Principal Planner

  • 307106

SUMMARY: Under limited supervision, supervises subordinate staff during the administration of City’s zoning code, comprehensive plan, and related land development regulations; assumes primary responsibility for the development review process and the analysis of development petitions and plans; oversees the development and quality of staff reports, recommendations and presentations to advisory committees, the public, the City Commission, and neighborhood groups; provides guidance during the development and revision of the comprehensive plan, neighborhood, site and master plans and design guidelines; may perform related duties and special projects as assigned.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS: (Essential functions, as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act, may include the following tasks, knowledge, skills and other characteristics. This list is ILLUSTRATIVE ONLY and is not a comprehensive listing of all functions and tasks performed by incumbents of this class.)

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: (which are not in any hierarchical order)
  1. Oversees the analysis of development related data and plans and the preparation of recommendations on variances and class B special use permit requests.
  2. Oversees staff’s analysis and makes recommendations to the City Planning Board and City Commission on requests for major subdivisions of land, class A special use, developments of significant impact, rezoning of land, and minor and major amendments to the planned developments and level I site plan approvals.
  3. Oversees the comprehensive planning development and revision process.
  4. Oversees the preparation and quality of planning related reports, documents and agendas for the City of West Palm Beach officials, committees, boards and other special agencies and organizations.
  5. Ensures the efficient and timely processing of all development related applications.
  6. Responds to planning-related inquiries from the general public and other agencies and organizations.
  7. Prepares amendments for code compliance, maps and graphic presentations for the department.
  8. Participates and coordinates activities with other agencies related to the request for proposals and corresponding completed plans and bids.
  9. Assists in preparing and administering annual planning grants applications and updates plans for compliance with federal, state, and other applicable regulations.
  10. Monitors and provides assistance to the Downtown Action Committee, the Planning Board, and the Planning Board of Appeals.
  11. Reviews and makes recommendations for building permit applications and occupational licenses.
  12. Provides input pertaining to landscape components in neighborhoods, site and master plans and design guidelines.
  13. Performs fieldwork and research for both current planning and comprehensive planning.
  14. May supervise planning and technical staff, if required.


  • Knowledge of comprehensive planning, zoning, and transportation planning principles.
  • Knowledge of urban design.
  • Knowledge of state planning laws and applicable Federal regulations.
  • Skill in using personal computers, standard and customized software application, common and specialized office machinery and equipment.
  • Skill in research and technical analysis of planning-related information.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, graphically, orally and in writing.
  • Skill in supervising, evaluating, training and motivating employees.
  • Ability to make sound assessments and recommendations based on research data.
  • Ability to work in a team environment with multiple disciplines.
  • Ability to make sound decisions and work independently.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted during the course of the workday.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS AND WORK ENVIRONMENT: Work involves detailed concentration for long periods of time in a modified office environment and may involve outdoor work sites. There may be occasional need for light lifting. The City of West Palm Beach promotes a drug/alcohol free work environment through the use of mandatory pre-employment drug testing. This position may also require the use of City vehicles on City business. Individuals must be physically capable of operating the vehicles safely and have an acceptable driving record.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Master’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major in Urban or Regional Planning, Public Administration, Architecture, or a closely related field, and five (5) years of progressively responsible working experience in a planning environment, including one (1) year supervisory experience, or any equivalent combination of training and experience. Certification by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP Certification) is required. A valid Florida driver’s license is required.

FLSA Code: Exempt
Last Revision date: April 2004
Overtime: No
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