Town Planner Job Description

The position of Town Planner, also known as Assistant Planner, is a municipal position within professional planning. A bachelor's degree is required, and a master's degree is preferred. The Planner should hold a certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) or be able to obtain such certification. This position works independently and reports to the Director of Community Development.

Typical Functions

v  Develops planning studies and reports in support of new and updated plans, programs and regulations

v  Reviews and coordinates departmental reviews of development proposals and site plans for conformance with codes, plans, and regulations

v  Staffs the Planning Board and prepares and presents detailed reports on development proposals to the Planning Board and other government bodies

v  Collects a variety of statistical data and prepare reports and maps on topics such as census information, land use, tax base data, and occupancy rates

v  Evaluates or assists in the evaluation of rezonings, ordinance amendments, site plans, special use permits, variances and other proposals

v  Acts as liaison between community groups, government agencies, developers and elected officials in developing neighborhood, transportation, natural resource and similar plans

v  Coordinates community review of public and private development projects

v  Provides information to the public regarding development regulations

v  Assists in resolving citizen and customer issues

v  Oversees the work of consultants and interns

v  Conducts field evaluations and assessments

v  Attends irregular number of evening and weekend meetings

Typical Knowledge

  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of planning
  • Knowledge of a relevant specialization such as transportation, land use, or affordable housing is desired
  • Knowledge of principles and practices of research and data collection
  • Knowledge of effective writing techniques
  • Statistical, algebraic, or geometric knowledge and ability to apply such knowledge in practical situations
  • Knowledge of computer hardware and software programs, which may include Microsoft Office, Internet applications, and GIS


Typical Skills

  • Oral communication and interpersonal skills to explain rules and procedures clearly to the public
  • Creative problem-solving skills to gather relevant information to solve vaguely defined practical problems
  • Ability to review plans and apply provisions of the ordinances and codes to determine compliance with such regulations and to apply regulations to field conditions
  • Ability to create graphic designs, development strategies, and render site plans via sketches and/or computer graphics desirable.
  • Ability to work on several projects or issues simultaneously
  • Ability to work independently or in a team environment as needed
  • Ability to attend to details while keeping big-picture goals in mind

Minimum Qualifications

Town Planner positionrequires a bachelor's degree in urban planning, architecture, public policy, or related area of study in addition to one year of planning experience. As there are exceptions to every rule, experience can create an enormous amount of education. In the end, Town Planners need to demonstrate that they have the knowledge necessary to practice sound planning, regardless of the source of the education.

Physical Demands and Working Environment

The conditions herein are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions.

Environment: Work is performed primarily in a standard office setting with some outdoor exposure and travel from site to site; exposure to all types of weather and temperature conditions; work schedule of a salaried position, attend evening and occasional weekend meetings, and travel out of town to attendworkshops, conferences, and seminars.

Physical: Primary functions require sufficient physical ability and mobility to work in an office setting; to stand or sit for prolonged periods of time; to occasionally stoop, bend, kneel, crouch, reach, and twist; to lift, carry, push, and/or pull light to moderate amounts of weight; to operate a vehicle to travel from site to site; to walk development sites, neighborhoods, and other town settings; to operate office equipment requiring repetitive hand movement and fine coordination including use of a computer keyboard; and to verbally communicate to exchange information.

Vision: See in the normal visual range with or without correction.

Hearing: Hear in the normal audio range with or without correction.


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