Job Description

The Whatcom County Planning and Development Services Department is seeking to fill the position of Planner I or II.  Whatcom County is looking for team members who are passionate about community, innovation, and public service.  The County offers competitive compensation, great benefits, and an amazing quality of life.

This opportunity is in our Long-range Planning Division and will focus on the Conservation Easement Program.  Duties range from routine to complex, requiring incumbents to take initiative, make judgment calls and decisions, based on codes, policies, and direction.  Conflict resolution, effective communication, and excellent technical writing skills are essential for this position.

This position is fully funded by the Conservation Futures Fund for the Conservation Easement Program (CEP) administration and staff support for the CEP Oversight Committee. Work will focus on the public, advisory committees, land trust, and other planning staff to carry out the objectives of the Whatcom County Conservation Easement Program.  The program includes the protection of farmland, forestland, and important ecological areas.

Key duties include:

  • Lead the conservation easement acquisition process in coordination with property owners, land trust, oversight committee, and grant agencies.
  • Apply for and administer the program’s grants, including Federal and State grants.
  • Manage the program budget and contracts; provide periodic reports and updates to the County Council and County Executive.
  • Implement program outreach to landowners, including farmers, forest owners, conservationists, and the general public.
  • Serve as staff liaison for the Conservation Easement Program Oversight Committee, with duties including the preparation of the agenda, recording minutes, correspondence, and other administrative duties as needed.
  • This position may be filled as a Planner I or II depending on qualifications.

Initial Area of Assignment:  Long Range Planning – Conservation Easement Program

Supervisor: Assistant Director

Hours of Work: Monday – Friday 8 AM – 5 PM

For more information please review the job descriptions:    Planner I    Planner II

The Planning and Development Services Department seeks  team members who are passionate about community, innovation, and public service.  The County offers competitive compensation, great benefits, and an amazing quality of life.


PLANNER I:  Requires a Bachelor’s degree in Planning, or a related field, AND one year of increasingly responsible, paid, professional experience.

PLANNER II:  Requires a Bachelor’s degree in Planning or a related field AND three years of increasingly responsible, paid, professional experience INCLUDING at least 2 years of professional experience in area of assignment with in the last 5 years.

  • A Master’s degree in a related field can be substituted for up to six months of experience.
  • Experience with permit tracking software, presentation software, geographical positioning systems and geographic information systems is preferred.
  • Knowledge of ecological systems similar to Whatcom County is preferred.
  • Knowledge of and experience working with local and state governments and agencies is preferred.

The ideal candidate will possess:

  • Clear written and verbal communication skills.  The ability to use excellent communication and interpersonal skills to coordinate efforts among a large variety of groups, agencies and individuals.
  • Grant management experience.
  • Experience preparing and presenting contracts and conservation easements.
  • A proven ability to provide excellent and timely customer service and technical assistance to groups and individuals both inside and outside the department responding to a full range of inquiries.
  • Experience working in partnership with advisory committees and other agencies.
  • Public outreach experience.
  • Agricultural experience; specifically working with farmers.
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to prepare clear, concise, and accurate technical reports that evaluate, present findings, offer conclusions, and make recommendations.
  • Experience making presentations at public meetings and/or hearings.
  • Skills for working directly with the public, other County staff, and State and Federal agencies.

At its sole discretion, Whatcom County may consider combinations of education, experience, certifications, and training in lieu of specifically required qualifications contained herein.

Job Overview