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Lehigh Valley Planning Commission Seeking Planner

Job Position


Community Planner

Job Description


The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission (LVPC) is looking for an entry level Community Planner to provide regional and community planning services for the Lehigh Valley community. The successful candidate will assist with comprehensive and subarea planning projects. The LVPC Community Planning Section is responsible for the Regional Comprehensive Plan, specific community plans and special planning projects, subdivision and land development review, community ordinance analysis, community engagement, supports the Planning Commission and leads cross-departmental planning and policy efforts.

Team members act as community consultants with a high degree of independence and provide direct guidance to the LVPC leadership, other LVPC sections, boards and commissions, and the public. Team members are expected to be highly capable communicators and collaborators that work well with complex, multifaceted problems that require innovative solutions. The LVPC Team is entrepreneurial, innovative, highly motivated, cross-disciplinary and committed to effectively planning for and responding to 21st century needs.

Working under the general direction of the Director of Community Planning, the Community Planner:

  • Carries out planning projects involving complex technical analysis and policy development for a broad spectrum of interested parties.
  • Executes work programs for projects that have a high level of impact on the organization and the region as a whole.
  • Works constructively in teams that span multiple LVPC sections and with outside agencies and project committees using communication and personal initiative to successfully collaborate and achieve multiple objectives.
  • Coordinates, researches and writes comprehensive plans, specific planning projects, model ordinances, and other planning documents.
  • Reviews subdivision and land development plans, zoning ordinances, subdivision and land development ordinances, street vacation requests, local comprehensive plans and associated planning and engineering documents for the broader implications as they pertain to land use planning.
  • Conducts research, prepares and presents reports that clearly communicate technical analyses and make the case for policy and other recommendations, as appropriate. Utilizes geographic information systems (GIS), computer modeling and other technical tools, as necessary. Collaborates with the GIS Team.
  • Communicates effectively with peers, Planning Commission, local governments and other stakeholders on planning issues in a manner that develops and maintains positive relationships and advances the understanding of the issues at hand.
  • Represents the LVPC on various committees, at neighborhood organizations and community meetings, public hearings and before governmental bodies.
  • Prepares, implements and reports on community engagement strategies, including development of innovative collaborative methods for the greatest collective community impact. Integrates community engagement into plans and projects.
  • Constructively reviews planning studies, reports, presentations and other products completed by consultants, communities and other staff members.
  • Develops and maintains a community planning-rooted specialty (e.g. housing, sustainability, resiliency, real estate, etc.) and utilizes this expertise to augment and supplement the LVPC work program.
  • Elevates the standard of LVPC communication by researching best practices in planning and by providing orderly, routine and progressive records of review letters written and meetings attended.

The candidate will be responsible for project outcomes, attending meetings and is expected to work independently when executing project plans, while receiving overall guidance from the Director of Community Planning.

Job Requirements


General Knowledge of: Principles of land use and long-range planning; regional comprehensive planning; real estate markets, national and international trends; nomenclature, symbols, methods, practices, techniques, and computer software used in planning, drafting, mapping, and statistical analysis as applied to land use; principles of record keeping and records management.

Skills in: Researching and analyzing the factors affecting community planning projects; organizing, evaluating, analyzing and presenting data and information; preparing reports and checking designs, details, estimates, plans, and specifications of planning projects; use and interpretation of national economic data sets for supplementing existing research to write clearly and concisely; analyzing planning issues, evaluating alternatives, and making logical recommendations based on findings; maintaining accurate and interrelated technical records.

Ability to: Assess and prioritize multiple tasks, projects and demands; communicate effectively in verbal written, and graphic forms; establish and maintain effective working relations with co-workers, elected and appointed officials, community groups and the public; develop an understand of land use regulations, comprehensive planning processes, community engagement, city, county state and Federal laws codes and regulations pertaining to community planning; cultivate knowledge in research techniques for land use trends and regulations. Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Degree from an accredited four-year college or university in urban planning, architecture, environmental studies or closely related field. A master’s degree is preferred.
  • Desire to work towards American Institute of Certified Planners certification.
  • Ability to utilize Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook) and various social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn). Those with GIS, REMI, Sketch-Up, Adobe Creative Suite and other specialty skills are encouraged to apply, though these skills are not required.
  • Ability to take photographs, operate a digital camera and GoPro.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Refined organizational skills, including time-management abilities.
  • Demonstrated ability to work within and contribute to a team structure.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse groups of people and in diverse environments.
  • Participation in early morning, evening and weekend meetings, community engagement efforts and other planning projects.
  • Survey and collect data in a variety of weather and community conditions.
  • Ability to operate a vehicle in a responsible and safe manner. Possess or immediately obtain a Pennsylvania driver’s license.
  • Ability to perform the essential functions of the job without posing a direct threat to the health and safety of others.

How to Apply


E-mail submissions to ewillis@lvpc.org and include:

  • Current resume detailing your education and experience.
  • Letter of interest describing how you meet the qualifications for this position and why you would like to be considered.
  • Minimum of three (3) references with names, address, telephone number, e-mail and relationship information for each person.

Application materials must be received by 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on April 14, 2017.

Lehigh Valley Planning Commission/Lehigh Valley Transportation Study is an equal opportunity employer. Persons with a disability who need assistance with their application or that need this announcement in an alternative format, may call (610) 264-4544.