Director of Planning and Community Development

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SUMMARY Plans, organizes and directs the general operation of planning, community development and code enforcement services, including the preparation and administration of the budget; acts as the City’s representative on committees and councils; acts as a municipal liaison with developers, owners and the public; administers long-term and current property planning and maintenance codes through the effective and efficient employment of planning and code enforcement teams; ensures the proper application and compliance with the applicable municipal code.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following: The Director of Planning and Community Development is a highly visible and senior staff position. This position reports directly to the Mayor.

Responsibilities involve interacting with the public, guiding applicants, supporting and guiding the Planning Commission, reporting to City Council, and informing the general public. Staff relations involve close coordination with city engineering, public safety and utility departments.

Duties include zoning and development code review, subdivision review, and various studies that affect the growth of the city. The position assists in updating or revising zoning, subdivisions, signage and other planning related regulations. This position assists city and staff attorneys in gathering adequate information to prepare resolutions and ordinances for city council. This position also contributes to the City of Bentonville’s community development programs. Hard work attendance and the ability to get along with the public, supervisors and co-workers are essential elements of this position. The person in this position is expected to have the big picture for the City and also handle the detailed planning work on a day-to-day basis. Reporting relationships, work assignments and work schedules may change to meet City needs or operational requirements. Other missions may be assigned.

This position serves as a technical and professional advisor to the Planning Commission, City Council and other councils and committees on matters relating to planning, zoning and property maintenance. He sits on the Regional Planning Commission, the Affordable Housing Task Force, and the Traffic, Safety, and Signage Committees. Service on additional tips can be assigned.

  • Coordinates the effective use of interdepartmental resources and assets in implementing the City of Bentonville’s overall plan and other duties as assigned by the Mayor.
  • Supervises and manages staff in the Planning, Community Development, and Code Enforcement divisions, including overseeing and preparing annual departmental budgets. Assume full responsibility for the management of all services and activities of the Planning, Code Enforcement and Community Development Department, including all planning and code enforcement activities of the City, as well as the development, administration and implementation of the comprehensive city plan; recommends and administers policies and procedures.
  • Oversees problem solving and crisis management for planning, community development and code enforcement. Encourages cross-departmental communication and establishes a basis for staff to problem-solve and openly dialogue.
  • Selects, trains, motivates and evaluates the staff of the Department; provides or coordinates staff training; works with employees to correct deficiencies; apply discipline and dismissal procedures.
  • Manages the development and implementation of service goals, objectives, policies and priorities for each assigned service area; establishes, within the framework of City policy, the appropriate levels of service and staffing; allocate resources accordingly.
  • Consults with the mayor on special projects and other duties assigned to planning, community development and code enforcement.
  • Plans, directs and coordinates the work plan of the Department; meets with management personnel to identify and resolve issues; assigns projects and areas of responsibility; reviews and evaluates work methods and procedures.
  • Presents reports to the planning commission and the municipal council; reviews plans with department heads and utility companies; oversees the preparation of reports for the Planning Commission; and oversees the maintenance of records of Planning Commission decisions.
  • Reviews planning projects to ensure compliance with planning and zoning.
  • Oversees the development and maintenance of the overall plan; coordinates with city and staff attorneys to conduct planning research; receives public input and establishes goals and objectives; develops and selects alternative solutions; reports on the effectiveness of land use programs, utilities, transportation, solid waste, public protection, recreation, housing and social services.
  • Develops and oversees special projects and state/federal grant projects; assistance in updating the city’s mapping system.
  • Acts as a liaison with local government, regional, state and federal agencies; provides planning, zoning and property management assistance.
  • Develops and reviews plans for capital projects.
  • Oversees city programs and planning for community developments such as; but limited to: Affordable Housing, Trees and Landscape Committee, Great Neighborhoods Program, City Taxi Program, Adopt-A-Street Program, Historic Preservation, etc.
  • Helps ensure the orderly and safe development of communities and neighborhoods throughout the City of Bentonville.
  • Provides citywide citizen communication to disseminate information about planning, community development and code enforcement projects and processes.
  • Help coordinate and participate in City speaking engagements on behalf of this department.
  • Continuously monitors and evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures for the Department; assesses and monitors workload, administrative and support systems and internal reporting relationships; identifies opportunities for improvement; leads the implementation of changes.
  • Technical knowledge of GIS software and eTrakit for planning use and code application. Manages and coordinates consistent departmental training for this software.
  • Performs other related duties as required.

OVERSIGHT RESPONSIBILITIES

Manages two (2) junior supervisors who supervise a total of 10 employees in the planning and code enforcement departments. Is responsible for the general direction, coordination and evaluation of these units. Assume supervisory responsibilities in accordance with organizational policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring and training employees; plan, assign and direct work; assess performance; reward and discipline employees; handle complaints and solve problems.

EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE

Master’s degree (MA) in urban planning or equivalent and ten years of related experience and/or training; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Knowledge of principles, practices. and planning methods for administration and legislation; including forecasts and feasibility analysis; and knowledge of Geographic Information System. AICP certification. Excellent people skills.

LANGUAGE SKILLS

Ability to read and understand codes, specifications, legal descriptions and maps. Ability to respond effectively to the most sensitive inquiries or complaints. Ability to write speeches and articles using original or innovative techniques or style. Ability to deliver effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on controversial or complex topics to senior management, public groups and/or boards of directors.

MATHEMATICAL SKILLS

Ability to apply advanced mathematical concepts such as quadratic equations. Ability to apply mathematical operations to tasks such as frequency distribution, determining test reliability and validity, and sampling theory.

THE CAPACITY OF REASONING

Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret a wide variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and to deal with multiple abstract and concrete variables.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

The physical demands described here 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 people with disabilities to perform essential functions.

In performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to use his hands to finger, manipulate or feel; reach with hands and arms; and speak or hear. The employee must frequently stand, walk and sit. The employee must sometimes climb or balance; stoop, kneel, squat, or crawl; and taste or smell. The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 10 pounds, frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include near vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus.

WORKING ENVIRONMENT

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters in performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable people with disabilities to perform essential functions.

In the performance of his duties, the employee is occasionally exposed to outside weather conditions. The noise level in the working environment is generally moderate.

This job description should not be construed as exhaustive. It aims to identify the main responsibilities and requirements of this job. Incumbents may be asked to take on job-related responsibilities and duties other than those set out in this description, but commensurate with similar levels of responsibility.

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