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Senior City Planner – Urban Design, City of Portland, OR

CITY OF PORTLAND invites applications for the position of:

Senior City Planner – Urban Design

Recruitment Opens: This recruitment will remain open until 75 applications have been reached or until the posted closing date, Monday, May 15, 2017, whichever comes first.
Recruitment Closes: Monday May 15, 2017 4:30 PM Pacific
Salary: $32.68 – $41.73 Hourly

The Mission of Portland’s Bureau of Development Services is to promote safety, livability, and economic vitality through efficient and collaborative application of building and development codes.


Senior City Planners with an Urban Design Specialty (UD) in the Land Use Services Division of the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) manage the review of highly complex and/or controversial development proposals for compliance with the Zoning Code and Design Guidelines. This work involves administering the City’s development review process as it applies to specific projects, through coordination with private sector professionals, citizens, other regulatory agencies and City staff from various Bureaus, and includes writing legally defensible findings of fact and presenting staff recommendations at public hearings.

Senior City Planners UD are responsible for the more complex/controversial land use reviews (primarily Design Reviews and Historic Resource Reviews), as well as mentoring and reviewing/editing the work of other staff and assisting in training, and can offer special expertise in particular areas such as urban design, architecture, planning and historic preservation. Senior City Planners UD are also given lead responsibility on multi-bureau and long-range planning efforts, including efforts related to monitoring and changing the Zoning Code and Design Guidelines. Senior City Planners UD can be primary staff to the Design Commission or Landmarks Commission, which includes setting and managing agendas, providing briefings, representing the Commission outside of hearings and attending hearings as support for other planners presenting projects. Hearings typically occur 2-3 times/month and can extend into evening hours. Senior City Planners UD provide technical and process expertise for other planners, customers, and City staff from various bureaus. Senior City Planners UD work to identify and initiate process and/or customer service improvements in the team’s work flow.  The Bureau of Development Services strives to provide all services in an equitable manner; demonstrated abilities in the areas of equity, inclusion, diversity and/or accessibility are preferred.

Additional general duties include identifying and solving problems; creating effective long- and short-term solutions; interpreting and analyzing codes and policies; and maintaining effective contacts and relationships with elected and appointed officials, other bureaus and agencies, community members and organizations, and business communities. Senior City Planners may be authorized to make final decisions and/or recommendations on behalf of their bureau. Senior Planners are expected to exercise sound independent judgment, initiative and decision-making to develop timely solutions to complex problems.

A typical way of obtaining the knowledge, skills and abilities is graduation from a college or university with an undergraduate or graduate major in architecture, landscape architecture or urban design or a closely related field; and six years of related progressively responsible professional experience is preferred but not required

This classification is represented by the City of Portland Professional Employees Association(COPPEA).  To view this labor agreement, please go to

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bhr/27840 and click on the appropriate link.

To Qualify

The following minimum qualifications are required for this position:

  1. Knowledge of and experience applying the theory, principles, practices, policies, standards and regulations of urban design review and planning.
  2. Knowledge of and experience with architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, architectural history, and historic preservation.
  3. Ability and experience performing difficult and complex technical research and analysis of urban design, architecture and land use planning issues or problems, evaluating alternatives and recommending or adopting effective courses of action.
  4. Ability and experience understanding, interpreting, explaining and applying all applicable regulations, policies, procedures, and standards to complex, specialized, and diverse urban design and land use planning processes.

This recruitment will remain open until 75 applications have been received or until the posted closing date, Monday, May 15, 2017, whichever comes first.

Applications received after the 75 application limit has been reached will not be included in this recruitment process

An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.  It is the policy of the City of Portland that no person shall be discriminated against based on race, religion, color, sex, marital status, family status, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or source of income. The City values diversity and encourages everyone who is interested in employment with the City to apply. If you wish to identify yourself as an individual with a disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and will be requesting accommodation, the requests must be made to the Analyst(s) named below No Later Than the Closing Date of This Announcement. 

Tamara Larison, Sr. Human Resources Analyst
Bureau of Human Resources
(503) 823-3523

Optional Information Sessions

To assist you in understanding this position and the recruitment process, we will offer Optional Information Sessions that will provide you with details about this position and about the application process. You are not required to attend to apply for this job, but attending will help you with the application process. You are welcome to join us for one of these optional sessions:

1900 Building
5th Floor, Conference Room 5a
1900 SW 4th Ave., Portland, OR 97201

Monday, May 1, 2017
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
5th Floor, Conference Room 5b
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

For instructions on how to participate remotely, please contact Lorena Ramirez by 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time within two business days of the informational session date by email, Lorena.Ramirez@PortlandOregon.Gov, or by phone at 503-823-5333.

To apply go to www.portlandoregon.gov/jobs see recruitment dates at the top of this announcement.

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