Planner II

Employer: City of Bellingham
Job Title: Planner II
Job Type: Planner II with an Emphasis on Design Review
Location: Bellingham, WA
Opening Date: 07/05/2019
Closing Date: 08/09/2019
Salary: $66,480 - $83,352 Annually

Job Description: 

The City of Bellingham currently has one Planner 2 vacancy. The current vacancy's work responsibilities will include a significant emphasis on design review. The Planning and Community Development Department is embarking on an update of the city's design review process and design guidelines. The successful candidate will have experience in design review and need the expertise to contribute to this project. Job duties will mainly include reviewing development proposals for consistency with adopted architectural design standards and code provisions, including interpretation of code and discretionary standards as necessary, but will also include the full range of urban planning duties.

Job Duties:

    • Responsible for the full range of urban planning duties. Includes development of short and long-range plans as well as review, analysis, and recommendations regarding development proposals, plans, and buildings. May have specialty areas of assignment based on education, training, expertise or current departmental work program needs.
    • The Planner 2 classification is the fully trained and experienced level in the Planner series. The Planner 2 classification is distinguished from the Planner 1 classification by its performance of the full range of professional urban planning responsibilities on projects and assignments of considerable complexity requiring exercise of independent judgment. The Planner 2 presents reports to decision making bodies and participates in interdepartmental teams, while the Planner 1 classification focuses on information and assistance to the public and support assignments for the planning process. The Senior Planner classification is distinguished by supervisory responsibility for the work of other planners and management responsibility for specific program(s) or program area(s).
    • Develops and drafts revisions, for supervisor review, of comprehensive plans, including neighborhood, institutional and urban village plans, and other long-range planning documents.
    • Reviews and recommends issuance of land use permits and tracks permit compliance. This may include determining actual and potential impacts of proposals, drafting permits, reviewing permits for compliance with the land use code and tracking the permit through to project completion.
    • Reviews and approves short subdivisions and lot line adjustments.
    • Analyzes and prepares staff reports for comprehensive plan amendments, rezones and land use changes and development regulation changes. Includes holding public meetings, evaluating consistency with adopted policies and plans, evaluating impacts on adjacent properties and the broader community and drafting recommendations for review by supervisor and Director. May also include drafting presentations and presenting materials to recommending and decision-making bodies.
    • Implements the requirements of federal, state and local zoning and environmental regulations and ensures compliance with codes. Determines when violations exist, prioritizing enforcement actions based on threats to health, safety and welfare of the public. Maintains accurate records. Uses enforcement tools to achieve compliance and restoration of damages.
    • Reviews and drafts, for State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Responsible Official, environmental threshold determinations and complex environmental documents for project and non-project actions. Coordinates with local, state and federal agencies. Ensures project compliance with SEPA mitigating conditions. Coordinates with other jurisdictions on programs/plans regarding shared resources and concerns.
    • Responds to public inquiries and assists the public with understanding state and local planning goals, policies, regulations, and implementation measures. Includes preparing written and oral correspondence and staff reports, answering zoning questions, consulting land use code, and conducting research. Prepares and delivers presentations to a variety of neighborhood, community, business and academic groups. Participates in issue- and development-specific neighborhood meetings. Develops informational materials for review and/or use by the public, Planning Commission, City Council, and other decision-makers, boards or commissions.
    • Manages the pre-application process to compile clear and uniform requirements for potential projects. This may include identifying site and project opportunities and constraints; applicable development, design, environmental and other code requirements; and potential review requirements by other agencies.
    • Reviews development proposals for consistency with architectural design standards & code provisions, including interpretation of code and discretionary standards as necessary.
    • Manages the review process for long and short-range plans, large building projects, preliminary and final plats, annexations, street vacations, and similarly complex projects. Monitors building projects and conducts site visits.
    • Prepares reports and recommendations for consideration by Senior Planners, Division Managers, the Department Director, Hearing Examiner, Planning Commission, City Council, and other decision-makers, boards or commissions.
    • Drafts findings, resolutions, ordinances, contracts, agreements, policies, financial sureties, and other legal documents to implement the comprehensive plan and meet federal, State, and local zoning requirements. Makes recommendations on and drafts, for review of Division Manager and Department Director, changes to development codes. Implements and monitors programs and initiatives such as the Multifamily Tax Exemption Program, Town and Gown, Infill Housing Toolkit, accessory dwelling units, habitat restoration technical assessment, and environmental regulations and programs.
    • Drafts design review and planned development permits for residential, commercial, and industrial development. Attends neighborhood meetings. Prepares conditions for permit issuance, including development standards and requirements for specific property, negotiating with applicants and providing recommendations to Senior Planners, Division Managers and the Department Director.


  • Experience and Training
    • Bachelor's degree in urban planning or related field.
    • Three years' experience in planning or related field.
    • Completion of an accredited Master's degree in urban planning or related field may substitute for two years of the experience requirement.
    • A combination of experience and training that provides the applicant with the knowledge and skills to perform the job will be considered.
  • Necessary Special Requirements
    • Some positions in this classification may require a valid Washington State Driver's License and good driving record. Candidates must submit a three-year driving abstract prior to hire.
    • Willingness and ability to frequently attend and participate in evening meetings.

How to Apply:
Apply online