrator, City Council and the public.
  • Ability to contribute to and allow employees to be involved in the City’s Wellness Program, and in achieving the WellCity award.

Supplemental Information:

  • This position will be open until filled. All qualified candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible.  Applications will be reviewed on a weekly basis. 
  • This position is represented by the City of Gig Harbor Supervisor Union.

How to Apply:

Apply Today!