The Town of Natick is seeking candidates for the position of Development Review Planner within the Town’s Community and Economic Development Department. The Development Review Planner is responsible for managing review processes for discretionary permits submitted to the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. This work includes review of applications, research of past decisions and applicable regulations or policies, and presentation of recommendations to the applicable decision-making body. The position also makes recommendations on amendments to the zoning bylaw.
Natick is a growing town in the Metrowest area of the greater Boston region. Served by the Mass Pike and Commuter rail, the Town has a 2018 census estimated population of approximately 36,000 and a strong commercial base with a thriving arts focused downtown, a major regional mall, and strong office sector. Good schools, parks, and assets like Lake Cochituate and many historic buildings, amongst other features, all contribute towards the high quality of life and sense of place in the community. The Town is actively working to improve environmental sustainability and address issues of racial equity and is committed to local efforts on climate change and affordable housing.
The Community and Economic Development Department includes the Building Commissioner and inspectors, staff support to the Conservation Commission, Planning Board, and Zoning Board of Appeals, and planners working on planning policy on a range of issues from transportation and economic development to housing and zoning. The Department strongly supports professional development and encourages staff to explore new ideas. The Development Review Planner is a new position in the Department that will play an important role in shaping the Town for the future.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES:
- Serves as staff to various Boards and Commissions.
- Reviews plans going before the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), and/or the Design Review Board.
- Coordinates interdepartmental review of development plans.
- Coordinates project review with the Historical Commission and Local Historic Districts.
- Prepares staff reports for cases before various boards and commissions.
- Presents case information before various boards and commissions.
- Develops and recommends by-law amendments.
- Performs analyses to support various Town policies.
- Provides information to public regarding Town and State by-laws and regulations.
- Provides professional and technical administrative approval on Town processes, in accordance with local and state regulations.
- Represents the Town and the Department in meetings with representatives from other State and/or local agencies, as needed.
- Generates minutes of meetings as needed.
- Support maintenance of the permitting system and permit files.
- Other responsibilities as assigned.
The Planner will work both independently and as a member of staff teams, depending upon the project. Evening meetings are a responsibility for this position.
Candidates must have a Bachelor’s Degree in Planning or related field, and two (2) to four (4) years’ experience in municipal planning; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job. Master’s degree in Planning or related field preferred and may substitute for experience.
Preferred candidates will demonstrate all or most of the following:
- Knowledge of municipal planning principles, methodologies, and functional elements as well as the competence and experience to apply such principles to develop and implement programs and practices to effectively guide and manage sound and effective community development.
- Working knowledge of personal computer systems including Microsoft Office and Google software and the application of GIS technology in support of Department operations.
- General knowledge of Town and State land use regulations and permit procedures.
- General understanding of State enabling legislation, real estate finance, municipal laws/bylaws and building design and construction.
- Ability to meet and deal effectively with colleagues, public officials and constituencies 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 utilize technology to support and advance department objectives.
- Ability to maintain confidential information.
- Ability to maintain, manage, and organize project records.
- Ability to deal with sensitive inquiries and complaints.
- The ability to review site plans and construction drawings.
- The ability to comprehend zoning and other municipal laws.
- Ability to work collaboratively in an interdisciplinary setting.
- Strong skills and abilities in public process, facilitation, and collaboration.
Additional Advantageous Skills:
- Knowledge of, and experience with, drafting zoning codes.
Compensation and Benefits:
The starting salary will range from $60,000 to $72,000 annually, depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full-time exempt position. Natick offers excellent employee benefits.
How to apply:
The position is open until filled. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume. If you are interviewed, you will be asked to submit three references plus a writing sample.
Apply online at https://www.natickma.gov/jobs.aspx. A review of applications will begin immediately. Candidates must have legal authorization to work in the USA and a valid driver’s license.