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 planning manager with at least four years of supervisory experience 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.  A key focus of the next half decade for Kent’s long range planning team will be re-imagining and renewing our suburban style neighborhoods to provide housing for everyone with access to services, recreation, transportation, and employment. Key assets for our new team member would be a love of collaboration and partnership, creative thinking paired with excellent writing and presentation skills, and a strategic and innovative approach to policy craft and project initiatives.

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, won’t you consider joining us?

**This full-time position is a non-represented, overtime exempt position.  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.**

The selection process for this position will consist of the following:
-Those most qualified will be invited to a panel interview (tentatively scheduled for June 16)

-Reference and background checks

This job posting is open until filled with a first review date of June 3. 


$9,527.00- $11,601.00 monthly; depending on experience


Under the direction of the Economic and Community Development (ECD) Director, plan, organize and manage the operations and activities of the Strategic and Long-Range Planning Division.

Work is characterized by management, administration and supervisory responsibilities for organization, direction, evaluation and operation of the Strategic and Long-Range Planning Division. The incumbent is responsible for carrying out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the City’s policies and applicable laws, which includes interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems; approving/scheduling sick leave and vacation time; and recommending promotions and/or terminations as appropriate.

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 objective.


Plan, organize, manage, evaluate, and direct the programs, operations and personnel involved in the Strategic and Long-Range Planning Division including research and policy development, comprehensive and growth management planning, capital facilities planning and the Department’s Geographic Information System (GIS).

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

In cooperation with the ECD Director, establish goals, objectives and performance measures for the Division, which reflect overall City priority issues including development of an annual work program that implements the division's goals and objectives.

Effectively and tactfully represent the City and Department in various countywide and regional policy planning organizations, agencies and committees to ensure policy directions and intergovernmental services appropriately consider South County issues. 

Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with city departments and community agencies, groups and organizations related to strategic and long-range planning.

Review and comment on proposed state legislative proposals that would impact the City and Department.

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

Develop and amend codes and ordinances (e.g., Zoning Code, Subdivision Code, Shoreline Master Program), comprehensive plans, subarea plans, technical planning documents and other land use regulations, policies and procedures. Process annexations and area-wide amendments to the land use plan and zoning districts maps. 

Organize and conduct interdepartmental and public meetings on major or controversial land use and environmental policies and plans. Present analyses and recommendations to the City Council.

Serve as the primary staff liaison for the Land Use and Planning Board (LUPB); work with administrative personnel to plan meeting agendas and schedule/ cancel meetings as needed. Review all materials related to LUPB including aiding other staff in navigating the LUPB process and attend every LUPB (or designate staff to attend if an absence is unavoidable).

Conduct special studies; perform research and analysis; prepare recommendations and special reports as necessary to facilitate Long Range Planning Division projects and programs.


Provide staff assistance to and facilitate the meetings of the Land Use & Planning Board; represent the Long Range Planning Division before the City Council as necessary.


Coordinate with other departments and divisions of the City as necessary to develop, adjust, maintain and implement city policies, procedures and standards relative to long range and strategic activities as provided by law.

Consult with the Economic and Community Development Director on short and long-range planning of the division’s budget; staff projections; and goals, policies, procedures, and practices.

Strategically position the City to adapt and grow over the long-term in ways that are equitable, positive, and sustainable, for the people and the land.

Actively support the vision, mission, values and goals of the department and the City.



Perform related duties as assigned.



  • Modern principles and practices in the development and execution of municipal community development, including policy analysis and development, land use research, and regulatory interpretation

  • Current literature, trends, and developments in the field of Planning

  • Principles and practices of effective budget preparation and control

  • Local, state and federal laws, codes, regulations and ordinances pertaining to land use including, but not limited to State of Washington growth management planning and zoning laws, and particularly the Growth Management Act

  • Basic research methods

  • City organization, operations, policies and objectives

  • Basic computer applications including G.I.S.

  • Correct usage of English grammar, spelling, punctuation, and vocabulary as it pertains to the job


  • Communicating effectively both orally and in writing

  • Developing, interpreting and administering codes, ordinances, and policies

  • Observing and evaluating trends, conducting research, analyzing data, and drawing logical conclusions

  • Consensus building and decision-making techniques and practices

  • Establishing and maintaining working relationships with subordinates, other employees, public and private officials, builders, developers, and the general public

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

  • Conducting efficient and effective meetings

  • Applying principles and practices of administration, supervision, and training including hiring, training, directing, evaluating, awarding, and disciplining staff

  • Navigating complex political projects and processes, retaining professional detachment and neutrality, and using sound judgement to balance public needs in complicated situations


  • Manage, supervise and direct the operations, programs and activities of the Long Range Planning Division

  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with City officials, officials of other government agencies, City employees and the general public

  • Analyze and interpret data pertaining to planning and zoning

  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing and present information before groups of employees, managers, officials, developers, other agencies, and public

  • Read, interpret, and administer codes, rules, regulations, policies, and procedures

  • Complete work in an environment characterized by frequent interruptions

  • Work confidentially with discretion

  • Understand and work within scope of authority

  • Maintain records and prepare reports

  • Analyze situations accurately and expeditiously and adopt an effective course of action

  • Meet schedules and time lines

  • Work independently with minimum supervision and make decisions within broad guidelines

  • Evaluate program policies and practices; define problem areas; develop and direct policies and practices to improve operations

  • Demonstrate positive and effective interaction and communication with individuals of diverse occupational and social-economic backgrounds

  • Work effectively on several projects concurrently

  • Respond to common inquiries or complaints from personnel, regulatory agencies, or the public

  • Develop and implement missions, strategic goals, and objectives for the assigned division

  • Develop, administer, coordinate, and monitor a budget

  • Assign and review the work of others



Bachelor’s degree in planning, public administration or related field; and


Four (4) years of increasingly responsible municipal experience in the direction of community development and planning projects, and a minimum of two (2) years in a supervisory or management capacity.


  • Washington State Driver’s License or the ability to obtain within (30) days of employment

  • American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification preferred

  • Completion of a position relevant background inquiry


Typical business and planning office machines and equipment including but not limited to personal computer, telephone, fax and copy machine, calculator, projector, printer, engineering and architectural scales, and protractor.


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 use arms, hands and fingers to reach, handle, feel, or operate objects, materials, tools, equipment or controls; frequently required to sit, stand, walk, hear and talk normally with or without mechanical assistance; occasionally required to lift in excess of 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 in a typical office environment, with some remote work possible. Incumbent may be required to travel to sites to assess land use and environmental planning attributes and compliance with planning-related codes and ordinances, to attend meetings of other cities or agencies, to oversee public outreach on planning issues, or to participate in programs and activities put on by Employee Services. The incumbent may be exposed to individuals who are irate or hostile; may be subject to long hours due to the attendance at evening meetings. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

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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