Zoning Project Planner – City of Cambridge

NOTICE OF POSTING – CITY OF CAMBRIDGE, MA

POSTING DATE: December 29, 2020
RESUME AND LETTER OF INTEREST REQUESTED BY 01/19/21

Cambridge residents are especially encouraged to apply.

Department: Community Development Department
Job Title: Zoning Project Planner
Job Code: M592-717
Civil Service Position: Non Civil Service position
Union Affiliation: None
Hours Per Week: 37.5 hours per week; Mon. 8:30am-8:00pm, Tue- Thur., 8:30am-5:00pm, Fri. 8:30am-12:00pm, plus frequent after-hours meetings

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

The Community Development Department (CDD) is the planning agency for the City of Cambridge. Encompassing the Housing, Economic Development, Community Planning, Zoning and Development, and Environmental and Transportation Planning divisions, CDD’s mission is to foster a livable, sustainable, just, and equitable community. CDD engages and collaborates with community partners, other government agencies, and residents to make Cambridge a desirable place to live, work, learn, play, and innovate. The Zoning and Development Division is responsible for various tasks in the areas of land use planning and urban development, including: reviewing major development projects by the Planning Board and other committees; developing proposals to amend the Zoning Ordinance through the work of planning studies and other special initiatives.  More information is available at http://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/zoninganddevelopment.

Reporting to the Senior Manager of Zoning and Development, the Zoning Project Planner is a mid-level position within the five-person Zoning and Development Division. The Project Planner plays an essential role within the division of coordinating and leading zoning review procedures for a variety of project types.  Primary responsibilities include:

  • Coordinating and staffing the review process for approximately 30 new development cases each year that undergo review by the Planning Board, from initiation through design, construction, and completion: responsible for continuing review throughout the course of development to ensure ongoing compliance.
  • Coordinating and guiding the activities of staff from multiple planning disciplines within CDD and other City departments and agencies that play a role in the development review process, including specialists in urban design, transportation, public works, sustainability, housing, and historic preservation.
  • Providing expert technical assistance to property owners, developers, City staff, and others regarding the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance and other relevant development review procedures.
  • Overseeing the preparation, filing, and maintenance of required documentation at various stages of the review process, including Planning Board special permits and certifications for building permits and certificates of occupancy, as well as legal notifications, mailings, and online resources of information; supervise tasks delegated to administrative support staff
  • Providing review and certification to the Cambridge Inspectional Services Department (ISD) where specialized analysis by CDD is needed.
  • Engaging with the Cambridge community in the context of topic-specific or location-specific projects, engaging difficult to reach communities, and facilitating dialogue and consensus-building among people with diverse interests and opinions.
  • Providing general information and advice on land use and zoning matters to other City staff, residents, business owners, property owners and developers, community groups, City Council, Planning Board, and others as needed or requested.
  • Additional assignments based on the applicant’s skills and interests and the division’s needs.
  • Attending after-hours meetings including Planning Board meetings (held most Tuesday evenings), City Council meetings and committee hearings (held at various times), and community meetings as needed.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS:

The Zoning Project Planner should be self-motivated, detail-oriented and ready to help CDD in efforts to conduct high-quality planning and zoning work for the City of Cambridge.

  • Master’s degree in urban planning, real estate, architecture, or related field is preferred, plus a minimum of five (5) years professional experience in a position involving implementation of zoning codes, ordinances, or by-laws; a Bachelor’s degree in these fields of study with a minimum of seven (7) years of directly relevant experience will also be considered;
  • Demonstrated understanding and experience in the process of managing the review of large-scale, complex urban development projects at the planning, design, and construction phases;
  • Ability to read, interpret, and analyze development plans, drawings, studies, and similar technical documents;
  • Strong public engagement and consensus-building experience, especially involving stakeholders with diverse interests and opinions;
  • Experience in collaborative team-based review, in both leading and supporting roles, involving planners, designers, engineers, and other professional disciplines;
  • Ability to communicate with a diverse range of Department staff, other City employees, and members of the public in a courteous and professional manner;
  • High level of motivation and detail -oriented skills;
  • Overall computer proficiency including general office applications (Microsoft Office suite) and advanced applications (e.g., Adobe Acrobat) as well as proficiency in web-based tools for permitting and public information resources;
  • Strong project management skills and demonstrated ability to manage multiple responsibilities, tasks, and interactions while remaining organized in a fast-paced office environment; and
  • Commitment to working in a community that values diversity, equity and inclusion

Preferred:

  • Experience with land use and zoning laws, codes, and practices specific to Massachusetts;
  • Experience working in densely populated urban communities undergoing active redevelopment involving a variety of different land use types, including multifamily housing, large-scale commercial development, and major institutional campuses;
  • Knowledge of the Cambridge community; and
  • A genuine desire to study challenging, contemporary issues in zoning and urban development, and an ability to develop creative approaches to engaging productively with multiple stakeholders in the process of planning and development review.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:  Work involves frequent evening meetings, travelling through the city to different locations within Cambridge, walking, and climbing stairs.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: Work is primarily indoors in a professional office setting. Some work will involve walking tours to survey different areas of Cambridge as well as public and community meetings held at various locations throughout Cambridge.

RATE: $78,385 to $104,068 /year + excellent benefits

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:

Internal applicants submit a job bidding form and two copies of both your resume and letter of interest; external applicants submit both your resume and letter of interest via email to: employment@cambridgema.gov or to the Personnel Dept, Room 309, City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02139. Fax 617-349-4312. Resume and letter of interest requested by 01/19/2021.  Position will remain open until filled.

Candidates selected for an interview will be asked to provide and discuss examples of past wordemonstrating their understanding of zoning codes and development review procedures.

THE CITY OF CAMBRIDGE IS AN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION/EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER. WOMEN, MINORITIES, VETERANS, MEMBERS OF THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY, AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPLY.

CITY OF CAMBRIDGE RESIDENTS ESPECIALLY ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPLY.