Planning Director

Town of Duxbury Duxbury, MA $62900.00 to $102536.00 per year

Position Title:  Planning Director

Department:  Planning

Grade: 8 Personnel Policies, Management Provision

FLSA Status: Exempt- Full-Time, Benefit eligible 

Reports to:  Town Manager

Accountability Objectives:  The Planning Director (“Planning Director” or “Employee”) manages, directs and administers municipal land use planning, zoning, and subdivision control programs within the Town of Duxbury (“Town”) as delineated by state statute and Town Bylaws and Zoning Bylaws.  The Employee recommends, prepares, and implements policies, programs, plans, and studies needed to guide short-range and long-range planning and land use challenges and opportunities for the Town.  Oversees the day-to-day operations of the Planning Board (“Board”) and Planning Department (“Department”), and directly supervises Department personnel and contracted consultants.

1. Nature of Work:  The Planning Director is the Town’s principal professional advisor and resource on planning and development issues, providing technical expertise and professional techniques for the Board and the Town by performing professional and administrative duties in planning, organizing and coordinating the Town’s planning, land use and community development functions and activities and assisting in the development and maintenance of a functional and attractive residential community by implementing the Zoning Bylaws and by initiating and reviewing projects.  Particular Town land use goals are identified in the Comprehensive Plan and Open Space and Recreation Plan, including climate resiliency planning and the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Plan and Hazard Mitigation Plan, which are the responsibility of the Department.  Planning must be holistic, focused on sustainability and resiliency, sensitive to the history of the Town’s growth and character, with the recognition that because Duxbury is essentially “built-out”, development will require creative adherence to the best principles of secondary growth.  To achieve these goals, the employee must possess detailed knowledge of current land use tools and best practices, and the commitment and ability to employ them innovatively and in keeping with Duxbury’s historic development and character.  Requires excellent communication skills, a desire and ability to work collaboratively with elected officials, appointed Town committees, and other Town departments.  Support the Town’s community-based planning approach and needs to understand the essential practices of community outreach.  Employee is required to perform all similar or related duties.

2. Supervision Received:  Employee works under the direct supervision of the Town Manager, coordinates with the Board Chair, and is guided by the Board, in their primary responsibility, to direct and administer the Town’s planning programs, working from general goals discussed with the Board and Town Manager, as well as organizational policies and objectives, as well as short- and long-range plans and objectives for the Department.  Establishes personnel performance standards and assumes direct accountability for the results of the Department.  Employee consults with the Town Manager where clarification, interpretation, or exception to organizational policy may be required.  The Employee exercises responsibility for the development of Department policies, procedures, goals objectives and operating budgets.  The Employee is expected to attempt to resolve conflicts that arise and coordinate with others as necessary.

3. Supervisory Responsibility:  The Employee is accountable for the direction and success of programs.  Analyzes program objectives, determines work operations, estimates and allocates the financial and staff resources required.  Oversees the personnel function of the Department including recommending hiring, training, and disciplining of employees.  The Employee supervises at least one administrative assistant and oversees the work, job direction, tasks and instruction to the Department employee(s), and is accountable for the direction and success of planning programs.  Analyzes program objectives, determines work operations, estimates and allocates the financial and staff resources required.  Oversees the work of outside consultants working on Town projects, regularly coordinating their activities with the various boards and other Town departments as needed, as well as community partners or with neighboring communities.  Regular grant application and reporting, state program reporting for grant qualification, and coordination with state agencies is necessary.

4. Confidentiality:  Employee has regular access to confidential information of the Department and Town, including personnel records, lawsuits, client and Department, and Town records such as bid documents.  Confidentiality must be maintained regarding this information in accordance with Departmental Policy, Public Records Act, and all other applicable statutes, regulations, and policies.

5. Accountability:  Duties include Department-level responsibility for technical processes, service delivery, and oversight and development of municipal-wide planning goals and objectives and fiscal responsibility for the Department, including Department equipment and staffing utilization.  Consequences or errors, missed deadlines, or poor judgment could severely jeopardize Department operations or have adverse public relations, jeopardize programs, extensive financial and legal repercussions to the Town.

6. Judgment:  Work is performed based on administrative or organizational policies, general principles, legislation, or directives that pertain to a specific department or functional area.  Extensive sound judgment is required to develop new or adapt existing methods and approaches for accomplishing objectives or to deal with new or unusual requirements within the limits of the guidelines or policies.  The Employee is recognized as the Department of functional area’s authority in interpreting the guidelines, in determining how they should be applied, and in making recommendations for operating policies, standards, or criteria.

7. Complexity:  The work consists of employing many different concepts, theories, principles, techniques, and practices relating to the planning field.  Assignments typically concern such matters as studying trends in the field for application to the work; assessing services and recommending improvements; planning long range projects; and devising new techniques for application to the work.

8. Nature and Purpose of Public Contact:  Employee has constant interactions with local, state, and federal government officials, community leaders and many other individuals to protect and promote the Town’s overall interest.  Employee must possess a high degree of diplomacy and sound judgment.  Duties require a well-developed sense of strategy and timing in representing the Town and Board effectively in critical and important situations that may influence the well-being of the Town and Board.  Excellent communication and customer service skills are required involving courtesy, tact, and diplomacy with the public and public officials.

9. Essential Functions:  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 logical assignment to the position.

a. Serves as technical advisor and provides regular support to the Board, Historic District Commission, Economic Advisory Committee, Alternative Energy Committee, Sidewalk and Bike Path Committee and Highway Safety Committee and other Town boards/committees as directed by the Town Manager or Board by preparing reports and recommendations and serving as the liaison between the Town and/or Board and the public, developers and other Town boards and commissions. 

b. Regularly provides information to the Town Manager, Duxbury Affordable Housing Trust, and consultants working for the Duxbury Affordable Housing Trust related to housing supply and housing policies of the town and state; the Duxbury Sea Wall Advisory Committee, Fiscal Advisory Committee, Finance Committee, Metropolitan Area Planning Council (“MAPC”) and Old Colony Planning Council (“OCPC”).

c. Administers existing land use regulations falling under the authority of the Board under the provisions of state statute, Town Bylaws, and Town Zoning Bylaws.

i. Supervises processing and adjudication of development and other applications filed with the Board.

1. Reviews and analyzes the applications, site plans, and other materials submitted by applicants.

2. Seeks, coordinates, and evaluate Town engineering, and other Town department reviews involved in the application review process, assuring that all commitments and deadlines are met.

3. Conducts follow-up site and other inspections to ensure compliance with decisions and regulations and coordinate with contracted engineers for same.

4. Provides feedback and make recommendations to the Board concerning applications.

ii. Works with Town land use and enforcement officials and Town Counsel in reviewing the effectiveness and applicability of Town Bylaws and Zoning Bylaws and in enforcing zoning regulations, subdivision regulations.

iii. Attends all Board meetings.  Establishes and posts the agenda for Board meetings and hearings and assembles supporting materials in a complete and timely manner.  Oversees preparation of Board meeting minutes, and drafts, and solicits comments from the Board to finalize decisions, bonds, covenants, and other legally-binding documents.

d. Develops and initiates planning and zoning policies and regulatory programs, addressing planning and land use issues in a manner consistent with state law, Town Bylaws, Zoning Bylaws, Subdivision Rules and Regulations, and land-use planning objectives.

i. Sets planning program goals and objectives in adherence to Board policies and priorities, and consistent with planning initiatives and goals outlined in the Town’s Comprehensive Plan, Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness, Hazard Mitigation and Housing Production Plan in order to identify, evaluate, regulate, and protect the Town’s assets and resources.

ii. Assists the Board in its review, preparation, and presentation of proposed new Zoning Bylaws and amendments to the existing Zoning Bylaws and its conduct of public hearings in connection with such for consideration by Town Meeting and with consultation by other boards and agencies, as appropriate.

e. Assists the Board in making recommendations and developing proposals for consideration by the Town regarding land use.

i. Monitors and anticipates trends in land development and use patterns and issues not only within the Town, but also within neighboring towns and the surrounding region.

ii. Coordinates and participates in activities of Town Development Review Teams by coordinating, scheduling and attending meetings and reviewing and commenting on preliminary developer-submitted site plans, zoning requests, and development agreements.

iii. Keeps apprised of legislation or other actions affecting local planning programs and land use, keep the Board, Town Manager, and appropriate Town officials informed about such outside developments, and recommend change as directed by the Board.

f. Provides guidance and direction for the Town, and attends meetings for: (1) Economic Advisory Committee; (2) Historic District Commission; (3) Duxbury Affordable Housing Trust and its consultants; (4) the Alternative Energy Committee; (5) Sidewalk and Bike Path Committee; (6) Highway Safety Committee, as well as other committees on an as-needed basis, such as (7) the Sea Wall Advisory Committee; (8) Duxbury for All; (9) Finance Committee; (10) Selectboard, (11) Open Space; (12) Historical Commission.  The Director should have extensive knowledge of and appreciation for the principal tenets of historic asset preservation: identification, evaluation, registration, and protection.

g. Serves as the Town’s Floodplain Administrator consistent with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) requirements and coordinating directly with these agencies and reviewing all building permit applications with respect to compliance and correct documentation of floodplain information on plans.

h. Serves as the Town’s designee on the Old Colony Planning Council and Metropolitan Planning Council – voting, submitting requests for Direct Local Technical Assistance (“DLTA”), representing the Town.

i. Serves as the Town’s designee for administration of applications to the Transportation Improvement Program (“TIP”) and maintenance and oversight of project status and implementation once in the TIP, attending regular meetings of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (“MPO”).

j. Serves as the Town’s designated contact and/or portal administrator for state funding programs including: (i) Complete Streets; (ii) Green Community; (iii) Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness; and (iv) Community Compact.

k. Represents the Board’s policy positions and decisions before Town officials and departments, private developers, citizen groups, the public, and state and regional agencies.  Responds on behalf of the Board to these parties’ inquiries concerning land use regulations and Town planning matters.

i. Provides information and senior-level technical expertise to Town officials and departments, private developers, community groups, residents, landowners, attorneys, engineers, appraisers, realtors, consultants, and other interested persons regarding land use regulations and municipal planning issues including investigation of legal status and property record analysis and GIS mapping.

ii. Maintains communication with regional, state, and federal officials and regional, state, and federal planning agencies and associations.

l. With Board and Town Manager input, interviews, retains, and manages consultants as necessary to conduct project studies and engineering reviews.  Writes Requests for Information, Requests for Proposals, or Requests for Qualifications/Quotes as necessary for work performed and to secure grant funding for these projects.  Prepares and administer consultants’ contracts, monitors expenditures, and ensures contractual compliance.

m. Assists Town Counsel in the preparation of materials involving litigation related to matters within Board and/or Town purview.  May be called to testify as a witness.  May participate in settlement negotiations.

n. Prepares and presents annual Department operating and capital budgets to the Board and Town Manager.  Monitors and authorizes all expenditures.

o. Researches, prepares, and submits all reports required by state law and Town Bylaws, including annual updates of compliance with Green Communities, Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness and other programs to maintain funding eligibility.  Makes public presentations of same as needed.

p. Supervises the development and maintenance of Town data, databases, and published materials to support land use planning, zoning, and development analyses.  To the extent possible, maximizes and optimizes the use of available information technology and web-based systems to advance, promote, distribute, and collect information on planning initiatives and programs.

q. Recommends new approaches, policies, and procedures to affect continual improvement of efficiency and effectiveness of the Department and the services it provides.

r. Maintains public-facing resources on the Department and Board web pages, as well as those of supporting committees.

s. Acts as principal contact for all manner of development proposals in the Town and coordinates the review of subdivisions, site plans and special permit applications for commercial, recreational, office, industrial and residential development with pertinent staff members and members of other departments.

t. Carries out a Comprehensive Planning Program for the Board and assists the Town Manager, and Board of Selectmen with Long-Range Strategic Planning.

u. Conducts field inspections for planning studies, development proposals to ensure compliance with approvals and regulations.

v. Provides comments and advice to the Board, Town Manager, Selectboard, and other Town boards and committees as requested; researches and writes zoning and subdivision regulations and design guidelines.

w. Maintains and updates the inventory of Town maps and related information concerning wetlands, open space, and areas of ecological, biological, geological or hydrological significance; maintains contact with FEMA and an electronic inventory of GIS with Assessors.

x. Conducts statistical and narrative research pertaining to economic, social, and physical factors affecting the Town; makes projections for growth and impacts by analyzing growth trends, population data and development pressures.

y. Provides information and guidance to members of the public and land owners as required pertaining to land use and zoning matters.

z. Prepares documents for legal appeals and provides legal testimony in court as required.

aa. Serves as staff advisor and coordinates planning studies.

bb. Coordinates and oversees the Town’s GIS and web-based projects by vendors/consultants.

cc. Serves as Town representative with local, state, federal and regional planning and economic development agencies.

dd. Performs other duties as required or directed.

ee. Regular attendance at Employee’s Town Hall office is required.

10. Qualifications:

a. Required Education and Experience:  Master’s Degree in Municipal Planning, or a related field; five to seven (5-7) years of municipal planning experience, two (2) years of supervisory experience, comprehensive knowledge of the principles and practices of municipal planning, zoning, and subdivision laws and regulations as well as Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, procurement law, and contract management or the ability to attain same or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform essential functions of the job.

b. Required Qualifications:

i. Valid Massachusetts Class D Driver’s License (will need to use personal vehicle)

ii. Professional certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP)

iii. Notary Public certification, or ability to obtain within six (6) months of employment

c. Preferred Qualifications:

i. Professional certification from the Association of State Floodplain Managers (CFM) 

ii. Familiarity with MPO and TIP programs and protocols.

iii. Familiarity with MAPC and the Town’s regional division, South Shore Collaborative and OCPC.

iv. Familiarity with Massachusetts Historical Commission best practices and preservation tools, including identification, evaluation, registration, and protection of assets.

v. Familiarity with or membership in the American Planning Association.  

vi. Have, or acquire, OSHA 10-hour construction certification.

11. Knowledge, Abilities, and Skill

Knowledge:  Through knowledge of municipal planning, research data and the collection of data in support of the Town’s planning services.  Working knowledge of federal, state, and local land use regulations and permit procedures.  Attends classes and educational seminars to maintain knowledge of changes in planning laws and/or regulations.

Abilities:  Ability to meet and deal with the public professionally and effectively to accomplish the Town’s planning goals and objectives; ability to take the initiative required to handle problems effectively; ability to communicate clearly, both orally and in writing; ability to operate a computer; ability to maintain confidential information; ability to maintain, manage, and organize records; ability to deal appropriately with members of the public, Town employees, Town officials and other governmental agencies.  Ability to deal with sensitive inquiries and complaints.  The ability to conduct short- and long-term planning goals and results.  Ability to plan, assign, and supervise the work of other staff and consultants.  Ability to prepare and manage municipal budgets and prepare financial reports.  Ability to pursue and prepare grants available from federal, state, and regional entities, local Community Preservation Committee, etc.  Familiarity with preparation of Requests for Information, Requests for Proposals, and Requests for Qualifications/Quotes. Familiarity with MS-4 and other stormwater protocols and erosion control practices in the field. Familiarity with Green Community initiatives, alternative energy technology, and energy policies and implementation of policies to enhance climate resiliency related to energy planning.  Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with Board and Town officials and staff, as well as with the general public.  Ability to read and interpret plans, specifications, codes and other construction/engineering documents. Experience with field inspections and appropriate documentation.    Knowledge of Floodplain Management Administration. Ability to work independently and complete assignments to meet deadlines. Ability to plan, organize, and conduct research studies, analyze problems, prepare reports, and formulate recommendations concerning planning.

Skill:  Excellent written and verbal communication, organizational, and data processing skills.  Proficiency with personal computers, web/cloud-based software and applications, and math, GIS, Google Earth, MS Office suite, including Word, Excel, Power Point; Office 365; municipal accounting software, social media platforms; and the ability to interface computer data and PDFs to Town software and projection systems.  Proficiency as an administrator/host with Zoom and other online meeting software.

12. Work Environment:  The position requires occasional site visits and frequent evening meetings.  The Employee supervises at least one administrative assistant and oversees the work, job direction, tasks and instruction of the Department employee(s), and is accountable for the direction and success of planning programs.  The work environment involves everyday discomforts typical of offices, with occasional exposure to outside elements when conducting field inspections.  Employee must exercise caution when conducting field inspections.  Noise or physical surroundings may be distracting, but conditions are generally not unpleasant.  Employee will be required to work outside of normal business hours to attend evening meetings and discharge other duties of the position such as operation of standard office equipment, including personnel computer, computer systems, calculator, copier, fax machine, and telephone.  Employee operates personal automobile for necessary travel in performance of duties.

13. Occupational Risk:  Duties generally do not present occupational risk to the Employee.  Minor injury could occur, however, through Employee’s failure to property follow safety precautions or procedures when conducting site inspection work in the field.  Examples of injury include minor bruises from falls, minor cuts or burns or minor muscular strains.

14. Physical and Mental 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 individuals with disabilities to perform the position’s essential functions.

Physical Skills: Work requires agility and physical strength when in the field accessing construction work sites or standing or walking for extended periods of time. The employee is frequently required to stand, walk, sit, speak and hear, use hands to operate office equipment and reach with hands and arms and operate personal motor vehicle. Occasionally, work may require lifting (up to 30 pounds), pushing, carrying, or pulling objects.

15. Motor Skills:  Duties involve assignments requiring application of hand and eye coordination with finger dexterity and motor coordination.  Examples include operating a motor vehicle, using a personal computer, or climbing a ladder.

16. Visual Demands:  Visual demands require the employee to constantly read computer screens and routine and complex documents for general understanding and analytical purposes as well as to interpret non-written materials such as maps, to distinguish elements (buildings, roads, boundaries, etc.) “on-site” and to use a computer. Employee must be able to distinguish colors. 

Accepting applications from internal and external candidates Sept. 21, 2021, posting will remain open until filled.
Town of Duxbury is an EEO employer - M/F/Vets/Disabled
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