Chief of Long-Range Planning – City of Newton

Department:                              Planning & Development
Starting Salary Range:              $77,048 – $79,360
Reports to:                                 Director and Deputy Director of Planning & Development


Under the direction of the Director and Deputy Director of Planning and Development, the Chief of Long-Range Planning will work closely with other City staff and public officials, particularly the Zoning and Planning Committee of the City Council to execute long-range plans and legislation.  The City maintains a high value on high quality of life and the Chief of Long- Range Planning will play a key role in ensuring the zoning regulations are consistent with and implement the objectives for the vision for the community as provided in the City’s Comprehensive Plan.


Member of senior leadership team.
Leads planning and policy development studies working collaboratively with other City Departments.
Supervises and directs the work of the Urban Designer and Community Planner/Engagement Specialist positions.
Studies would result in plans, policies, or draft legislation relevant to future development or redevelopment at various levels; including citywide, neighborhood, village, and corridor studies.
Analysis may encompass a wide range of related issues from economic development and housing to environmental issues and transportation systems and may involve amending the Comprehensive or Zoning Ordinance; or initiating Village Vitality Plans, for example.

Is the principal staff person for all long-range planning initiatives, providing project coordination with City departments, elected officials, working groups, the consultant, and the general public.
In the context of planning and policy development studies, develop appropriate strategies for community engagement and outreach.
Develop and use data to support planning and policy development studies.
For some projects, prepare studies for adoption by the City Council.
Following the development of plans or policies, track and support implementation, coordinating with various permitting authorities, Public Works, Buildings, and other Departments as necessary.
Track Citywide trends in housing and development related activity and prepare an annual report presenting those trends, working collaboratively with other data-tracking Departments such as Inspectional Services, Schools, and Senior Services.
Provides staff support to the Zoning and Planning Committee of the City Council, including presenting proposed regulatory or policy changes in public meetings.
Provides staff support to the City’s Planning and Development Board on long-range planning and zoning-related issues.
Coordinates documentation of amendments to the Zoning Ordinance and zoning map.
Prepares necessary background studies and working drafts of possible Zoning Ordinance amendments.
Provides customer service responding to citizen inquiries relative to planning and zoning related matters as needed.
Provides technical assistance to all City staff, the Mayor, City Council, and appointed officials and residents on planning and zoning-related issues.
Participates as a member of the City’s development review team in support of plan and policy implementation.
Acts as a staff representative on subject matter task forces, as may be necessary. 


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

EDUCATIONS AND EXPERIENCE: This position requires a master’s degree in planning or related field and 4-6 years of direct planning and zoning experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience.  Must have experience working with elected and appointed officials and in participating in planning or policy development studies which have included significant community engagement components.

NECESSARY KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS and ABILITIES: Must be able to work on numerous projects at the same time, all with varying deadlines, and be able to prioritize individual workload as well as coordinate the workload and priorities of others.  This person must have excellent interpersonal and customer service skills, both in dealing with staff and the public, as well as elected and appointed officials.  The person must have excellent oral and written communication skills.


COMPUTER SKILLS: Excellent computer skills including Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook. Experience using databases. Strong typing skills with attention to detail and the ability to conduct computer searches for resources, answers to questions, and fact-based information. The ability to develop educational and promotional materials.

LANGUAGE SKILLS: Ability to read, analyze, and interpret common scientific and technical journals, and legal documents.  Ability to respond to common inquiries or complaints from clients, or regulatory agencies.  Ability to write/document information that conforms to prescribed style and format. Ability to present information effectively, which may be controversial in nature, to all levels including clients, groups of clients, families, top management, outside agencies, public groups or employees of the City. Additional language abilities in addition to English a plus.

MATHEMATICAL SKILLS: Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals. Ability to compute rate, ratio, and percent and to draw and interpret bar graphs.

REASONING ABILITY: Ability to define problems and use judgement to work toward results, modify methods/techniques and make recommendations dealing with several abstract and concrete variables within clearly defined laws, precedents and policies.


PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The physical demands described here represent those requirements 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 essential functions. The job may require one to carry materials, heavy at times, to support clients or programs.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Fast paced
  • Multi-tasking
  • Extensive interpersonal interaction
  • Flexible
  • Some evenings and weekends required

To Apply go to the City’s Website at .  The position will be open until filled.