SENIOR PLANNING SPECIALIST
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is advanced work in a planning specialization such as community development, environmental planning, land use, and transportation planning. Contacts include the County Executive, legislative officials and senior staff, and department/agency directors, to advise and recommend strategies for policy implementation; State and other County agencies to cooperate on joint projects or discuss issues of mutual interest; and developers, corporate executives, representatives of non profit organizations, and university leaders to present program information, and develop solutions to growth and development problems affecting various sectors of the public. Employees in this class provide little or no direct public service or assistance.
An employee in this class oversees a major segment of an overall planning area or subdivision of County planning program (e.g., community block grant program, Moderately Priced Dwelling Units program, transit planning, pedestrian/bikeways, recycling program, noise control, quarry licensing) which, because of the size or nature of the program, can be performed by a specialist, either directly or by guiding and monitoring the activities of consultants performing studies on specific policy/planning areas. Some employees may supervise the work of a staff; however, this is atypical of the class. The supervisor sets the overall objectives and available resources, and the employee and supervisor jointly establish the projects and deadlines. The employee independently plans and carries out all aspects of comprehensive plan formulation or project execution including devising programs to implement plans and measures to evaluate effectiveness in reaching goals. The employee advises higher level management of potentially controversial matters or far reaching implications in plan development or project execution. Completed work is reviewed in terms of the plan's adequacy or the project's effectiveness in achieving program objectives. Guidelines are scarce and consist of administrative policies and applicable codes and regulations which the employee uses in directing the work of consultants carrying out planning studies, projects and programs. The complexity of the work is characterized by the performance of a variety of duties involving a wide range of planning processes such as analyzing housing or environmental conditions, and researching social or transportation issues involving conflicting public and private interests. The work requires making assessments on current conditions amidst changing political and social circumstances. The work requires developing planning policy recommendations and program evaluation criteria that affect the delivery of major County services and functions. The work is primarily sedentary, performed in a normal office environment, and is not associated with any unusual hazards or physical demands. The majority of employees in this class do not have supervisory responsibilities.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Monitors and guides the activities of consultants conducting major studies to define planning system components or carrying out projects to implement planning objectives such as streetscaping, performing needs analysis for public facilities, and conducting feasibility studies of alternative transportation modes.
Presents testimony and represents the County Government at County Council meetings, Council Committee work sessions, citizen advisory committee meetings, and other public hearings and meetings providing technical expertise on assigned planning area.
Analyzes proposed Federal, State or County legislation/regulations affecting planning specialty area to determine their impact on planning program and recommend support, opposition or modification of such laws/ regulations.
Reviews the work of staff engaged in the compilation and analysis of data and trends in the assigned planning area.
Develops position papers and policy analyses; conducts research, feasibility studies, and cost-benefit analyses; and develops plans and strategies for assigned planning areas.
Performs related duties as required.
Community Development Planning:
Develops plans, strategies, and procedures concerning the establishment of public facilities and services and implements policies through such programs as commercial revitalization, Moderately Priced Dwelling Units, Federal programs, community development block programs, housing rehabilitation programs, affordable housing programs, public safety, and human and social service delivery systems.
Develops comprehensive commercial revitalization plans and strategies, including scope and direction of project with regard to economic, legislative and zoning constraints.
Directs the planning, design and implementation of County developed and managed housing projects including development of housing program goals, solicitation and selection of developer, negotiation of land sales agreement, approval of settlement papers, coordination of zoning changes, and monitoring of construction for conformance with contract requirements.
Plans, develops and implements improvements in the public right of way in a central business district and coordinates these efforts with major private sector developers working in the same area.
Monitors contracts and memoranda of understanding with governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations and municipalities to provide public services and improvements as part of a coordinated community development effort.
Devises housing planning and development assistance activities for facilitating the provision of low and moderate income housing through utilization of new construction, rehabilitation, acquisition or subsidy provision strategies.
Develops policy recommendations and implements projects dealing with water supply and sewerage systems; stormwater management and stream restoration; solid and hazardous waste management; waste recycling; noise control and quarry licensing.
Reviews and tracks Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) Capital Improvements Projects (CIP) for water and sewer work related to rural sanitation for cost effectiveness, technical adequacy, performance, and public acceptability.
Establishes and maintains County stream water quality monitoring program, coordinating such efforts with State and regional agencies by conducting or monitoring water quality planning studies carried out by consultants.
Directs the collection and analysis of surface water, groundwater, potable water, and wastewater samples to determine compliance with public health and environmental standards.
Investigates and monitors enforcement of requirements of Noise Control Ordinance in the County and provides guidance, interpretation, and recommendations on noise control issues.
Administers quarry licensing procedures and enforces requirements.
Reviews local building codes and standards for provisions that inhibit conservation and the use of renewable energy systems, and recommends changes which will encourage conservation and use of renewable energy.
Land Use Planning:
Coordinates and facilitates the development of planning policies to ensure the
orderly and staged implementation of approved master plans in accordance with State and local laws and integrates the requirements of the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance with the Capital Improvement Program.
Evaluates master plan, zoning ordinances and subdivision regulation amendments for consistency with Executive policies in such areas as housing, transportation, fiscal soundness, and impact on the County's development.
Obtains comments of departments/agencies on a variety of planning issues and develops a recommended Executive Branch position for consideration by the Planning Policies Committee.
Analyzes and develops recommendations on land use impacts of water and sewer category changes, capital project planning of various departments, surplus land disposition, private sector development proposals and other issues relating to master plans.
Prepares agenda items for deliberation by Interagency Planning Committee and special task forces established to consider planning policy matters.
Develops elements of Annual Growth Policy outlining the major goals for County development covering all areas including housing, transportation, public facilities and services, environmental, etc.
Develops and evaluates specific transportation policies and strategic plans, and implements policies through projects in such areas as highways, parking, mass transit, road maintenance, aviation, sidewalks and bikeways, and transportation system management and financing.
Plans and develops all bus routing and service frequencies, and schedules for Metrobus and Ride On including budgetary analysis, coordination with local officials, citizen groups, and other governmental agencies.
Directs transportation's CIP submissions including developing project descriptions and answering questions raised in the review and approval process by OMB and County Council.
Performs traffic forecasts for highway projects under design.
Directs comprehensive computerization of complex scheduling functions, including headway development, operator run cutting and multi layered formatting of intricate information for operational control and for public use.
Plans and coordinates with appropriate government agencies or private property owners the location of all bus stops, shelters, and terminal stands.
Experience: Thorough (5 years) experience in a planning specialization appropriate to the assignment of the position.
Education: Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Bachelor's degree in an appropriate planning specialization or related field.
Equivalency: An equivalent combination of education or experience may be substituted.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Thorough knowledge of the principles and practices of the planning specialization appropriate to the assignment of the position.
Thorough knowledge of the methods of statistical analysis and skill in interpreting numerical research data.
Thorough knowledge of how communities, as a whole, and their component systems function and develop.
Considerable knowledge of the rules, regulations and procedures of contract administration.
Skill in oral and written communication sufficient to develop defenses of, and justifications for, recommended courses of action.
Skill in project management and supervision of technical studies.
Ability to deal tactfully, effectively and equitably with people.
Ability to attend meetings and perform work assignments at locations outside the office.
LICENSE: (Applies to some Senior Planning Specialist positions in the
Department of Housing and Community Affairs):
Building Performance Institute (BPI) Certification: Failure to possess a valid BPI Certification within 3 months of employment will result in termination.
Individuals appointed or promoted to a bargaining unit position in this class will be required to serve a probationary period of six months. Individuals appointed to a non-bargaining unit position in this class will be required to serve a probationary period of twelve months, or if promoted to a non-bargaining unit position, will be required to serve a probationary period of six months. Performance will be carefully evaluated during the probationary period. Continuation in this class will be contingent upon successful completion of the probationary period.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL: Medical History Review
Class Established: August, 1967
Revised: October, 1971
August 1995 (M)