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 currently accepting applications for a Senior Planner. This position acts as lead planner, providing senior-level expertise and guidance to three planners, and filling in for the Current Planning Manager when absent. This is a "Current Planning" position involving review and analysis of complex land use development permit applications; preparation of staff reports; presentation to the Hearing Examiner; occasional work on code amendments involving presentation to the Land Use & Planning Board and City Council; and answering development related questions from the public and other departments.

The ideal candidate will be a self-directed quick learner, a skilled problem-solver, and a talented writer and communicator who is comfortable balancing a large permit workload with periodic requests for special projects. This person will have a bachelor's or graduate degree in planning or a related field, along with five (5) years of professional, in-depth experience in municipal planning. 

This is a regular, benefited position that is not represented by a union. 

Monthly salary for this position is $6,978 - $8,502, depending on qualifications.

Interview dates for this position have not been determined.  Candidates moving forward to interviews will be notified as soon as dates have been finalized.

**Please note that you must attach your cover letter and resume to your application in order for your application to be considered complete.  Uploading your resume to auto-fill portions of the application does not substitute for attaching it to your application.  Incomplete applications will not be considered for this position.  If you experience technical difficulties, please contact our office Monday-Friday, between 8:00 AM- 5:00 PM at (253) 856-5270 and we will do our best to assist you.**

Under the direction of the Current Planning Manager or designee, perform a variety of professional, senior level-duties in the areas of environmental and land use planning.

Work is characterized by professional, senior-level planning duties associated with the research, development, implementation, and administration of City codes, ordinances, policies, and procedures. The incumbent ensures compliance with various City ordinances and regulations related to land development; prepares and presents staff reports and technical papers for public hearings and meetings; informs the public, external agencies, developers, and others of various City code requirements and policy initiatives. The Incumbent assists in the development and revision of the Comprehensive Plan; and performs development and coordination tasks for special projects and programs that may be politically sensitive. The incumbent serves as a lead/mentor for lower classifications and as a liaison between residents and City Officials.  While actual duties of each Senior Planner will vary from time to time, all Senior Planners may be assigned to perform work in any or all areas.

Work is performed under limited supervision. The supervisor sets the overall objectives and resources available. The incumbent and supervisor work together to develop the deadlines, projects, and work to be completed. The incumbent is responsible for the work, plans and carries out the assignment, resolves most conflicts that arise, and interprets policies on own initiative in terms of established objectives. The incumbent keeps the supervisor informed of progress, potentially controversial matters, or far reaching implications. Work is reviewed in terms of feasibility, compatibility with other work, or effectiveness of results.


Research, prepare and present staff reports on current planning issues for the City Hearing Examiner, SEPA Responsible Official, Short Plat Committee, Design Review Committee, Land Use and Planning Board, and City Council. This includes providing professional level analysis to support findings, recommendations and decisions generated by City staff.

Process highly complex and controversial development applications, policy initiatives, and code amendments to be heard before the Hearing Examiner, Land Use and Planning Board, and City Council and coordinate the proposals with appropriate agencies and parties. This includes research and preparation of analysis; coordination with other City departments, applicants, outside agencies and the general public; delivering effective presentations; and providing professional testimony before the Hearing Examiner, Land Use and Planning Board and City Council.

Serve as lead planner and provide technical advice and assistance related to planning principles and practices to other internal City departments and external federal, state, local and private agencies as necessary. 

Have a working knowledge of other development standards as applied by various City departments.

Effectively communicate, both orally and in writing, with customers including the public, other agencies, and other City departments throughout the permit review process. Communicate complex, technical issues into common everyday terms related to land use policy, application review timelines, and code requirements.

Represent Planning Services at the City Permit Center.  Gather and interpret information regarding customer questions related to land use regulations and policies, specific land use and development proposals, and permit application requirements.

Organize and conduct inter-departmental meetings on major development applications, land use policy, plans and implementation measures.

Ensure timely and accurate public notice of land use applications, public hearings and threshold determinations; prepare on-site posting of appropriate public information.

Review, process and approve site and landscape plans to ensure compliance with codes and ordinances including conducting certificate of occupancy and landscape site inspections.

Assist in the development of comprehensive plans and programs for utilization of land and physical facilities of the City.

Enforce regulations of Zoning Code and other ordinances as required; discuss complaints with members of the public, follow up with field visits and related correspondence; and assist the Law Department and Code Enforcement Officers by providing information on zoning related enforcement issues and testifying before the City Hearing Examiner.

Prepare a variety of planning graphics, including charts and maps, for reports and public presentations.

Attend and/or conduct meetings as needed.

Serve as member of various City committees and task forces as assigned.

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


May act as Current Planning Manager in the Manager’s absence as assigned.

Perform related duties as assigned.



  • Municipal government policies, procedures, structure, operations, and objectives
  • Applicable local, state and federal laws, codes, regulations and ordinances
  • Current literature, trends, and developments in the planning field
  • Principles and practices of municipal planning and zoning
  • Research methodology as applied to the collection and analysis of planning data
  • Long range planning, including policy development, growth management requirements, and land use law as it pertains to land use planning
  • Planning information sources including demographic and economic data, environmental determinants of land use, land development trends, and legal requirements
  • Engineering, architecture and/or cartographic illustration
  • General theories, principles and practices of site planning and design review, relating to the development and use of land, and the construction of buildings
  • Microsoft Office suite, ArcMap/GIS, electronic plan review and permit tracking software
  • Modern office practices, procedures, and equipment
  • Correct usage of English grammar, spelling, punctuation, and vocabulary as it pertains to the job
  • Telephone, email and internet techniques and etiquette
  • Technical aspects of field of specialty


  • Use of research and analytical methods, practices and procedures to define and resolve issues
  • Effective organization and expression of ideas through use of oral and written communications
  • 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
  • Record-keeping


  • Organize and conduct various research projects
  • Collect and analyze planning data
  • Assist in development and revision of the Comprehensive Plan
  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing
  • Work confidentially with discretion
  • Make effective oral presentations at public hearings and meetings
  • Work with construction plans, architectural drawings, and sketches
  • Physically perform the requirements of the position
  • Work in a rapid-pace work environment, to handle multiple tasks and to plan and organize work to meet schedules and timelines
  • Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with others
  • Analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action
  • Maintain records and prepare reports on current planning issues
  • Work with limited supervision
  • Read, analyze, interpret, apply, and explain City codes, rules, regulations, policies and procedures, state and federal laws, professional journals, technical procedures, and legal documents
  • Speak effectively, present information, and respond to questions from City Council, management, developers, the general public, and/or public groups
  • Interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form
  • Work independently and make decisions within broad guidelines
  • Compose, proofread and edit general correspondence, routine reports, contracts, etc.
  • Add, subtract, multiply, divide; compute fractions, ratios, percentages, proportions; draw and interpret graphs and charts; and apply these concepts to practical situations
  • Define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions; apply common sense understanding to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists


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

Experience: Five (5) years of professional level experience in Municipal Planning.

Or: In place of the above requirement, 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 and responsibilities listed above.


  • Successful completion of an American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification
  • A valid Washington State Driver's License
  • Must be able to successfully pass the City's pre-employment driver's records check
  • Completion of position relevant background check

The City of Kent is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Application Instructions

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