Deputy Director Urban Planning & Construction

Summary of work

Under the direction of the Director of Planning and Construction, provides leadership and manages, supervises and administers the activities of the Planning and Construction Department. Assists the Director in the day-to-day operations of the department, including personnel, budget, administration and work program tasks. Supervises the activities of the department in the absence of the director.

main responsibilities
Executes directives from the Director to ensure that department programs are implemented in accordance with City objectives and policies. This is accomplished through the direct supervision of project managers and the general supervision of departmental staff.

Essential functions

  • Provides recommendations and advice to the City Council, Planning Commission, Houghton Community Council, Design Review Board and City Hearing Examiner in accordance with City policies and regulations and professional planning practices.
  • Assists the Director in the development of policies and procedures designed to increase the efficiency of department operations. Partners with department management to ensure implementation of new policies and procedures.
  • Manages long-range planning activities for the city, including the preparation of the overall plan and land use regulations in accordance with the state growth management law, other state laws and regional and county policies.
  • Keeps abreast of major City initiatives and policy changes, advises department manager and management of service impacts.
  • Provides regular progress reports to the Director on department operations.
  • Assists the Director in developing short and long term strategic plans regarding organizational structure, goals and objectives, and priorities. Manages the implementation of departmental objectives in accordance with City policies and procedures and City Council objectives.
  • Recommends staffing, service levels, budgeting and resource requirements. Assists the Director in the preparation and administration of the department’s budget. Approves expenditures and budget adjustments, if any.
  • Hires, retains, motivates and directs scheduling supervisors, staff schedulers and various contract employees. Assigns tasks and distributes workload. Provides direction and support to staff in carrying out their tasks and reviews the quality of their work products. Collaborates with HR on employee discipline issues as needed.
  • Conducts annual performance reviews, recommending goals and areas of personal and professional improvement for direct reports. Tracks department leadership performance review progress and works with the manager to ensure completion.
  • Provides guidance for professional training and staff development to maintain knowledge of current practices and techniques.
  • Provides policy and technical advice to staff, other City departments, the public, and appointed and elected officials on City policies, regulations, and planning programs for land use, growth, and development. Researches, evaluates alternatives and prepares reports on complex or politically sensitive land use issues. Coordinates department activities and tasks with other city departments to ensure a cohesive approach to common projects of interest to the entire city. Coordinates with the City Attorney on legal issues regarding planning and permit applications.
  • Acts as the city’s representative in intergovernmental activities or negotiations with other agencies and municipalities, regional, state and federal agencies.
  • Manages interdepartmental and intergovernmental projects and programs dealing with land use plans, housing, natural resources, transportation, economic development and capital improvements.
  • Assesses and determines consultant needs, negotiates and administers professional and consulting services contracts and work programs; oversees consultant performance and authorizes tasks and expenditures.
  • Establishes procedures for the release of public information and opportunities for public participation in departmental planning activities. Presents programs and projects to community groups and at public meetings. Provides public information to outside groups requesting information about City and Department activities.
  • Acts as acting director in the absence of the director.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Assumes responsibility for final decision making on development permits on behalf of the Director of Planning and Construction. Acts as the City’s responsible official for SEPA in the absence of the director.
  • Provides advice and guidance to staff on permit applications and development and environmental review to ensure compliance with legal requirements, including zoning, subdivision and development regulations, the City’s Environmental Policy Act State and Coastal Management Act.
  • Advise developers, business people, the public and other interested parties in evaluating development proposals and interpreting development regulations in accordance with City policy.
  • Responds to and resolves difficult and sensitive customer inquiries, disputes and complaints.
  • May serve as group leader/facilitator in cross-departmental working groups dealing with city-wide policy and management issues.
  • Makes presentations and testifies before state and legislative committees.
  • Acts as project manager for major projects and supervises and coordinates project management staff.
  • Performs other assigned duties.
Knowledge, skills and abilities
  • In-depth knowledge of management, administration and budgeting to effectively direct the activities of a planning and building department, including making critical decisions and representing the Director of Planning and Building and the city ​​; manage various professional activities of highly qualified professionals; and ability to motivate staff and provide constructive feedback.
  • Ability to exercise discretion and independent judgment in choosing approaches, methods and resources to solve problems and achieve results.
  • Ability to analyze complex and controversial planning issues and development applications and provide recommendations and advice to the public, as well as to appointed and elected officials.
  • Ability to realize a vision for the future of the City and contribute to the development of a constituency for good land use planning and local government.
  • Extensive knowledge of land use, environmental and transportation planning, urban design, economic development and development regulation, planning concepts, techniques and practices.
  • Advanced skills in negotiating complex issues with small or large groups to resolve conflict, build consensus and reach compromise.
  • Ability to exercise professional judgment and make timely decisions in a complex political environment.
  • Advanced interpersonal and communication skills (both written and verbal) to maintain effective working relationships with internal and external contacts, report writing and presentations.
  • Ability to attract, retain, lead and motivate competent and professional staff.
  • Knowledge of union contract provisions as they relate to planning staff.
  • Ability to be flexible in the face of changing priorities.

Minimum qualifications
Bachelor’s degree in urban planning, architecture, urban design, public administration or related field, plus seven (7) years of professional planning experience of which at least three (3) years in a supervisory or management role. AICP and/or Masters in Planning or closely related field is desired. Knowledge or experience of building code administration desired. Intermediate level computer proficiency including word processing, spreadsheet, database and permit tracking software. Valid Washington State driver’s license or ability to obtain upon hiring.


Work conditions
Work is performed in a typical office environment. Requires attendance at meetings or public hearings at City Hall or offsite, which may be before or after regular business hours. Requires sitting for long periods of time while performing keyboard operations. Visits to construction sites, vacant properties, or environmentally sensitive areas, which may involve exposure to rugged terrain and/or outdoor weather conditions, may be required.

Selection process
The position requires a resume and a cover letter (letter of interest) for consideration of the application. Please note how you meet the minimum qualifications in the cover letter. Candidates selected for the next steps in the hiring process will be invited by phone or email. Position open until filled with initial review of candidates no later than day 15 of initial posting.

Vaccination requirement
Effective November 8, 2021, all new hires to the City will be required, as a condition of employment, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to the start date.

Clifton L. Boyd