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Kent County Government - Job Description
Director of Planning & Zoning

FSLA Status: Exempt
Closing Date: Open until Filled


The Director’s position is available in the Kent County Maryland Planning, Housing, & Zoning Department. The position is responsible for all departmental functions, with the primary focus of ensuring that land use is serving the needs of community residents. The Director has oversight of a complex mix of project management review duties requiring extensive knowledge of state law and provides expertise and advice to a wide array of boards and commissions, requiring regular attendance at meetings of those entities; additionally serving as liaison between County administration, department staff and various government agencies, developers and residents relating to land use requirements. Bachelor’s Degree and seven to ten years’ experience OR Master’s Degree and three to five years’ experience, or equivalent technical training, education or experience is required. Starting salary range is in Grade 12 ($82,872 -$99,400), commensurate with experience, plus a comprehensive benefits package. Obtain application and job specification from the Human Resources Department at 400 High St. Chestertown, MD 21620; (410)778-4595. This position is open until filled. A COPY OF COMPLETE DRIVING RECORD is required. Screening for illegal drug and background check will be required prior to appointment. EOE

This is administrative and professional work at management level. Professionally, the employee provides planning services to the County such as plan preparation, implementation, and enforcement. In the managerial capacity, the employee manages and directs the personnel and functions of the Department of Planning and Zoning. The employee plans for, manages and supervises the daily work of the department and provides for supervision of its employees. The incumbent serves at the pleasure of the County Commissioners and receives direction from the County Board of Commissioners. Performance in administrative matters is reviewed by the County Administrator.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

Develops comprehensive plans and programs for utilization of land and physical facilities of Kent County by performing the following duties.

Compiles and analyzes data on economic, social, and physical factors affecting land use, and prepares or requisitions graphic and narrative reports on data.

Insures that the Department provides cordial, responsive, and accurate customer service.

Manages professional and administrative staff in developing and administering appropriate long-range policies and plans, reviewing and generating recommendations regarding development proposals and providing information to the general public, developers, and other agencies pertaining to land use planning, assigning, coordinating, directing, evaluating, and correcting the work of subordinate employees.

Conducts administrative hearings, serve as the approving authority for administrative special exceptions and variances, and prepares written decisions.

Serves as the approving authority for building permits, minor subdivisions and minor site plans.

Develops, implements, and presents land use plans, policies, ordinances, and regulations.

Prepares written reports, memoranda, and correspondence.

Provides planning services to municipalities upon request (plan and ordinances preparation, project review, technical advice, notice and meeting preparation and presentations.

Supervises the performance of the duties and activities by contractual building code inspectors and monitors building code inspector’s contract.

Updates building codes as required.

Acquires and maintains thorough familiarity with Article 66B of the Annotated Code of Maryland, Comprehensive Planning, Zoning and Subdivision, The Economic Growth Resource Protection and Planning Act of 1992, Smart Growth legislation, various building codes, Forest Conservation Act, Chesapeake Bay Critical Areas Act, master water and sewer plan, Floodplain, and other applicable federal, state and statues, regulations and procedures.

Provides technical assistance to County Commissioners and Planning Commission. Makes recommendations pertaining to land use planning, subdivision, and plan review.

Prepare and presents Capital and operating budget for the Department including Scenic Byways, Critical Areas, Board of Appeals, Agricultural Preservation and Advisory, Preservation Incentives, Floodplain Hazard Grants, Eastern Shore Heritage Projects. Administers budget once adopted.

Reviews capital improvement plan to ascertain its consistency with the county's Comprehensive Plan.

Provides for immediate and long range planning in cooperation with other agencies and the communities within the County concerned with County Development studies, economics, social, administrative and physical conditions of Kent County, prepares surveys, data, summaries and design programs; keeps the County Commissioner currently informed of plans, programs and projects; addresses civic and fraternal groups on development projects within the County; provides for liaison between the Planning Commission and other Governmental Agencies; prepares the departmental annual budget, grant applications; requests for proposal and conducts clearing house review.

Furnishes annually programs and reports of natural resources to various interested parties, to include technical information to potential industrial developers in Kent County.

Represents County at meetings, task force, and Boards at the National, State, Regional and local levels.

Acts as County representative on various boards and committees. Interacts with federal and state officials, consultants, engineers, developers, vendors, individual citizens, groups of citizens and interest groups.

Manages Technical Advisory Committee.

Design, schedule, and conduct public meetings and presentations.

As Zoning Administrator, makes decisions concerning the approval or denial of permits, makes decisions with respect to civil citations and other enforcement actions, enforces ordinances, and appears in court.

Maintains liaison with various state agencies such as the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Health, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Coastal Resources Advisory Committee, and Maryland Department of Planning.

Performs duties assigned by the County Commissioners; supervises special projects.

Ability to travel within a 100-mile radius to attend meetings; ability to attend regular night meetings.

Thorough knowledge of State laws pertaining to County and regional planning practices and principles and of the social, economic implications of planning; thorough understanding of land-use concept, population density and annexation problems.

Working knowledge of State laws pertaining to County and regional planning; public housing and urban development and redevelopment; of the Federal laws and administrative procedures as they pertain to local planning; assistance in rural, public housing and public facilities, loans and grants.

Introductory knowledge of personnel management and ways and means to motivate the work force.

Ability to prepare master plans and technical ordinances to maintain them with technical accuracy; to work effectively with the public and groups concerning planning; to address public gatherings and to work with appointed boards representing all walks of life; to interpret statistical data; to prepare professional and technical reports and papers; to plan, organize, assign, supervise and inspect the work of professional and technical personnel.

Ability to be a team player and to conduct calm professional meetings and conversations in a politically charged environment with citizens, interest groups, the media, and at public forums.

Directly supervises 7 1/2 employees in the Planning & Zoning, Building Inspections, and Stormwater Management areas. Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization's policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.

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.

Masters degree in Planning and five years of planning experience at the full performance level (or) Bachelor's degree in Planning and ten years of experience, two of which must have been at the full performance level.

Ability to read, analyze, and interpret the most complex documents. Ability to respond effectively to the most sensitive inquiries or complaints. Ability to write speeches and articles using original or innovative techniques or style. Ability to make effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on controversial or complex topics to top management, public groups, and/or boards of directors.

Ability to work with mathematical concepts such as probability and statistical inference, and fundamentals of plane and solid geometry and trigonometry. Ability to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations.

Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables.

Maryland Class C Driver's License or a similar class of motor vehicle operator's permit.

AICP (American Institute of Certified Planners) certification, preferred.

The physical demands described here are representative of those 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.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to sit and use hands to finger, handle, or feel. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; and taste or smell. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.

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.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to outside weather conditions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

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