City of Pittsburgh Seeking a Principal Planner

Job Position


Principal Planner – Commission & Code Development



We are looking for a Principal Planner (Commission & Code Development) who is passionate about working with Pittsburgh communities to dig into challenging issues and ignite local change. We are currently working on modernizing the City of Pittsburgh Zoning Code, including encouraging sustainability, reducing barriers to affordable housing, incentivizing transit-oriented development, and promoting equitable development. Join our team to work on these important code changes and help tie this together with the City’s first ever Comprehensive Plan!

The Department of City Planning is a collaborative team of creative thinkers dedicated to building effective planning processes for our communities through land use, job creation, energy efficiency, community development, racial justice, and environmental health.

The Principal Planner position will work closely with the Commission & Code Development team, Department Leadership, and other members of the Department to participate in and lead portions of an ongoing Zoning Code overhaul, review and manage master plans and building projects through the development review process and participate in policy development and analysis through Pittsburgh’s Comprehensive Planning process. This position will also work to find new strategies for engaging the community in the development review process in a thoughtful and meaningful way.

This position is within the Zoning & Development Review Division, which staff’s the Planning Commission and Zoning Board, administers the Zoning Code, and coordinates policy development and plan implementation. The Division is diverse, team-oriented and collaborative. This position will perform and coordinate professional level work and does not include supervisory duties.


  • Manages areas of responsibility in strict accordance with applicable laws, regulations and established policies, including union agreements to ensure fair and standardized treatment of employees.
  • Manages projects through Planning Commission and City Council processes and supports Commission and City Council with necessary information to make decisions as needed.
  • Participates in design review process.
  • Drafts Zoning Code legislation and zoning map amendments and facilitates through appropriate legislative process.
  • Conducts research as necessary.
  • Oversees the design, editing and/or writing for division publications, reports, flyers, etc.
  • Prepares letters, reports, testimony and position papers for Planning Director, staff, Commissions, Zoning Board of Adjustment, etc.
  • Communicates effectively with Planning Department personnel, City departments, City officials, other governmental and agency officials and members of the community to accomplish work objectives.
  • Facilitates, manages, and expedites community input into development proposals.
  • Represents Zoning Administrator at meetings and conferences when needed.
  • May work evenings and weekends.
  • Assists in training planners, interns, and clerical staff when appropriate.
  • Performs activities and functions of related lower-level personnel.
  • Performs other related tasks and duties as assigned or required.



A successful candidate for this position should have:

  • Background in land use planning, urban design/architecture, landscape architecture, community planning, or similar work;
  • History of working effectively in a team setting, coordinating and/or participating in complex reviews and processes;
  • Ability to understand fundamental and emerging concepts in land use policy, form-based and performance-based Zoning, and the principles of Just Transition;
  • Strong communication and team-building skills; and
  • Ability to work with a diverse cross-section of colleagues within City Planning and related departments, applicants for development, public officials, stakeholders, and community members.

Qualifying Requirements
Your City of Pittsburgh application will be reviewed, and your work experience and education/training will be evaluated to determine if you meet the qualifying eligibility requirements listed below for this position. You will be sent an eligibility letter regarding your eligible/ineligible status.

WORK EXPERIENCE: The application must clearly show four (4) years of full-time experience in planning, urban design, engineering, architecture, or landscape architecture. (Full-time is defined as thirty-two (32) hours or more per week. Less than full-time experience will be calculated on a pro-rated basis.)

EDUCATION/TRAINING: The application must clearly show a Master’s Degree from a fully accredited institution in Planning, Urban Design, Engineering, Architecture, Landscape Architecture or a related field. (See NOTE under the General Application Requirements Section above regarding the verification of education/training).

EQUIVALENCY: Education/training and/or work experience may be substituted on a year for year basis if the application clearly shows the required number of years to meet the Total Qualifying Requirement for this position (based on the sum of work experience and education/training listed above). The Total Qualifying Requirement is ten (10) years. (See NOTE under the General Application Requirements Section above regarding the cation of education/training).

General Application Requirements

  • You must submit or show proof of all the following at the time of filing your application (unless otherwise indicated below) or your application will be disqualified.
  • A completed online City of Pittsburgh Employment Application, including your online
    Employment Profile Data. (Education and Work Experience).
  • Completed online City of Pittsburgh Supplemental Form questions for this position.
  • A resume, to be submitted online.
  • Applicants must become residents of the City of Pittsburgh prior to employment and remain a resident throughout employment.

How to Apply


Apply online