Principal Planner

Alexandria, VA
$72,528.30 - $97,154.20 Annually
Apr 17, 2019
Apr 17, 2019
Full Time
Principal Planner

The City of Alexandria is located in northern Virginia, bordered by the District of Columbia (Potomac River), Arlington, and Fairfax counties. With a population of approximately 150,000 and a land area of 15.75 square miles, Alexandria is the seventh largest City in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Alexandria has a charming waterfront and is a unique and historic place to live and work. About one-quarter of the City's 15.75 square miles have been designated as a national or local historic district. We proudly embrace our rich history and seize the opportunities that lie ahead. If you are interested in working for the vibrant City of Alexandria, we invite qualified candidates to apply for this Principal Planner position.

An Overview
The Principal Planner position is located in the Historic Preservation Unit of the Department of Planning & Zoning (P&Z) and is primarily responsible for supervising and managing a team of professional planners supporting the Board of Architectural Review through the application of the local historic district regulations, providing technical preservation and architectural assistance to property owners, and promoting historic preservation initiatives throughout the City, as well as conducting ongoing community outreach to the public. The Planner in this position will work with the Historic Preservation Manager to manage work assignments within the Unit, which typically handles the review and approval of over 500 Certificates of Appropriateness (COA) annually.

What You Should Bring
You should be highly motivated with strong written and oral communication skills. You should be able to apply design review and preservation planning principals to new construction in a historic context and provide team supervisory experience that positively motivates employees to achieve work goals. This Planner must have a talent for closely working with others in a collaborative team environment. The ability to manage multiple projects concurrently is critical. Excellent customer service and analytical skills are also required.

The Opportunity
  • Provides direction and oversight of junior staff with respect to the daily operations of the Unit including administrative tasks, communicating with the public, processing COA approvals and applications, and reviewing permits;
  • Provides direct supervision of interns and volunteers by assigning tasks and projects, mentoring, providing research direction and reviewing completed projects;
  • Manages complex, multi-faceted and long-range redevelopment projects;
  • Prepares presentations and staff reports on complex historic preservation, urban design and planning projects/initiatives;
  • Represents the P&Z's position at public hearings before the Board of Architectural Review, Planning Commission and City Council and at other public and community meetings;
  • Manages special projects and studies, including directing the work of a team or group of planners or other staff, from within and outside P&Z to include contracting consultants, preparing schedules, administering project budgets;
  • Responds to complex historic preservation inquires and requests for interpretations or determinations;
  • Provides design review expertise for appropriate additions, alterations and infill development;
  • Provides training to the Board of Architectural Review;
  • Participates in outreach activities to educate the public about the City's built environment and preservation-related initiatives; and;
  • Performs related work as required.

About the Department
P&Z works closely with the community in each area of the City to carry out City Council's Strategic Plan for vibrant, amenity-rich neighborhoods, protected historic resources, and vital local businesses. With the community as our partner in developing neighborhood plans and reviewing proposals for development projects and businesses, we continue to deliver on the Vision we have developed together.

Minimum & Additional Requirements

Four-Year College Degree; at least five years of progressively-responsible experience in urban or transportation planning and management of large-scale urban projects, and completion of college-level courses in urban planning, transportation or transit planning, public administration, engineering, geography, or a related field; or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities.

Preferred Qualifications

Minimum requirements listed above. Master's Degree in Historic Preservation, Architecture, Architectural History, Urban Planning or closely related field and six or more years of experience, including two or more years of direct management experience within the field of Historic Preservation. American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) membership or a similar architecture certification; proactive team leadership skills; technical knowledge of the preservation of historic structures; significant knowledge of construction methods, documents and materials; and strong analytical skills.


This position requires the successful completion of pre-employment background checks, to include but not limited to a criminal background screening.

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