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Ferguson Township Seeking Director of Planning & Zoning

Job Position


Director of Planning and Zoning

Job Description 


The Director of Planning and Zoning is responsible for the short- and long-term community planning of the Township. This position is responsible for identifying local, statewide, and regional planning initiatives, trends, and issues; anticipating their potential impact on the community, providing input to the municipality; and developing policies, action plans or ordinances in response to a variety of land use and planning related issues facing the Township and Centre Region. The Director oversees the administration and the appropriate enforcement of land use and zoning regulations.

The duties described below are indicative of what the Director of Planning and Zoning may be asked to perform. Other duties may be assigned.

  • Management/Supervision:
      • Supervises a Community Planner, Zoning Administrator, Administrative Assistant, Ordinance Enforcement Officer, Staff Assistant, planning interns and practicums;
      • Plans work, establishes priorities;
      • Assigns works, adds or delete duties and distributes work among co-workers;
      • Instructs and trains in methods and procedures;
      • Develops projects and procedures to maintain and enhance departmental performance and effectiveness;
      • Coordinates activities with other units of government as needed;
      • Prepares performance evaluations, makes promotional recommendations;
      • Makes recommendations to the Township Manager regarding hiring, firing, disciplining, training, promotion, commendation, resource management, personnel, and policy followed by personnel;
      • Approves vacation / sick time; and
      • Assists in assignment of work, distributes work among co-workers.
  • Public Relations:
      • Coordinates community outreach with interested groups such as homeowner associations, church, civic and social groups. Organizes programs, service locations, invitations and speakers for information programs on planning and land development issues to a given audience;
      • Meets with media and answers inquiries about Township planning initiatives, development plans, and projects;
      • Makes presentations to the public and private groups to educate, inform, and/or receive feedback; and
      • Assists the public by answering inquiries and providing available information as requested. Facilitates resolutions to zoning and land development concerns with residents, developers and other stakeholders;
  • Planning:
      • Attends and participates in municipal and regional meetings with planning commissions, elected officials, Council of Governments and municipal staffs, and other governmental groups and individuals, as necessary. Attends all Township Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors Regular meetings. Attends Centre Regional Planning Commission meetings, Centre Regional Planning Agency staff meetings and other meetings as required for the purpose of gathering and dispensing information, presenting the Township’s position or determining the Township’s involvement;
      • Utilizes databases of social, economic and physical characteristics of the Township in order to provide comparative analysis with similar Centre Region municipalities;
      • Represents the Township’s interest on a regional level regarding projects, and prepares studies of importance to the Township and, conversely, prepares reports on analysis of regional studies and their importance and effect on the Township;
      • Develops and prepares reports on various topics and issues that lead to policy decisions and/or ordinance amendments for overall community improvement. When possible, these actions should be coordinated with regional programs and initiatives;
      • Provides monthly reports for the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors on topics, issues and projects highlighting areas of progress and/or suggestions for proactive studies and measures that will address foreseeable needs;
      • Prepares, with input from the Planning Commission and the Centre Regional Planning Commission, a work plan of the areas to be addressed in the coming year;
      • Coordinates with the Sewage Enforcement Officer and Health Officer on the administration and enforcement of applicable Township and state regulations;
      • Assists with appropriate grant proposals to secure funding for those areas of planning and zoning responsibilities;
      • Responsible for administering plan reviews with the Community Planner of all land developments and subdivisions. Presents plans to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors and develops recommendations for approval or denial of the same;
      • Prepares and updates the Township’s Recreation, Parks and Open Space Plan while considering current and long-range recreational needs;
      • Assists Administration in the preparation and development of Park Master Plans and parkland development projects; and
      • Work with property owners and the development community to assist in the preparation of land development plans that advance community goals and align with the Township’s ordinances and applicable regulations.
  • Financial:
      • Prepares a budget to meet the approved goals of the Department. Identifies operating requirements, maintenance costs, training costs, personnel costs, and project future needs during the budget cycle. Identifies goals and timetables and recommended funding resources;
      • Responsible for the control of departmental expenditures and for operating within Departmental budget limitations. Must project future personnel needs and make recommendations when appropriate; and
      • Assists in identifying costs of development on public goods and services. Makes projections of demands on community resources based on intensity of land development proposals.
  • Administration:
      • Responsible for preparation of all reports, reviews and analysis of matters affecting zoning and land use;
      • Responsible for preparing meeting agendas for the Planning Commission, Zoning Hearing Board, and other meetings as needed. Reviews meeting minutes prior to distribution for approval; and
      • Prepares correspondence on planning, land development and zoning matters.

Job Requirements 


  • Education and Experience:
      • Master’s Degree in planning or a related field and a minimum of three years of experience in local planning or a related field in Pennsylvania; or
      • Bachelor’s Degree in planning or a related field and a minimum of five years of experience in local planning or a related field in Pennsylvania; and
      • Demonstrable working knowledge in applying the provisions of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code; and
      • American Institute of Certified Planners certification or ability to obtain within one year of accepting employment in the position.
      • Note: Experience may be substituted for education as deemed appropriate by the Township Manager.
  • Skills and Abilities
      • Ability to maintain confidentiality during employment and continued confidentiality after termination of employment;
      • Ability to cooperate with elected officials, staff and the public;
      • Ability to understand, interpret and apply law/legal principles related to planning;
      • Computer literacy, including use of geographic information systems;
      • Ability to receive, interpret and communicate information accurately in written and oral form;
      • Ability to maintain all types of records and monitor budgets; and
      • Ability to provide expert advice with and without formal supervisory responsibility.

How to Apply


Please send cover letter, application and resume in confidence to Human Resources Administrator, Ferguson Township Municipal Building, 3147 Research Drive, State College, PA 16801 or by email to akalke@twp.ferguson.pa.us Application and complete job description available at: www.twp.ferguson.pa.us