Associate or Senior Planner

King County Department of Human Resources | Auburn, WA

This job is no longer available.

Posted: August 08, 2019 2019-08-08T13:58:06.924742+00:00


Department of Local Services, Permitting Division is looking to fill a Land Use Planner position.  Planners work under the supervision of a Product Line Manager to produce or help produce timely, accurate, quality reviews and approvals of land use, development, and building permits. Planners work collaboratively and with some independence to review a variety of permit types that may include single-family, subdivision, commercial, or infrastructure projects. Planners are responsible for carefully reviewing permit application plans and technical documents; working cooperatively with others in the department and in other agencies; and writing or assisting in writing technical permit approval documents and staff reports that are clear, accurate, and defensible. An essential part of the job is to work positively and in a solution-oriented manner with customers, their design/engineering professionals, other members of the public, and co-workers. Planners may attend public hearings or meetings and may assist with presentations. 

King County is the local service provider for roughly a quarter-million people who live in unincorporated parts of the county. If all of these residents lived together in a single city, it would be the second-largest city in the state. The population of our urban unincorporated areas is three-to-four times more diverse than those of our rural unincorporated areas in terms of race, language spoken, and income. The Department of Local Services includes a Director's Office, a Community Service Areas group, a Road Services Division, and a Permitting Division. It provides a single point of accountability for delivery of local services to all unincorporated areas in King County.

As the only county in the United States named after Martin Luther King Jr, one of the most influential civil rights leaders in our nation's history, King County is a vibrant community with residents that represent countries from around the world. It is a region with increasing diversity that cherishes the artistic and social traditions of many cultures. Together, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence.

King County employees provide more than 2 million residents with essential services that make this one of the nation's best places to live, work, play, and raise a family. We continue to build on an enduring legacy of shared values of equity and social justice, employee engagement, innovative thinking, and continuous improvement. With this commitment, King County has adopted a pro-equity agenda aimed at advancing regional change and is developing the systems and standards necessary to achieve better outcomes for all of our residents, regardless of their race or income.

Job Duties

Associate Planner:

  • As assigned by the Product Line Manager, review and potentially impose conditions upon land use and building permits according to applicable codes, laws, and policies.
  • Author or assist in authoring accurate and understandable permit language, technical documents, and staff reports that are consistent with applicable codes, laws, and policies; reach out for assistance from supervisor or other professionals as needed.
  • Implementation and administration of King County's State Shoreline Management Act Shoreline Regulations, State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) policies and procedures, and assist staff ecologists with coordination and administration of Critical Area regulations.
  • Author accurate and understandable permit language, technical documents, and staff reports that are consistent with applicable codes, laws, and policies.
  • Manage individual work time to meet a fluctuating work load and achieve target review times; seek direction from supervisors about project prioritization.
  • Support pre-application conferences and assist with customer inquiries.
  • Work cooperatively with others in the department or in other agencies to resolve permit- and process-related issues.
  • Exhibit and support a culture of superior customer service; work with others in the department, including supervisors, to help applicants find the possible and correct pathway to what the applicant wants to achieve.
  • Communicate on the job in ways that reflect well upon King County, the County Executive, the department, and the incumbent.
  • Scrupulously honor commitments made to customers and others.
  • Other duties as assigned.
Additional Senior Planner Job Duties:
  • Author accurate and understandable permit language, technical documents, and staff reports that are consistent with applicable codes, laws, and policies.
  • Serve as a technical resource for other planners in the department.
  • As directed, assist in managing the workflow of other planners in the department, and help establish Standard Work practices for permit types.
  • Develop or assist in developing code and plan amendments that bring greater relevance or improve departmental processes or systems; support ad hoc long-range planning assignments.
  • Represent the department in public hearings.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:

Associate Planner:

  • Bachelor's degree in planning, urban studies, environmental sciences or a related field; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Knowledge of the structure, purpose, and application of zoning codes.
  • Knowledge of the planning process.
  • Clear and effective communication skills: ability to listen, provide feedback, and negotiate outcomes as needed; ability to provide accurate and concise oral presentations and project updates.
  • Ability and commitment to work within a Standard Work framework in the department.
  • Experience in current planning (development review and permitting).
  • Ability to read and interpret plans, policies, and regulations; knowing when to reach out for assistance from supervisor or other professionals.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish effective working relationships and partnerships across boundaries.
  • Skill in problem solving with effective solutions.
  • Frontline customer service experience.
Additional Senior Planner:
  • Professional-level current planning experience.
  • Demonstrable experience with long-range planning assignments.
  •  Demonstrable supervisory experience of current planning professionals.

Our Most Competent Candidate Will Also Have:

Associate Planner:
  • Experience serving as a Shoreline Administrator, SEPA Official, and / or similar role.
  • Professional current planning experience in the administration of local critical area protection regulations, Shoreline Management regulations and reviews under SEPA.
  • Knowledge and understanding of state/local environmental regulations, programs and policies. These include the State Shoreline Management Act, State Environmental Policy Act and Growth Management Act critical area regulations.
  • American Institute of Certified Planners accreditation.
Additional Senior Planner:
  • Master's degree in planning or a related field.
  • Demonstrable track record of success with complex, high-profile, and/or time-sensitive projects.
  • Experience in making presentations to Hearing Examiners, legislative bodies, and the public.

Supplemental Information

First interviews will be scheduled for Friday, September 13, 2019.  Please make yourself available to interview on this day.

If you are selected as a finalist you will be asked to come back on Thursday, September 19, 2019 for a second interview.  Please make yourself available to interview on this day.

This recruitment may be used to fill a current or future Career Service, Term Limited Temporary or Special Duty Assignment.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Must have a valid Washington State driver's license and the ability to operate a motor vehicle safely throughout the County.
  • Must be able to lift up to 30 pounds.
  • Must be able to traverse construction sites in any weather condition.
  • Must be able to use office equipment and software.
WHO MAY APPLY: This position is open to all qualified applicants.  First consideration will be given to current Local 17 PROTEC members in the same classification that are eligible for lateral transfer.

WORK SCHEDULE: The Senior Planner is exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and is not overtime-eligible. The Associate Planner is overtime eligible.  The position is paid on a bi-weekly schedule, every other Thursday, comprising a 40-hour work week. The work week is normally 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The position may be required to work extended and/or flex scheduled work hours to respond to service needs.

APPLICATION PROCESS: To apply for this career opportunity, you must provide four application components: 1) your resume, 2) a cover letter, and 3) a completed King County application form.  You may attach your resume and cover letter to the on-line application. To apply, go to then click the "Current King County Employment Opportunities" link. From there, click the Assistant, Associate, or Senior Planner position for the Department of Local Services. Finally, click the "Apply" link on the far right to initiate the application.

If you do not have access to a computer or are unable to apply on line, please call the department's human resources office at 206-477-0380.

RECRUITMENT PROCESS: Applicants who are found to meet the minimum qualifications will be further reviewed for competitive quality. Those applicants who possess the most competitive background in directly related experience, knowledge, and training may be contacted for interviews. Job-related reference checks will be conducted prior to any offer of employment.

UNION MEMBERSHIP: This position is represented by Local 17 PROTEC.

CONTACT INFORMATION: Please direct questions about this recruitment to Theresa Reynolds at 206-477-0380, or

King County values diverse perspectives, life experiences, and differences. The Department of Local Services encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and veterans. We are committed to being equitable and fair in providing equal access to opportunities for all.

King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being.  Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members
  • Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents
  • Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan
  • Transportation program and ORCA transit pass
  • 10 paid holidays each year (plus 2 personal holidays)
  • Generous vacation and paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave, family and medical leaves, and volunteer leave
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Wellness programs
  • Onsite gyms and activity centers
  • Employee giving program
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Flexible schedules and telecommuting options, depending on position
  • Training and career development programs
For additional information about employee benefits please visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page.

This is a general description of the benefits offered to eligible King County employees, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy.  If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the CBA prevails.  Also, in the event of any incorrect information in this document, applicable laws, policies, rules, CBAs, or official plan documents will prevail.
NOTE:  Benefits for Term Limited Temporary (TLT) or Short Term Temporary (STT) positions, including leave eligibility and/or participation in the pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, will vary based upon the terms and details of the position. Short Term Temporary positions are not eligible for an ORCA transit pass.
For inquiries about the specifics of this position, please contact the recruiter identified on this job posting.

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