Senior Planner - Wichita-Sedgwick County

Strong Towns Staff

Distinguishing Features of Work

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 carrying out community goals. The Planning Department is pleased to announce an opportunity for the position of Current Plans Division, Senior Planner.

This is a key position, responsible for processing a variety of current planning cases; including but not limited to: administrative adjustments, conditional uses, vacations, and zoning change requests. The Current Plans Division processes approximately 500 cases per year and consists of four staff positions. It is supported by three divisions in the Planning Department and is substantially involved in many long-range planning initiatives.
 
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 $1.7 million; 17 positions; and four divisions. Applicants are encouraged to review the department webpage at www.wichita.gov/planning for more information about the department and projects.
 
The Greater Wichita region is a fantastic community. With an aviation heritage spanning more than 100 years, it is a community built on entrepreneurship and innovation. The Wichita region offers an amazing quality of life with a low-cost of living. The region boasts wonderful parks, more than 100 miles of bikeways, multiple museums, fabulous dining opportunities, hundreds of annual events, and more. Check out www.choosewichita.com for more information.

Current Department Projects:

Zoning and Subdivision Cases
The Planning Department is responsible for administering the City and County processes for zoning changes and platting. This involves accepting applications, providing staff support to the Wichita-Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (and sub-committees), distributing public notices, and more. The public meetings for subdivision and zoning cases occur on alternating weeks throughout the year. The Current Plans Division processes approximately 500 cases per year and consists of four staff positions. It is supported by three divisions in the Planning Department and is substantially involved in many long-range planning initiatives.
Places for People Plan
In June of 2019, the City and County approved the Places for People Plan, the Urban Infill Strategy for the City and County. It recommends on investment in areas largely established prior to the 1990s. The Planning Department is currently working with community stakeholders to recommend: updates to the zoning code based on this plan.  
More Information 
Applicants are encouraged to review the department webpage at www.wichita.gov/planning for more information about the department and projects.

Examples of Work Performed

  • Meet with and advise 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. 
  • Prepares staff reports for advisory and elected officials. 
  • Write legal notices, create property owner notification letters, prepare agendas, and write minutes for various meetings. 
  • Review development proposals and applications for compliance with appropriate regulations and policies; negotiate solutions that balance the community’s values and private property owner concerns. 
  • Prepares land use control regulations, often based on previous examples. 
  • Prepares planning research analysis and related reports using professional judgment and a wide variety of data sources dependent upon the task, property, or development proposal.
  • Coordinates professional and technical personnel in the gathering of information, data analysis, plans preparation, and resulting policy recommendations.
  • Makes public presentations to boards and other groups.
  • Assists citizens with questions and issues regarding processes and programs.
  • Meets with neighborhood, community and development groups as part of the planning process.
  • Maintains and analyzes complex databases and creates mapping applications using GIS software.
  • Assists with management of neighborhood, area and special plan preparation projects.
  • Assists with developing elements of functional plans contained within the framework of comprehensive, neighborhood or transportation plans.
  • Facilitates the implementation of comprehensive plan elements into specific initiatives/projects for public or private action.
  • Develops grant applications.
  • Coordinates the preparation of reports for presentation and publication. 
  • Monitors, administers and evaluates third party contracts.
  • 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.

Requirements of Work

  • 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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