Job Description

Come work at a place where you have a direct impact on the quality of life for Kent residents, business owners and visitors alike!

The City of Kent is looking for an experienced Current Planning Manager with at least six (6) years of increasingly responsible work in managing community development and planning projects who would like the opportunity to champion great ideas within a supportive and positive work environment, on behalf of a community with unique diversity and serious potential.  Responsibilities include the supervision of a group of professionals engaged in the operation and oversight of the Current Planning and Rental Housing Inspection (RHIP) sections of the Economic and Community Development Department. The ideal candidate will be able to work cooperatively with other City employees, as well as members of the public and outside agencies, in ensuring compliance with City ordinances and regulations related to land development. An emphasis on process improvement through the use of Lean principles and tools will be necessary for success in this position.

The City of Kent, at 132 years old, has grown from a sleepy agrarian village known for hops and lettuce into Washington’s 6th largest city, and the nation’s 8th most diverse.  For its entire history, Kent has been about transformation, and the current shift from warehousing to advanced manufacturing and outer space ventures, along with multiple legacy-making infrastructure projects, promises to be the most exciting one yet. With the guidance of visionary leadership and a talented, devoted crew of city planners and economic development experts, this may be the perfect place for you to grow professionally while making critical contributions to the Kent community.

**This full-time position is non-represented and overtime exempt.  A cover letter and resume are required with your online application in order for your application to be considered complete.  Uploading your resume to auto-fill portions of the application does not automatically attach it to your application.  Incomplete applications will not be considered for this position.  Please note that you cannot attach documents to your application after it has been submitted.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding your online application, please call our office at (253) 856-5270 and we will do our best to assist you.**

This recruitment is open until the position is filled, with a first review of applications taking place on December 16th.

The selection process for this position will consist of the following:

-Those most qualified will be invited to a panel interview

-Reference and background checks


$10,433.00- $12,704.00 monthly; depending on experience

For a listing of benefits, please use the following link: Employee Benefits | City of Kent (


Under the direction of the Economic and Community Development (ECD) Deputy Director, plan, organize and manage the operations and activities of the Current Planning and Rental Housing Inspection sections of the ECD Department.  Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, administration of the City’s land use and development codes, implementation and evaluation of the Rental Housing Inspection Program (RHIP); land use entitlement review; implementing policy initiatives; assigning, monitoring, reviewing, and evaluating work of professional  planning  and RHIP staff,  and special project research and studies related to land use planning and development.

Work is characterized by management, administrative and supervisory responsibilities for the organization, direction, evaluation and operation of the Current Planning and RHIP sections.  The incumbent is responsible for carrying out supervisory duties including interviewing, hiring and training employees; planning, assigning and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems; approving/scheduling leave time; and recommending promotions and/or terminations where appropriate.  The incumbent assures compliance with various City ordinances and regulations related to land development; evaluates and ensures efficiency of Current Planning and RHIP processes, prepares and presents staff reports for public hearings and meetings; informs the public, outside agencies, developers, and others of various City and State land use and development code requirements and policies; and performs planning and coordination tasks for special projects and programs. 

Work is performed under managerial supervision.  The supervisor provides the employee with assignments in terms of broad practice, precedents, policies and goals.  Work may be reviewed for fulfillment of program objectives and conformance with departmental policy, practice and/or objectives.


Plan, organize, manage, evaluate, and direct the programs, operations and personnel in the Current Planning and RHIP sections of the ECD Department in the processing of planning permits and the administration and enforcement of the City’s land use, planning and zoning codes, ordinances and regulations.

Plan, organize, manage, evaluate, and direct the programs, operations and personnel in the RHIP section of the ECD Department.

Act as the City’s Local Administrator under the Shoreline Master Program in the local implementation of the State Shoreline Management Act.

Act as the City’s Responsible Official in local implementation of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).

Represent the Planning section and RHIP section before the City Council as necessary.

Supervise assigned staff in accordance with the City’s policies, procedures, and applicable laws.  Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, interviewing, hiring and training employees; planning, assigning, directing, and evaluating work and performance of staff; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and disputes; resolving problems; scheduling/approving leave time; and recommending termination as appropriate.

Effectively develop, interpret and administer the Zoning Code, Subdivision Code, technical planning documents, and other land use regulations, policies, and procedures. 

Ensure the effective and efficient review and processing of development and land use permit applications.

Process highly complex and often controversial environmental, land use, and development applications and policy initiatives to be considered and heard before the Hearing Examiner, Land Use and Planning Board, Economic and Community Development Committee, and City Council; research and coordinate these applications and policy initiatives with appropriate state, regional and local agencies and parties.  This includes, but is not limited to, preparing analysis, coordinating with other City departments, applicants, outside agencies, developers, elected officials, and general public, providing effective, timely, and appropriate public notice and public information, delivering effective presentations, and providing professional testimony and recommendations before the Hearing Examiner, Land Use and Planning Board, and City Council.

In cooperation with the ECD Deputy Director, establish goals, policies, procedures and objectives for the Section, which reflect overall City priority issues including development of an annual work program that implements the division's goals and objectives; consult with the ECD Deputy Director on the most appropriate course of action on projects and activities of the Sections; formulate the section’s annual budget and staffing projections; authorize and monitor budget and expenses for the section.

Perform the duties of planning manager, where appropriate, as prescribed in the zoning code, Title 15; subdivision code, Title 12; and the City of Kent Shoreline Master Program including decisions related to administrative variances, use interpretations, short plats, minor conditional uses, design review, and other code administration.

Originate innovative planning programs and projects; conduct special studies; perform research and analysis; prepare recommendations and special reports as assigned to facilitate Planning projects and programs; present reports and plans to the City Council, Land Use and Planning Board and citizen groups.

Effectively coordinate with interdepartmental staff to amend operational plans and regulations to ensure consistency with comprehensive growth management plans.

Negotiate, manage and administer contracts with consultants to perform specified Planning activities.  Effectively write, oversee, and coordinate grants, including budget and deliverables.

Evaluate program accomplishments against established goals and timetables. Make recommendations to the ECD Deputy Director based upon the evaluation concerning future plans.

Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with community organizations relating to planning operations.

Provide effective written, graphic, electronic, and oral communication with diverse audiences. Communicate complex, technical issues related to land use policies, application review timelines, and code requirements in understandable, common, everyday terms.

Organize, attend, and conduct effective interdepartmental and public meetings on major development applications, land use and environmental policies, plans, and implementation measures.  Effectively and tactfully represent the City and Department in various capacities as assigned. Serve as member of various City committees and task forces as assigned.

Become familiar with, follow, and actively support the vision, mission, values, and behavior statements of the department and the City.


May act as the ECD Deputy Director in the Deputy's absence.

Perform related duties as assigned.



  • Municipal government policies, procedures, structure, operations, and objectives

  • Applicable local, state, and federal laws, codes, regulations, and ordinances including, but not limited to, the Growth Management Act, State Environmental Policy Act, State Shoreline Act, and other land use statutes related to urban planning

  • Lean Management principles and tools

  • Geographic Information System fundamentals

  • Current literature, trends, and developments in the planning field

  • Principles and practices of state, regional, municipal, sub-area and neighborhood  planning, economic development, historic preservation, and zoning

  • Research methodology as applied to the collection and analysis of planning data

  • Planning information sources including, but not limited to, demographic and economic data, environmental factors, land development trends, and legal requirements

  • Engineering, architectural, and/or cartographic illustration

  • General principles and practices of governmental budgeting, accounting, and purchasing

  • General theories, principles, and practices of site planning, architecture, and civil engineering, relating to the development and use of land, and the construction of buildings

  • Modern office practices, procedures, and equipment including personal computers and related software such as word processing and spreadsheet programs, geographic information systems (GIS), automated permit process , and online platforms

  • Basic principles and practices of mathematics and statistics,

  • Correct usage of English grammar, spelling, punctuation, and vocabulary

  • Recordkeeping techniques and requirements

  • Telephone, electronic mail, online communication techniques and etiquette

  • Supervisory principles and practices

  • Technical aspects of field of specialty, including policy development, growth management requirements, project management, and land use law as it pertains to land use planning and development


  • Using research and analytical methods, practices, and procedures to define and resolve issues

  • Process improvement

  • Research techniques and technical writing

  • Project management

  • Interpreting and making decisions in accordance with ordinances, governmental regulations, and policies

  • Thinking conceptually; observing and evaluating trends; analyzing data; and drawing logical conclusions

  • Effective use of interpersonal skills in a tactful, patient, and courteous manner

  • Application of technical aspects of field of specialty

  • Effective organization and expression of ideas through use of oral, written, and graphic communications

  • Recordkeeping and preparing reports

  • Preparing and delivering oral and multimedia presentations


  • Perform the essential duties and responsibilities of the position

  • Train, supervise, provide work direction, and evaluate staff

  • Work independently and make decisions based on the broad guidelines of department and city goals, policies and objectives

  • Analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action

  • Identify wasteful or superfluous processes and procedures

  • Compile, organize, analyze, evaluate, and effectively utilize technical and statistical data, professional journals and periodicals related to research projects and other land use planning and development projects

  • Communicate effectively and succinctly on sometimes sensitive issues to diverse audiences

  • Read, interpret, apply, and explain codes, rules, regulations, legal documents, and technical policies and procedures; and resolve unique, sensitive or controversial planning issues

  • Effectively work with engineering, architectural, geographic and/or cartographic illustrations and information systems

  • Work effectively in a rapid-pace work environment on several projects concurrently, complete work with many interruptions, and plan and organize work to meet schedules and timelines

  • Work confidentially with discretion

  • Maintain records and prepare reports

  • Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with others

  • Effectively direct the work of others in a team environment

  • Effectively speak and present written, visual, and geographic information to internal and external customers

  • Make mathematical computations related to technical aspects of work; prepare and interpret graphs and charts

  • Define problems, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions


Education: Bachelor's degree in Planning, Public Administration, or a related field; and

Experience: Six (6) years of increasingly responsible professional experience in managing/directing community development and planning projects, and a minimum of two (2) years in a supervisory or management capacity;

Or: In place of the above requirements, the incumbent may possess any combination of relevant education and experience which would demonstrate the individual’s knowledge, skill, and ability to perform the essential duties listed above.


  • American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification

  • Valid Washington State Driver's License, or the ability to obtain within thirty (30) days of employment

  • Must successfully pass the City's pre-employment driver's records check; successfully complete the City's Defensive Driving Course; and maintain an excellent driving record


Typical business office machinery and equipment including, but not limited to, personal computer and spreadsheet and word processing software, database, geographic information systems (GIS) graphic and visualization software, automated permit processing software, printers, telephone, fax and copy machine, calculator, projector and architect and engineer scales.

The incumbent may also be required to operate a City vehicle to travel to and from sites within the City and outside the City.


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 sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; talk; and hear.  The employee frequently is required to reach with hands and arms.  The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; climb or balance; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.  The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. 

Specific vision abilities required by this job include close, distance, color, and peripheral vision; depth perception; and the ability to adjust focus.


Work is performed primarily in an indoor environment, subject to driving from site to site to visit development sites, perform inspections, and understand and experience aerials of varying intensities of land use in the city.  When performing work in the office, the employee is subject to frequent interruptions by walk-in citizens, developers, employees, telephone calls, and interoffice activities.  The incumbent may also be exposed to individuals who are irate or hostile.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate in the office and very loud at inspection sites.

The City of Kent is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Application Instructions

Please click on the link below to apply for this position. A new window will open and direct you to apply at our corporate careers page. We look forward to hearing from you!

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