Principal Planner - Advanced Planners

Brian Thompson

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The Wichita-Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Department is looking to create an innovative and dynamic team of hardworking, committed individuals with a passion for discovering and carrying out community goals. The Planning Department is pleased to announce an opportunity for the position of Principal Planner in the Advanced Plans Division.

The Principal Planner is largely responsible for three core functions: managing projects, administering programs, and supervising staff. The Principal Planner participates in advanced complex professional planning activities. The Principal Planner also manages and supervises the Advanced Plans Division staff, one of four divisions in the Wichita-Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Department.

This is a key position, responsible for working with community partners and stakeholders to develop civic plans that identify community goals and recommend actions to help achieve them. This work includes facilitating and attending community meetings; creating, deploying and reviewing results of surveys; and hosting special events such as pop-up engagement opportunities. This position also conducts research; prepares reports; develops draft policy changes with analysis; and provides public presentations in a variety of settings. In addition, this position will be responsible for tracking progress implementing official City and County plans; and developing annual work plans and implementation progress reports.

In addition to working on long-range plans. This position will also process a variety of current planning cases; including but not limited to: administrative adjustments, conditional uses, vacations, and zoning change requests. The amount of current plans case assignments could vary significantly, depending on the volume of applications and staffing levels.

The Metropolitan Area Planning Department (MAPD) is a consolidated City-County Department, providing professional planning services to both local governments. The Department has an annual budget of approximately $2.3 million; 20 positions; and four divisions. Applicants are encouraged to review the department webpage at for more information about the department and projects.



  • Manages planning processes – including the preparation of neighborhood, area and corridor plans.
  • Meets with and advises applicants, architects, developers, builders, attorneys, contractors, engineers, and the general public regarding City and County planning and development policies and standards.
  • Manages and provides analysis of zoning, CUP, PUD, vacation, annexation or platting cases.
  • Provides public presentations in a variety of settings.
  • Prepares planning research analysis, and staff reports for a variety of audiences – including: advisory boards, elected officials, staff, and members of the public.
  • Reviews development proposals and applications for compliance with appropriate regulations and policies; negotiates solutions that balance the community’s values and private property owner concerns.
  • Prepares land use control regulations, often based on previous examples.
  • Coordinates professional and technical personnel in the gathering of information, data analysis, plans preparation, and resulting policy recommendations.
  • Assists citizens with questions and issues regarding processes and programs.
  • Meets with neighborhood, community and development groups as part of the planning process.
  • Uses GIS software to look up information, assist stakeholders, create maps and analyze data.
  • Ability to use and learn proprietary software programs to complete projects.
  • Facilitates the implementation of comprehensive plan elements into specific initiatives/projects for public or private action.
  • Develops grant applications.
  • Monitors, administers and evaluates third party contracts.
  • Draft RFQ’s and FRP’s when warranted.
  • Participate on local and/or regional boards, representing the Planning Department as needed.
  • Writes legal notices, creates property owner notification letters, prepares agendas, and writes minutes for various meetings.
  • Completion of work assignments may require the operation of a vehicle.
  • The examples of work performed are not intended to be all-inclusive.
  • The City of Wichita reserves the right to assign additional duties as needed.



  • Considerable knowledge of current land use trends and of landmark court cases on planning issues.
  • Considerable knowledge of research methods and sources of information relating to metropolitan growth and development.
  • Thorough knowledge of the principles and practices of metropolitan planning.
  • Knowledge of municipal government administration.
  • Knowledge of computer keyboards and ability to access, interpret, and record information through use of a video display terminal and electronic keyboard.
  • Ability to effectively plan, organize, and supervise the work of others.
  • Ability to lean and reach as needed to read and interpret plans and specifications from a print that may be as large as 36 by 48 inches with information printed as small as twenty characters per inch.
  • Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with associates, employees of other Departments, representatives of outside agencies, City/County officials, and the public.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in oral and written forms.
  • Ability to collect site photos, conduct site visits, and hold site meetings on a regular basis.
  • Must be able to transport files and materials.
  • May require ability to acquire and maintain a valid Kansas driver's license.
  • An employee shall not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals in the workplace.

Required Experience and Training

A master's degree in planning and a minimum of two years of related planning experience preferred. Advanced degrees in architecture, civil engineering, geography, urban studies, public administration, law, economics or similar areas with ties to urban or regional planning may be considered. An equivalent combination of education, experience and training may be considered. Candidates that do not meet the required qualifications for Senior Planner will be considered and position would be filled as an Associate Planner with the requirements of a master's degree in planning or advanced degrees in architecture, civil engineering, geography, urban studies, public administration, law, economics or similar areas with ties to urban or regional planning may be considered.

Offers of employment are contingent upon passing a pre-employment physical, which includes drug screening, and upon satisfactory evaluation of the results of a criminal record check. Must be legally authorized to work in the United States without the need of a sponsorship.



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