Job Description

The Whatcom County Planning and Development Services Department is seeking to fill multiple Planner positions within our Long Range Planning Division.

  • One position will focus on developing and implementing growth management strategies, comprehensive plan updates and development regulation amendments. Duties range from routine to complex, requiring incumbents to take initiative, make judgment calls and decisions, based on policies and direction for the projects/processes for which they are assigned. Public outreach, conflict resolution, effective communication, and exceptional writing skills are essential for these positions.
  • Another position will focus on Long Range Planning and have duties and opportunities reviewing current land-use and building applications. The focus of the position will shift over time with the skills of the person selected as well as the needs of the Department. Responsibilities may range from developing and implementing growth management strategies, comprehensive plan updates, and development regulation amendments to managing technical advisory boards and reviewing and processing of development applications.
    Either position may be filled as a Planner I or II depending on qualifications. 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.

Initial Area of Assignment: Long Range Planning

Supervisor: Assistant Director

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

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

PLANNER I: Master Collective Bargaining Agreement – Range 160.0 Requires a Bachelor’s degree in Planning, or a related field, AND one year of increasingly responsible, paid, professional experience.

PLANNER II: Master Collective Bargaining Agreement – Range 180.0 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.

Hiring rate depends on qualifications. This position receives annual pay increases to the next step in the associated salary range (apx. 3.8%) subject to satisfactory performance, in addition to any negotiated Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA). 2023 COLA currently in negotiations.

The ideal candidate will possess:

  • Verifiable experience working on long-range planning projects such as comprehensive or subarea plan development, updates, or amendments; local code amendments; or other legislative development processes.
  • Organizational skills should include solid time management, scheduling, ability to maintain electronic files, and coordinate with multiple committees and committee staff.
  • Ability to develop and/or provide technical review of policies, code, and comprehensive plan amendments.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Demonstrated ability to prepare clear, concise, and accurate technical reports that evaluate, present findings, offer conclusions, and make recommendations related to applications and planning topics.
  • Experience making presentations at public meetings and/or hearings.
  • Skills for at working directly with the public, other County staff, appointed and elected officials 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.

Supplemental Information
For more information about the Planning and Development Services Department, please see their website.

Apply early for first consideration!  First application review date scheduled for February 27th.   Applications will be reviewed and interviews scheduled as applications are received. Recruitment will be suspended once both positions have been filled.

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