Bethlehem Township, Northampton County, PA is seeking a Township Zoning Officer/ Staff Planner. This is a full time professional position with a busy department in one of the most active and fastest growing communities in the Lehigh Valley Region. The Zoning Officer/ Staff Planner shall be responsible for the review and issuance of all zoning permits and formal zoning opinions, as well as managing the proceedings of the Township Zoning Board of Appeals. Additionally, the position shall assist with township planning functions and research, as directed. The successful candidate should have a bachelor’s degree in planning, urban studies, government or public administration and have working knowledge of smart growth planning, new urbanism and progressive stormwater management techniques. Strong customer service, public outreach and relationship building skills are also necessary.
TYPICAL EXAMPLES OF WORK
- Reviews and issues zoning permits in accordance with Bethlehem Township Zoning Ordinance.
- Interprets ordinance and provides formal zoning opinions to residents, businesses and developers.
- Serves as staff manager and liaison of the Bethlehem Township Zoning Hearing Board.
- Schedules, plans and completes administrative tasks for regular Zoning Hearing Board meetings.
- Performs appropriate research, studies and projects required in the preparation of plans including but not limited to recreation, neighborhood, housing, transportation, economic development and community development as directed by the Department Director.
- Processes and analyzes large volumes of data on land use, transportation, housing, demographics and environmental factors for the purpose of reporting, analyzing and disseminating information, as directed.
- Prepares, designs and coordinates surveys and data collection efforts, forms and standards.
- Provides direct technical assistance to governmental and other agencies, local officials and citizens for a variety of zoning & planning issues.
- Assists with operation of the Township Planning Commission meetings, including but not limited to, review and preparation of staff recommendations on zoning variances and special exception requests, subdivision and land development plans, land use and zoning amendments.
- Assists in coordination of applicable reviews by other agencies and city departments and reports results to staff, the Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners.
- May prepare and manage grant applications for non-profit, state and federal resources.
- Participates in the planning process and development of a variety of plans including but not limited to comprehensive plans, strategic plans, implementation plans, district and neighborhood plans, redevelopment plans and site plans.
- Participates in the implementation steps of comprehensive and current planning policies, strategies and projects.
- Provides technical support to assist implementation of community and economic development goals, objectives, policies, strategies and projects.
- Attends inter-agency meetings and serves as a member of various committees.
- Performs other related work as directed or required.
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
- Ability to competently, uniformly and consistently execute zoning ordinances and regulations.
- Knowledge of zoning and land use principals that enable the successful applicant to make independent decisions on permit issuance or proposals in need of zoning relief.
- Thorough knowledge of the scope and objectives of current land use and planning standards and trends.
- Thorough knowledge of planning issues as they apply areas of community and economic development.
- Knowledge of the state Municipalities Planning Code.
- Knowledge of the techniques and practices of planning research.
- Knowledge of the methods and techniques of planning analysis.
- Knowledge of the principles and practices of planning and urban design.
- Considerable knowledge of the theories of planning methods.
- Considerable knowledge of the organization and function of municipalities and other agencies.
- Considerable knowledge of legal concepts and legislation basic to planning, land use and zoning.
- Considerable knowledge of computer assisted applications for planning and statistical analysis.
- Basic knowledge of currently accepted and promoted stormwater management techniques and practices.
- Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with associates, civic organizations, community and industrial groups and the general public.
- Ability to present ideas effectively orally and in written or graphic form.
- Ability to analyze complex problems and reach sound conclusions.
- Ability to formulate original plans and/or written reports presenting solutions to planning problems which are in accordance with accepted planning principles.
- Ability to utilize various software programs required in a professional planning setting including but not limited to, Microsoft suites, Adobe suites, ArcGIS, etc.
MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE
- Any combination of education and experience equivalent to completion of a bachelor’s degree program at an accredited college or university in planning, geography, government, public administration or related program with two to four years of experience in a planning agency, government bureau, engineering firm or similar setting; or a master’s degree in planning, public administration or related field with two years professional experience.