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Urban Planner III


Listing Summary

Urban Planner III Historic Preservation Studio (Job Number: 230417)

Posting:  Open Until Filled

Salary:  Commensurate with experience

General Description and Classification Standards

The City of Atlanta Department of City Planning (DCP) is committed to implementing Atlanta City Design and transforming Atlanta into the best possible version of itself. Adopted into the city charter in December 2017, Atlanta City Design articulates an aspiration for the future city that Atlantans can fall in love with, knowing that if people love their city, they will make better decisions about it.

The Office of Design of the Department of City Planning provides leadership for the physical design of the city. It accomplishes this through the design of physical plans for the logical organization of our future city, the creation of vibrant public spaces that cultivate public life, and architectural guidance, including the preservation, of high-quality buildings that contribute to a cohesive public realm. This work is framed by Atlanta City Design and driven by the desire to design a city for everyone in the most inclusive way possible.

The Urban Planner is responsible for supporting the successful implementation of: Atlanta City Design, the City of Atlanta’s historic preservation program regulations, and policies, the responsibilities of the Atlanta Urban Design Commission, the Future Places Project, and the initiatives of the Office of Design.  Duties at this level include, but are not limited to: providing quality customer service to the stakeholders of Atlanta; ensuring that project applications, project design reviews, staff reports, enforcement actions, research projects, and open record requests are processed efficiently and in a timely manner; and performing administrative, analytical and technical functions in support of the development, implementation and monitoring of the City’s historic preservation and urban design programs, regulations, and policies.

This is a fully seasoned professional level capable of independently carrying out most assignments typical of the profession.  This level would be attainable by multiple incumbents in a work group (not necessarily by all) but would not be an "automatic" promotional level.

Supervision Received

The Urban Planner reports to the Assistant Director for Historic Preservation within the Office of Design in the Department of City Planning.  The direction received is very general, focuses on end results and is typically collaborative in nature.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

These are typical responsibilities for this position and should not be construed as exclusive or all-inclusive.  May perform other duties as assigned.

  • Design Review Processes and Atlanta Urban Design Commission Activities.

Act as the lead Staff person for the Atlanta Urban Design Commission and serve as the Commission’s Secretary under the supervision of the Assistant Director. Coordinates the creation of the Commission’s Agenda, minutes, and other documents required by the City Code.  Manage the design review process including the assignment and distribution of applications for review by other Staff. Using the City’s historic preservation regulations, process and fully analyze design review applications for private sector residential, commercial, institutional, and mixed-use designs including neighborhood-focused single-family and commercial, as well as high-profile, multi-phase developments.  Complete Staff-level design reviews for renovations, maintenance work, and site work on all property types.   Provide design commentary for the substantial City of Atlanta and Atlanta Public School capital projects.  Review proposed subdivisions for compliance with the City’s historic neighborhood design criteria in the Subdivision Ordinance.  Provide design and regulatory analysis to the Zoning Review Board, Board of Zoning Adjustment, and SAP processes.  Evaluate City public art installations and installations of public art on private property.  Manage public engagement processes.  Resolve community, applicant, and inter-agency concerns, including enforcement of the historic preservation regulations.

  • Compliance with Federal Section 106 Regulations

Complete Section 106 design reviews for housing rehabilitation, commercial revitalization and demolition actions.  Advise City agencies on compliance with housing and community development projects.  Review a wide variety of project types/construction documents for NRHP eligibility and compliance with the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Rehabilitation.   Implement programmatic/mitigation agreements on large-scale individual projects and multi-year federal programs.  Respond, as needed, to official information requests on behalf of the City.

  • Preservation Planning, Design, & Technical Assistance Programs

Support the designation of new Historic / Landmark districts and properties, including interaction with property owners, communities, and public officials.   Revise historic preservation/design regulations.  Provide strategic and technical assistance to the City’s historic and potentially historic neighborhoods and commercial areas. Advise other City agencies and outside consultant teams on a full range of preservation issues.  Contribute to the success of the City’s Atlanta City Design, Historic Revitalization Strategy, Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) and Capital Improvements Program (CIP) processes.  Participate in regional historic preservation activities.  Support National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) nominations. Present the City’s historic preservation programs and initiatives to a wide variety of audiences, including elected officials and reviews boards.

  • General Office of Design / Departmental Programs

Assist with the process of establishing new zoning regulations for the City.  Attend public meetings as required such as the Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU), community association meetings, and meetings required for historic preservation and urban design initiatives.   Accept and intake applications and questions from internal and external customers for Historic Preservation related inquires. Participate in planning studies and reports in support of new and updated plans, programs and regulations. Act as liaison between community groups, government agencies, developers and elected officials related to the City’s planning, development review, and historic preservation functions.  Provide information to the public regarding development regulations. Assist in resolving citizen and customer issues. Conduct field evaluations and assessments. Maintain planning documents, codes and related regulations for research, documentation and public access.   Use GIS to prepare maps, graphics, reports and related documents. Coordinate with the City Attorney, building officials, Zoning Review Board, Board of Zoning Adjustment and other public officials in matters relating to historic preservation, urban design, general zoning and development in the City.

Decision Making

Applies organizational policies. Establishes work methods, timetables, performance standards, etc. Selects from multiple procedures and methods to accomplish tasks.

Leadership Provided

Manages the design review process.  Serves as a technical resource and mentor to other employees.  May lead or instruct less experienced workers in high-level or technical tasks.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities This is a partial listing of necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the job successfully.  It is not an exhaustive list.

Knowledge of: Nationally accepted historic preservation principles and concepts; historic preservation design guidelines and regulations; federal historic preservation law and review procedures; the National Register of Historic Places and its criteria; the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation; current/progressive concepts of historic preservation and urban design; local government design review, zoning, and planning procedures; GIS and how to prepare maps, graphics and reports; spreadsheets, databases and software to help visualize and present design projects; planning and zoning, economic development and related principles, methodologies, processes and practices; historic preservation and urban planning research methodology, including field inspections, computer and electronic searches, and archive and file searches; principles and practices of developmental design and engineering, including historic preservation, architecture, landscape architecture, site design and development, and land use compatibility.

Skill in oral communication and interpersonal relationships to explain rules, procedures and programs clearly to the public; creative problem-solving to gather relevant information to solve vaguely defined practical problems; and management of historic preservation planning and program analysis projects.

Ability to: read and interpret architectural and civil engineering plans, city regulations, procedures, master plans, regulatory codes, technical and operational documents, reports, research material and information, and maps; analyze applications and apply relevant regulatory ordinances and codes; operate and maintain a GIS computer system; prepare and present oral, written and graphic reports, documents, brochures and pamphlets, maps, and related historic preservation, general planning and development documentation; operate standard office equipment including a personal computer using program applications appropriate to assigned duties; communicate effectively; and establish and maintain effective working relationships with the public, customers, citizen groups and other employees.

Minimum Qualifications – Education and Experience

Bachelor’s degree in urban planning, historic preservation, architectural history, urban design, architecture, public administration, or related field.

5 years of related experience is required.

Preferred Education & Experience

Master’s degree in urban planning, historic preservation, architectural history, urban design, architecture, public administration, or related field and 5-8 years of experience in municipal planning and design review; (equivalent professional experience may be considered for substitution for the required degree on an exception basis); some supervisory experience desired.

Licensures and Certifications

The position would be expected to have licensure or professional certifications appropriate to the position.

Required: Valid Georgia driver’s license

American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification (preferred)

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) Section 106 certification (preferred)

Essential Capabilities and Work Environment

Required physical, lifting, and sensory capabilities are requirements to perform the job successfully. Typical environmental conditions associated with the job.

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