Comprehensive Planning Manager

King County   Auburn, WA   Full-time
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King County is seeking an equity-focused, detail oriented and organizationally savvy candidate for the position of Comprehensive Planning Manager. This position will serve on the Regional Planning team in the Office of Performance, Strategy, and Budget.
The Office of Performance, Strategy, and Budget ("PSB") serves as the hub of county budget  and policy development, strategic planning, performance management, and as a key implementation arm of the County Executive. PSB is committed to becoming a diverse, inclusive, and open organization that models the County's values. PSB employees enjoy a flexible work environment and frequent opportunities for collaboration and celebration. For additional information please visit our website:
As the only county in the United States named after Dr. 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 who represent countries from around the world. It is a region with increasing diversity that values the traditions of many cultures. King County is changing the way government delivers service and has been recognized nationally as a model of excellence.
King County continues to build on a legacy of shared values: equity and social justice, employee engagement, innovative thinking, and continuous improvement. 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. All of these qualities make King County one of the nation's best places to live, work, and play.
King County provides a generous employee benefits package including comprehensive health benefits, paid parental leave, and paid time off to volunteer. For details, see:
The Comprehensive Planning Manager, reporting to the Director of Regional Planning, manages and participates in advanced and highly complex community and interagency planning activities. This position serves as the project manager and lead for the development of the King County Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Planning Manager exercises a significant degree of independence and judgment, while under the general supervision of the Director of Regional Planning in the Office of Performance, Strategy and Budget. The new Comprehensive Planning Manager will lead the required statutory update of the King County Comprehensive Plan due to the state in 2024.
The Comprehensive Planning Manager is responsible for making the County’s planning processes transparent and accessible to all people in King County. The ideal candidate will have experience centering communities that have historically been underrepresented in and often most harmed by planning processes, especially Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color. An understanding of the role comprehensive and land use planning has played in creating and exacerbating inequities, and a commitment to working with community to develop and implement reparative policies and processes, is essential.
To manage the complexity and range of issues that are addressed in the Comprehensive Plan, the successful candidate will have broad experience and a deep understanding of current and long-range land use planning. To effectively navigate a complex and decentralized organization, the successful candidate will have strong relationship building and management skills, as well as a nuanced understanding of organizational decision-making and operations. Additionally, the successful candidate will have demonstrable experience balancing long-term land use policy needs for both urban and rural areas, in partnership with communities with the ability to form partnerships with historically marginalized communities.
King County and the Office of Performance, Strategy and Budget are committed to building communities in which all are provided the opportunity to thrive. In that spirit, we encourage candidates to consider the ways in which the work of the Comprehensive Planning Manager can advance the County’s Equity and Social Justice vision, goals, and the Strategic Plan:

Job Duties

  • Provide, through leadership of an interdepartmental team, overall project management of King County Comprehensive Plan development, including management of annual updates and major amendment processes every four years.
  • Develop and manage a public engagement plan that ensures early and continuous public participation and that centers and authentically engages underrepresented communities. Please note that this may include organizing and attending evening and weekend meetings.
  • Monitor and ensure compliance of county comprehensive plan with local, state, and federal laws.
  • Collaborate with and support other members of the Regional Planning team working on countywide and regional planning, growth forecasting and demographics, and annexations.
  • Partner with the Department of Local Services - Permitting Division during the development of subarea plans to ensure consistency with the King County Comprehensive Plan.
  • Manage complex planning studies; conduct research and prepare reports and recommendations on land use planning issues.
  • Manage consultant contracts, including reviewing consultant analysis and recommendations.
  • Serve as the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) official in compliance with RCW 43.21C and the County’s SEPA regulations.
  • Present reports and other findings to staff, elected officials, legislative committees, community organizations, stakeholder groups, and regional and statewide planning organizations.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

  • Master's degree in planning or a closely related field and at least five years of experience in the planning profession, preferably for a county or other general purpose local government; OR any combination of education and experience that clearly demonstrates the ability to perform the duties of the position.
  • AICP certification is preferred.
  • Strong project management skills; must have demonstrable experience managing complex projects with multiple stakeholders.
  • Knowledge of historic planning, housing, and development practices that have had disparate impacts on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and other underrepresented communities and that have created deeply rooted racial and socioeconomic inequities across all quality-of-life outcomes.
  • Knowledge of and ability to apply and use the County’s Equity and Social Justice tools and resources, including the ability to successfully manage an Equity Impact Review.
  • Knowledge of federal, state, and local laws, codes, and regulations related to land use planning. The successful candidate must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of King County’s responsibilities under the Washington State Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A) and the State Environmental Policy Act (RCW 43.21C)
  • Ability to lead and manage a matrixed team of high performing staff without formal supervisory authority.
  • Professional familiarity with rural land use and development issues, including those pertaining to the regulation of agriculture, mining, and forest practices.
  • Knowledge of and experience with developing and implementing reparative policies and programs designed in partnership with communities most harmed by racial and socioeconomic inequities
  • Knowledge of and experience with a broad range of public engagement & outreach techniques and processes, including use of social media and online / virtual meeting platforms.
  • Knowledge of and experience with legislative drafting conventions and with drafting policies, codes, and regulations.
  • Knowledge of and facility with the use of computer hardware and software programs and Internet applications.
  • Strong and emotionally intelligent interpersonal skills to support working relationships across agencies and branches of government in order to effectively address and manage conflict.
  • Strong written & verbal communication and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and effectively with broad range of internal and external stakeholders, elected officials, community advocates, and the public.

Supplemental Information

Forbes recently named King County as one of Washington State's best employers. 
Together, with leadership and our employees, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation's best places to live, work and play. 

Guided by our "True North", we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles--we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.

As of October 18, 2021, most* King County employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  If hired, you will be required to submit proof of vaccination by October 18th.   People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.  Employees may make requests for a reasonable accommodation based on a medical disability or for sincerely held religious beliefs.  Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.
This directive applies to employees in the Executive branch*, the Assessor’s Office, Elections, the King County Sheriff’s Office, and the Executive Office.  

This position is open to all qualified internal and external applicants.
Candidates are asked to fully complete an online job application and submit a resume and letter of interest to ensure consideration. Letters of interest should demonstrate how a candidate's experience, skills, and abilities fit the needs of the position.

Please do not leave sections of the online application blank or use the shorthand “see resume”.
If you have any questions about this recruitment, please contact Seth Daniel Watson, HR Manager, at 206-477-5330 or

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.

This job is no longer available.

King County

Auburn, WA