Sr. Design Review Planner (Land Use Planner III)


City of Seattle

Job Description

The City of Seattle's Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) has an excellent opportunity for a talented and experienced Urban Designer/Planner to join our Land Use Division. As a Design Review Planner, you will review complex and controversial project proposals associated with major development to ensure compliance with regulations related to land use, urban design, and the environment. SDCI has a culture of continuous improvement and a long tradition of providing excellent public service; we take pride in our work and encourage inclusion and engagement among our staff and in our community. As stewards and regulators of land and buildings, we preserve and enhance the equity, livability, safety, and health in our communities. We require a demonstrated ability to work effectively with individuals from diverse communities and cultures. The City of Seattle values diverse perspectives and life experiences; people of color, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

This position is posted in conjunction with 2019-01261 Design Review Planner (Land Use Planner II). If you would like to be considered for the Design Review Planner (Land Use Planner II), you will need to apply to that job posting as well.

Job Responsibilities

  • Review of more technically challenging, complex, and controversial projects, including projects involved in the Design Review process.
  • Identifying significant project issues and precedent-setting implications.
  • Using a substantial amount of independent judgment to interpret and apply a variety of policies, codes, and guidelines to situations which have significant legal, political, and financial consequences.
  • Planning and carry out assignments, resolving most conflicts, coordinating work with others and interpreting policies on their own initiative.
  • Keeping management informed of progress and potential controversial issues.
  • Acting as a technical resource to other Land Use Planners, including training and mentoring.
  • Demonstrating a comprehensive working knowledge and advanced experience in the development and administration of Municipal, State and Federal laws and policies governing urban, environmental and land use affairs.

Success in this position is determined by your ability to:

  • Serve as project lead in challenging political and public decision-making processes, including design review and environmental review of proposed new development. Serve as a technical resource and mentor for other planners on your team.
  • Demonstrate your extensive working knowledge and experience in the administration of municipal, state, and federal laws and policies governing environmental and land use development.
  • Communicate with excellent written, verbal and graphic skills. Understand and commit to actively supporting the City and Department goals in promoting racial equity and social justice.

Job Requirements


  • Bachelor's degree in urban design, urban planning, environmental studies, law, architecture, building construction technology, or a closely related field and four years of related professional experience to include either progressively responsible experience in land use, housing or environmental policy or regulatory program development; and/or progressively responsible experience in the review and analysis of new development, administration of land use or environmental regulatory programs or code interpretation. (Other combinations of education, training and/or experience which provide an equivalent background required)


  • Ability to efficiently read design and construction plans, meet deadlines, and proactively problem solve.
  • Extensive design review specific experience in Seattle or other jurisdictions.
  • Extensive experience working with design review boards or commissions on large scale projects, preferably in downtown or dense urban environments.
  • Architectural or similar design background and/or experience.
  • Familiar and comfortable with the dynamics of working independently, on a team and in support of a design review board.
  • Training and practice implementing racial equity and social justice strategies.
  • Aptitude to facilitate multiple major project proposals.
  • Ability to work independently to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to act as a team resource offering technical knowledge related to urban design and architecture.
  • Strong graphic and presentation skills.
  • Strong written communication skills, with a focus on technical documents.
  • Extensive knowledge of architectural and urban design concepts.
  • Knowledge of construction techniques, and materials.
  • Skilled in collaborating in a positive and constructive manner.
  • Strong negotiation skills

License Certification, and Other Requirements:

  • A valid Washington State Driver's License or evidence of equivalent mobility is required for site visits and evening meetings.

How to Apply



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