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Director of Planning and Economic Development, Town of Fairhaven

Director of Planning and Economic Development
Town of Fairhaven

The Town of Fairhaven, Massachusetts (pop. 16,074), is seeking qualified applicants for the position of Director of Planning and Economic Development. Candidate must possess a thorough knowledge of the principles and practices of planning, economic development, land use regulations, strategic planning, grant administration and community relations. Candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree in Planning, Public Administration, or related field and five to seven years of relevant municipal experience; or a Master’s Degree in Planning, Public Administration, or related field and a minimum of three years of relevant municipal experience; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience that enables performance of all aspects of the position. AICP certification is desirable. The salary range is $71,744 to 84,752. Please submit cover letter, resume, and three references to Anne O’Brien, Human Resources Director, Town of Fairhaven, 40 Center Street, Fairhaven, MA 01719.

A full job description can be found at www.Fairhaven-MA.gov.

Application deadline is February 26, 2018.


Detailed Description:

Town of Fairhaven
Director of Planning and Economic Development
Schedule B, Level 20
40 hours per week
Town Administrator
FLSA Exempt, Non-Union


The primary function of this position, reporting to the Town Administrator, is to provide professional management and administrative functions for the Department of Planning and Economic Development and the Planning Board, administering and enforcing regulations, interpreting and explaining relevant statues, regulations, bylaws and case law, in a timely manner, abiding by all municipal, state and federal guidelines, regulations and quality standards.

Essential Functions:

  • Work with the Town Administrator, Planning Board, and the Building Commissioner to administer the Town’s zoning bylaws, General By-Laws, Massachusetts General Laws and subdivision control regulations
  • Attend all Planning Board meetings and hearings, and any other relevant public meetings as required to carry out Planning Board/Planning and Economic Development initiatives; organize and conduct site visits; prepare technical information for Planning Board members, draft permit decisions and maintain records
  • Respond to inquiries from the public, professional consultants and local agencies; reviews applications for special permits and subdivisions; requests for additional information; interprets relevant statutes, regulations, bylaws and case law
  • Work with Planning Board to update/maintain zoning bylaws, subdivision control ordinance and master plan; conduct research, drafts and revise documents and perform public presentation work
  • Oversee compliance with Special Permit conditions; Orders of Conditions, coordinate local review of private development proposals; prepare agenda and schedules meetings; follow up on decisions and actions taken by the Board; schedule and post meetings; coordinate Board activities with other town departments.
  • As directed by the Town Administrator, manage projects for the Planning Board, Community Preservation Committee, Economic Development Committee, Board of Selectmen or Town Administrator and make grant applications on behalf of these entities
  • Prepare and assist in presentation of articles to Town Meeting for Board of Selectmen, Planning Board, Community Preservation Committee, and Economic Development Committee, and analyze petition articles for potential impact
  • Assist and advise landowners, developers and other interested persons seeking information of the town’s zoning bylaw and subdivision rules and regulations and the application of M.G.L. Chapter 40A, and 41 Subdivision Control Law.
  • Monitor national, state and municipal community development trend, interpret trends to Planning Board and recommend priorities and projects for physical, environmental and economic development; maintain and update planning data including land use maps, overlays, and statistical information; implement and oversee and keep accurate files on projects approved by the Planning Board
  • Provide support to the Planning Board, Economic Development Committee and Community Preservation Committee, drafting and editing land use, conservation and open space plans and by-laws, facilitating economic development
  • Complete special projects and perform any and all similar or related work as required, directed or as situation dictates
  • Explore and identify grant opportunities for various planning/economic development initiatives, including but not limited to, Community Development Block initiatives, and oversee all aspects of grant administration


    • Review mail, email, voice mail and other communications, schedule /calendar for meetings and appointments on a daily basis
    • Meet with and answer questions from employees, residents, visitors and other interested individuals as required
    • Answer routine procedural inquiries from the general public and applicants regarding town board and permitting procedures and ongoing and potential projects
    • Provide access to public records on file and make copies as requested
    • Supervise Planning and Economic Development Department personnel, develop and implement operational budget, policies and procedures for the department; and perform a variety of administrative and public relations functions, research and compile data, process materials for special projects and reports
    • Assist members of the public with a wide array of development projects; participate in administrative staff meetings
    • Manage grant administration, including filing reports, processing invoices and insuring compliance with grant regulations

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written
  • Ability to deal tactfully, courteously, and professionally
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and to exercise sound judgment and discretion
  • Highly organized, detail oriented, and able to manage ongoing projects with minimal supervision
  • Ability to operate all standard office equipment and software
  • Proficiency in typing, spreadsheets, creating presentations, documents, and use of database software

Education and Experiences/Special Requirements

  • Must have a Bachelor’s degree in Planning, Public Administration, or related field and (5-7) years relevant municipal experience
  • A Master’s Degree in Planning, Public Administration, or related field and minimum of (3) years of relevant municipal experience; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience
  • AICP Certification is desirable
  • Knowledge of the principles, practices and procedures of planning and economic development, applicable state and local laws as they pertain to land use and thorough knowledge of local zoning bylaws, subdivision rules and regulations, as well as state statutes, rules and regulations
  • Previous experience in grant administration, particularly Community Development Block Grants, is highly desirable
  • Valid MA Class D Driver’s License and a readily available car
  • Must have excellent math and computer skills, fluent computer literacy in modern software applications including a working knowledge Excel, Access, Word and GIS software systems
  • Must be able to communicate clearly and effectively in oral, written and graphic form; effective written and verbal communication, public speaking, facilitation and customer service

Working Conditions

  • Standard office environment with frequent interruptions from visitors and staff, and shifts in workload prioritization
  • Must be able to travel / attend required and optional meetings, training sessions, conferences, seminars, court dates and resident appointments (day and evening) as required
  • Must be able to attend night meetings and hearings.

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