Senior Planner – Boston Planning & Development Agency 

TITLE:  SENIOR PLANNER I FOR IB 2030 IMPLEMENTATION
GRADE: J
SALARY RANGE: $59,600 – $74,500
 DEPARTMENT/DIVISION: PLANNING/DOWNTOWN & NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING

 The Downtown & Neighborhood Planning Department works with Boston’s communities to create and implement plans that help foster the development of attractive, safe, diverse, and economically thriving places to live, work and play.  The Department works at the neighborhood level in partnership with local residents, businesses, institutions, and other public departments and agencies to create community visions that look at current assets and opportunities for future growth to enhance quality of life. Planners explore the issues of land use, housing needs, open space, transportation and multimodal networks, economic development and access to opportunity with community members.  The envisioned plans, informed by the community’s input, guide future development scenarios and may result in: urban design guidelines, master plans, zoning recommendations, and/or other policy changes.

SUMMARY OF RESPONSIBILITIES:

Under the direction of the Deputy Director for Downtown & Neighborhood Planning and in collaboration with planning team members, the Planner will primarily manage the interagency coordination for implementation of the Imagine Boston 2030 citywide plan. In July 2017, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the release of Imagine Boston 2030, the first citywide plan in over 50 years. Imagine Boston 2030 prioritizes inclusionary growth and puts forth a comprehensive vision to boost quality of life, equity and resilience in every neighborhood across the city. The Planner will be responsible for proposing and implementing new policies and programs for the implementation of IB2030, which will include developing an Action Plan for internal use. Additionally, as needed, the Planner will conduct and participate in planning initiatives, and will research and prepare recommendations for the Zoning Board of Appeal and provide a planning perspective to the BPDA Development Review Department on projects undergoing the Article 80 process. As is essential to the success of any planning effort, this Planner will engage the community, other constituencies, and public agency departments to solicit input and feedback for recommendations on the above referenced tasks.

GENERAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

The general duties and responsibilities of the position are included in but not limited to the information listed below.

Imagine Boston 2030 Implementation

  • Build partnerships with residents, government entities, private, and non-profit companies to prototype, pilot and test new policies and programs for the implementation of Imagine Boston 2030.
  • In collaboration with Planning Division staff and other City colleagues, design and pilot metrics to track progress, which will include developing an Action Plan for internal use.
  • Promote the five key goals of IB2030 within the ongoing planning initiatives, neighborhoods, community groups and organizations.
  • Focus on coordination of initiatives as outlined in IB2030, especially around facilities (i.e., schools, libraries, etc.), economic, and cultural planning.
  • Working with Assistant Deputy Director for Neighborhood Planning to manage the Interagency Working Group to track progress of Imagine Boston 2030 Implementation and other recently completed planning initiatives across the Agency and City and report back to the BPDA leadership and the community on progress and milestones.
  • Maintain the IB2030 website presence and field constituent queries about the plan.

Note: The core functions of the position are outlined above. The ability to perform the tasks listed below is also required, but will not form the bulk of the work assigned.

Planning Initiatives

  • Develop, manage and conduct planning initiatives for specific city neighborhood(s). Develop and execute appropriate studies and surveys.  Research and prepare planning and urban design scenarios and policy options. Lead public meetings and guide the creation of supporting materials for specific initiatives.
  • Establish effective working relationships with neighborhood and community groups and organizations.  Maintain current knowledge of neighborhood issues, concerns, goals and opportunities.
  • Analyze submitted reports and planning documents by public agencies, advocacy groups and other involved parties.
  • Draft Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for consultant services for planning initiatives, as needed. Assist in consultant selection and subsequent management of consultant work and budgets for planning initiatives.
  • Prepare draft planning and urban design guidelines as they relate to planning initiatives.
  • Design and develop neighborhood-specific community engagement strategies for a diverse group of stakeholders (internal & external) around planning.

Zoning Review

  • Research, formulate and draft staff recommendations for the Zoning Board of Appeal regarding zoning appeal cases and zoning variances. Solicit information from the appellant, abutters and other members of the community.  Research and apply pertinent planning issues. Write and submit recommendations. Maintain and update all relevant documentation and databases
  • Prepare draft zoning recommendations; provide technical advice and assistance in the development and preparation of neighborhood rezoning documents to be submitted to the Zoning Commission for approval.
  • Work with community advisory groups in preparation of new zoning.  Convey and interpret information about current zoning regulations; evaluate impact of proposed changes; assist in achieving consensus and resolving issues.  Coordinate and create documents for Zoning Commission presentations.

Article 80 Development Review

  • Participate in large and small project reviews under Article 80 as assigned.
  • Review Article 80 projects for consistency with zoning and planning studies. Coordinate community priorities for discussion on project mitigation and community benefits.
  • Contribute to writing scoping determinations.
  • Provide regular updates to the Deputy Director for Downtown & Neighborhood Planning and the Assistant Deputy Director for Neighborhood Planning on planning issues pertaining to Article 80 development review.

General

  • Prepare analytical studies, written and graphic presentations of planning and zoning goals, concerns and issues.
  • Prepare briefings for senior Agency staff or City officials.
  • Ensure that response to public questions, needs or concerns is prompt and accurate.
  • Prepare and participate in presentations at community meetings and neighborhood advisory groups.
  • Arrange and conduct evening and daytime public meetings.  Participate in evening community meetings to provide for public input.
  • Lead studies required for comprehensive planning in the neighborhoods.
  • Attend and support Planning Department at meetings and events as assigned.
  • Provide regular updates on workflow and progress on assigned projects to the Deputy Director for Downtown & Neighborhood Planning.
  • Perform other related duties as required.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Work requires completion of a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning or closely related field with a minimum of 5 years of experience as a planner or equivalent related experience. Prior experience in conducting or actively participating in the planning process is required. Proficiency in drafting and reviewing development and urban design scenarios is highly desirable. Work requires ability to solve urban design and zoning problems; to analyze and interpret planning issues; to communicate clearly in written, verbal and graphic form; and to operate effectively as part of an interdisciplinary team.  Strong written and verbal communications skills are an essential requirement; strong computer graphic skills are desired.  Full command of Microsoft Office programs is required. Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite, PowerPoint, and Geographic Informational Systems (GIS) to design and assemble graphically compelling (clear) presentations and reports is highly desirable.

WORK ENVIRONMENT:

Normal office environment; occasional site visits.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:

Little or no exertion; occasional local travel.

SCOPE:

Not applicable.

**BOSTON RESIDENCY IS A CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT**