Statement of Duties
The Senior Planner is responsible for professional and technical work in planning, including community planning, land use planning, site plan review, zoning by-law compliance, subdivision plan review, housing, and long-range planning for the community. Employee participates in supporting various boards and commissions; providing technical assistance to elected and appointed individuals; development of new planning procedures; preparing written project analysis; and interfacing with state and regional agencies. Employee is required to perform all similar or related duties
The essential functions or duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various type of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.
General duties applicable to all Divisions:
- Serves as staff to the Planning Board (PB), Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), and/or Historic Preservation Commission (HPC)
- Serves as lead coordinator on various projects, including especially large and complex cases going before the Boards
- Reviews plans, prepares staff reports, and presents information for cases going before the PB, ZBA, and/or HPC
- Researches and analyzes data – particularly Somerville Zoning Ordinance (SZO), SomerVision, and historic property information
- Creates neighborhood plans and/or updates, manages the public process dealing with planning initiatives, and assists with urban design alternatives
- Collaborates on presentations for various city, regional, state and federal agencies
- Develops and recommends ordinance, by-law, and rules & regulations amendments
- Participates in efforts to increase awareness and improve the regulatory process for review of historic preservation projects
- Provides information to public regarding City ordinances, state laws and regulations
- Provides professional and technical administrative approval on City processes and performs analyses to support various city policies, in accordance with local and state regulations
Recommended Minimum Qualifications
Education and Experience: Bachelor’s Degree and seven (7) years’ experience; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job. Master’s degree preferred.
Knowledge, Abilities and Skill
Knowledge: Knowledge of community, action groups, politics (local), neighborhoods and business concerns; considerable knowledge of urban design, civil engineering, architecture and graphic presentation as applied to planning. Considerable knowledge of economic, sociological and environmental aspects of planning; working knowledge of personal computers and GIS applications; thorough knowledge of urban or regional planning principles and practices; thorough knowledge of zoning laws and comprehensive plans including their formation, process of adoption, and enforcement.
Abilities: Ability to organize and direct the preparation of comprehensive research studies, analyze problems, prepare technical reports and formulate recommendations; ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing with architects, contractors, developers, owners, supervisors, employees, and the public.
Skill: Skilled public speaker; excellent customer service, planning and design skills.
The work environment involves everyday discomforts typical of offices, with occasional exposure to outside elements. Noise or physical surroundings may be distracting, but conditions are generally not unpleasant. Employee may be required to work beyond normal business hours in response to attend evening meetings or complete work assignments. When in the field or attending meetings, the environment can be at construction sites and outdoors.