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Urban Planner II, Historic Preservation Studio


Listing Summary

Urban Planner II, Historic Preservation Studio

Posting:  Open Until filled

Salary:  Commensurate with experience

The Urban Planner II 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 work is done in close collaboration with the Office of Design’s other functional units – the Public Space Studio and the Planning Studio – as well as other offices of the Department of City Planning, other City agencies, community members, and private sector partners.

This would be accomplished with very general supervision from the Planning Studio Assistant Director. 

General Description & 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, creation of vibrant public spaces that cultivate public life, and architectural guidance, including 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 Historic Preservation Studio of the Office of Design is responsible for the implementation of all of the City of Atlanta’s historic preservation programs and activities at all scales - from the entire city, to districts, neighborhoods, blocks, streets and buildings.  These programs and activities include architectural review using historic preservation design regulations within a public-facing process; wide-ranging technical assistance to individual property and business owners, City residents, community groups, outside researchers, other City agencies and other government entities; supporting the enforcement of the City’s historic preservation regulations; creating and managing programs and policies that advance the goals of the City’s historic preservation program; and incorporating the City’s historic places and spaces into its future.  These actions will guide the physical and economic development of our rapidly growing city. The programs and activities must thoughtfully and creatively consider how best to leverage the value of the City’s historic places and spaces to achieve desired patterns and densities of development, support new types and levels for diverse affordable housing options, and create opportunities for parks and other public spaces that reinforce the City’s physical identity while also addressing existing community needs.

This is an experienced, professional level capable of carrying out most assignments typical of the profession with limited guidance or review. This level would be considered a promotional level and attainable by any incumbents in a work group who demonstrate the necessary knowledge, ability, and performance.

Supervision Received

Direction received is very general, focuses on end results, and is typically collaborative in nature. Candidate should be extremely self-motivated and willing to take initiative.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities                        

These are typical responsibilities for this position and should not be construed as exclusive or all inclusive. Other duties shall be performed 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 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 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 

Knowledge, Skills, And Abilities

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 for Education & Experience

Bachelor’s degree in urban planning, historic preservation, architectural history, urban design, architecture, public administration, or related field.  Three (3) years of related experience is required.

Preferred Qualifications for Education & Experience

Master’s degree in urban planning, historic preservation, architectural history, urban design, architecture, public administration, or related field and three - five (3-5) years of experience in private sector or municipal urban design preferred.

Equivalent professional experience may be considered for substitution for the required degree on an exception basis.

Licensures & Certifications

Position would be expected to hold, or currently in pursuit of, licensure or professional certifications appropriate to the position.

Required: Valid Georgia driver’s license

Preferred: American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), American Institute of Architects (AIA), American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP)

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