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Job Detail

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Location: City of Manhattan | Manhattan, KS | COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT | CD/ADMINISTRATION
Job Status: Full-Time
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Job Description

Senior Planner-Current Planning          

Hiring Salary Range:  $60,000.00 - $80,000.00  DOQ

(Regular Full-Time Exempt)

 Closing Date:  First review of applications beginning April 7, 2017.  Open until filled.  

To apply, please complete the online application and upload a letter of application and resume with references. 

Directs all aspects of Current Planning by supervising the implementation of adopted plans through applicable City Codes, Ordinances, Policies and Regulations, and by directing the planning and zoning, and development review process.


1. Must possess considerable working knowledge of the principles and practices of urban planning and the planning process. (Daily)
2. Must possess considerable working knowledge of zoning, floodplain, and subdivision regulations and policies, and accurately administer them on behalf of the City.
3. Must be able to effectively communicate in the English language, both in oral and written form with the general public and other staff members, using proper grammar, punctuation and spelling. (Daily)
4. Ability to effectively use computer technology in the preparation of studies, reports, maps and presentations, including GIS, power point, word processing and spreadsheets. (Daily)
5. Ability to exercise independent judgment in evaluating completeness and accuracy of development applications, legal notices, staff reports, memos, and planning studies. (Daily)
6. Ability to utilize knowledge of urban planning to analyze planning and zoning issues, develop alternative solutions and exercise good judgment in addressing problems and developing recommendations. (Daily)
7. Ability to prepare visual aids and make public presentations in a competent and professional manner. (Weekly)
8. Knowledge of principles and practices of supervision to effectively direct activities of the Current Planning staff. (Daily)
9. Ability to read and interpret planning maps, subdivision plats, legal descriptions, building elevations and site plans. (Daily)
10. Physical ability to maneuver over rough terrain to perform site analysis in adverse weather conditions. (Weekly)
11. Must possess and maintain a valid Kansas driver’s license. (Daily)


The position reports to the Assistant Director for Planning, who reports to the Director of Community Development, who reports to the City Manager. Reporting to the incumbent are the Planner and Zoning Inspection Officers.

The Community Development Department of the City of Manhattan is one of eight departments under the City Manager's Office. The Community Development Department includes the Planning Division functions as well as administrative and grant functions. The Community Development Department and Planning Division are located in City Hall.

The Planning Division is responsible for all current and long range City planning. This includes updates to the Comprehensive Plan to guide future growth. This may be done by in-house staff or through contracts with professional consulting firms, using accepted planning methods and principles. Plans are implemented through the Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Regulations and other City codes and ordinances.

The Senior Planner-Current Planning works closely with the Manhattan Urban Area Planning Board and other City Departments in the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan through the Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Regulations and other City policies and ordinances. The incumbent also works with members of the development community and the public to facilitate the review of planning and zoning, and development proposals. The incumbent, at times, uses innovative and new methods to resolve planning and zoning issues. The incumbent is in a very visible position to assist the public through the planning and development review process. In this, the incumbent must work with many diverse groups and within state and city regulations to facilitate the planning process and coordinate the planning objectives of the city. The incumbent receives direction from the Director and Assistant Director.

The incumbent acts as a liaison to the Manhattan Urban Area Planning Board by preparing professional recommendations for Board action, preparing packets and agendas for Planning Board meetings, and preparing cover memos and background information for planning items that are proceeding to the City Commission for final action. The Senior Planner must assure that reports are of the highest quality to ensure that the Planning Board and the City Commission have the information needed for making decisions in the community’s interest. The Senior Planner also serves as the Floodplain Administrator by coordinating with local, state and federal agencies to ensure that development complies with applicable requirements and that accurate records are maintained, and conducts Community Rating System (CRS) activities as needed to educate the public and boards about floodplain regulations and policies.

Challenges of this position are working with the Manhattan Urban Area Planning Board and various other groups and departments to achieve orderly growth. This is accomplished with a high degree of citizen input and within accepted principles and practices of planning. Other challenges include the generation of innovative concepts to address planning and development issues, staying abreast of statutory changes, and developing revisions to zoning, floodplain and subdivision regulations as needed.

Performance in this position is reflected by how well organized and coordinated the Current Planning Division operates and how well the City's plans and policies are communicated to the public. Performance is also reflected in relations with the public and development community.

General duties and responsibilities assigned to the Senior Planner-Current Planning:
1. Demonstrates effective leadership in planning, organizing and coordinating the Current Planning activities of the Division, through implementation of the Land Use Plan and coordinating objectives with the Manhattan Urban Area Planning Board and other City Departments.
2. Demonstrates effective communication skills, both verbally and in writing, with many diverse individuals and groups, developers, consultants, other staff and the public.
3. Demonstrates effective communication to keep the Assistant Director for Planning informed and up-to-date on planning and zoning applications, development proposals, and zoning administration and enforcement activities.
4. Assures a competent and well motivated staff by assisting with their selection and directing their training and on-going development.
5. Facilitates orderly growth by reviewing and evaluating annexation, zoning and subdivision applications, and development proposals to insure they are consistent with applicable City Plans and Policies.
6. Supervises the implementation of zoning, floodplain and subdivision regulations to insure they are consistent with adopted City Plans and Policies.
7. Contributes to collaborative and cooperative inter-divisional and intra-departmental relationships to promote cohesive teamwork.
8. Insures that planning and development proposals are acted on in an expedient and efficient manner, by demonstrating effective time management skills to provide early review of applications for completeness, advertising and preparing clear public notice, analyzing proposals and developing accurate and complete staff reports and appropriate recommendations, to insure that Boards and the City Commission have the necessary information for action.
9. Uses innovative methods to address and resolve unusual or unique development issues.
10. Works in tandem with Long Range Planning efforts to ensure that adopted plans are realistic and able to be implemented.
11. Promotes a positive, professional image of the City and Division to the general public.
12. Performs the duties of the Floodplain Administrator and coordinates activities with local, state and federal agencies as needed.
13. Ensures that zoning, floodplain and subdivision regulations are in conformance with applicable state and federal statutes and are updated to implement changing policies and desires of the community.
14. Directs the Zoning Inspection Officers in performing inspection and enforcement activities to insure that private property conforms with applicable planning and zoning regulations and conditions of approval.
15. Acts as liaison to the Manhattan Urban Area Planning Board, prepares packets and agendas for Board meetings, and City Commission cover memos.
16. Develops creative and effective methods to promote a high degree of citizen engagement and maintains a very visible role in facilitating the development review process through public forums.
17. Ensures timely communication with the public and development community regarding City plans and policies.
18. Demonstrates ethical and professional conduct in adherence to the Ethics Policy adopted by the City of Manhattan and the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
19. Other duties assigned by the Assistant Director for Planning.

The ability to work courteously and effectively with the public, Advisory Boards and other City staff. Considerable knowledge of the principles and practices of urban planning, planning law, and zoning, subdivision and floodplain regulations. Ability to comprehend complex projects and develop solutions/opportunities to solve problems in a creative and effective manner. Ability to think quickly and communicate complex oral and written instructions to peers and subordinates, and convey planning concepts to the public. Must have good listening skills.

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in planning, urban design, architecture, public administration or a related field. Master’s degree in urban planning or a related field is preferred. Minimum four years public planning experience, with at least two years of supervisory experience.

Possession of, or ability to obtain, certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

Required Knowledge:
Computer software applications including word processing and spreadsheets. Proficient knowledge and skills in utilizing Geographic Information Systems.

• Ability to read and comprehend written materials.
• Ability to read and comprehend maps, architectural drawings and site plans.
• Ability to analyze planning issues and develop appropriate alternatives and recommendations for a given situation.
• Ability to listen and apply information and instructions.
• Ability to compose business correspondence, staff reports and memos, and proofread to provide written communications that are accurate, grammatically correct and punctuated properly.
• Ability to communicate verbally to citizens and adjust to a given audience.
• Ability to supervise and direct subordinates.
• Ability to apply applicable mathematical and analytical tools/concepts.
• Ability to utilize architectural and engineering scales.

Machines/Equipment Used:
Personal computer    Digital Camera    Motor vehicle

Physical/Mental Demands/Working Conditions
Must be able to maneuver over rough terrain to perform site analysis.
Must be able to cope with stress brought about by dealing with deadlines, controversial issues and numerous competing interests.
Must be mentally alert, highly organized and able to perform in a very professional manner at all times.
Must be able to exercise independent judgment in evaluating completeness and accuracy of technical information.
Must be able to logically analyze situations and develop creative solutions to problems.
Sedentary work.
Sits for prolonged periods of time.


Minimal supervision needed.
Provides supervision to the Planner, Zoning Inspection Officers and Planning Intern.