Principal Planner – Landscape Architect

City of Rockville

Rockville, MD United States

JOB SUMMARY:

Conveniently situated in Montgomery County, just 15 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., Rockville, Maryland is hailed as one of the nation’s leading small cities and one of the top 10 most diverse communities in the nation. Rockville offers a mix of urban and suburban lifestyles with a variety of engaged residential communities. With over 33 years of recognition, Rockville is one of the longest tenured Tree City USA members in Maryland. 

 

This position is ideal for a creative and collaborative individual looking to join an innovative department in an exciting and growing region. The work has a major impact on the City and requires thorough knowledge of forestry and landscaping to resolve a variety of challenging issues. 

 

This position is responsible for performing integral professional and administrative work stewarding the City's tree canopy and urban forest through the review and analysis of various development applications such as natural resource inventories, forest conservation plans, and landscape plans. This work requires a proactive approach and relies heavily on professional experience to ensure compliance with regulations. Reviews involve collaboration with other staff across various city departments. The position also is responsible for some field inspections for the appropriate implementation of forestry plans for private and public development projects.  

 

The position is in the Development Review Section of the Community Planning and Development Services Department, which focuses on the efficient processing of development applications. The position works under the general managerial direction of the Development Review Supervisor. 

 

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:

  • Reviews development projects for compliance with the Forest and Tree Preservation Ordinance (FTPO) and Forest Conservation (FC) Manual. 

  • Oversees contract inspector positions. 

  • Evaluates site plans, forest conservation plans (preliminary and final), tree save plans, natural resource inventories, capital improvement projects (CIP), and other projects as assigned for compliance with the FTPO and FC Manual while also coordinating the review of these plans with other departments and outside agencies requirements. 

  • Provides expert technical assistance and arboriculture, forestry and landscape consultation to development and CIP projects. 

  • Confers with and advises contractors, owners, architects, and the general public regarding ordinance requirements and solutions to problems. 

  • Prepares forestry and landscape sections of staff reports in conjunction with development projects for presentation to the Planning Commission, Historic District Commission, and Mayor and Council. 

  • Attends Planning Commission, Historic District Commission and Mayor and Council meetings to provide professional support on forestry issues related to development projects. 

  • Attends Development Review meetings and other meetings with applicant, engineers, planners, citizens, etc., as required. 

  • Interprets complex zoning and development regulations and conveys information to the general public in an understandable format. 

  • Manages the review of development review applications of high complexity, resulting in written analysis and recommendation of proposals to Approving Authorities 

  • Presents recommendations in written form, with graphics and oral presentation to Approving Authorities. 

  • Oversees the staff research and assessment of technical and industry developments in tree preservation to identify "best management practices" and recommend revisions to City standards and details. 

  • Makes field reviews independently and with various City inspectors on development and CIP projects. 

  • Enforces and monitors Environmental Guidelines as they relate to the Forest Tree Preservation Ordinance. 

  • Drafts ordinance and manual changes in consultation with appropriate City staff. 

  • Assists the Chief of Zoning with research and development projects. 

  • Reviews legal documents associated with the FTPO. 

  • Issues permits, accepts and releases bonds and other forestry obligations. 

  • Advises City Attorney's office on FTPO legal issues related to code violations and code interpretations.? May serve as expert witness in litigation matters. 

  • Updates all FTPO related applications, checklists, brochures, forms and form letters, etc. 

  • Applies applicable regulations such as the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Conservation Act, Maryland Forest Conservation Technical Manual and State Roadside Tree Law as necessary. 

  • Responds to, investigates, and resolves inquiries and complaints from citizens on development and CIP projects. 

 

QUALIFICATIONS:

Education and Experience: 
Bachelor's degree in forestry, natural resources sciences, natural resources management, landscape or environmental planning, horticulture or closely related field from an accredited university or college plus five (5) years of progressively responsible work in forestry or natural resources management; or any equivalent combination of education and experience. 
 
Special Qualifications: 
Must be a Maryland Department of Natural Resources "Qualified Professional" for forest stand delineation and forest conservation plans (or Maryland Professional Landscape Architect or Maryland Professional Forester) and must be an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist or be able to attain these qualifications. 

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES:

  • Knowledge of the State of Maryland and City of Rockville forest and tree preservation ordinances. 

  • Knowledge of current tree preservation practices pertinent to construction activities. 

  • Knowledge of landscape plant material including types, growth habits and rates and planting requirements. 

  • Knowledge of the ANSI pruning standards and International Society of Arboriculture specifications or recommendations. 

  • Knowledge of the recommended standards and practices of the American Association of Nurserymen and the Maryland Nurserymen Association 

  • Knowledge of facility design and construction principles. 

  • General knowledge of the Zoning Ordinance, and Stormwater Management and Sediment Control Ordinance. 

  • Knowledge of the general principles and practices of landscape architecture as applied to urban planning and development. 

  • Knowledge of computer applications to planning (word processing, spreadsheets and data bases, and geographic information systems). 

  • Ability to be effective and concise in oral and written communications to the Mayor and Council and Planning Commission and other groups. This includes presenting non-technical and technical information to people of varying backgrounds and perspectives. 

  • Ability to draft, sketch and letter and illustrate in map and graphic forms. 

  • Ability to analyze and evaluate pertinent data, to develop unbiased, just and concise recommendations, and to execute plans once approved. 

  • Knowledge of plants suited for stormwater management facilities. 

  • Ability to read and interpret blueprints quickly and accurately, and track progress. 

  • Ability to deal firmly but fairly and tactfully and to remain calm and courteous while dealing with builders, contractors, property owners, and the general public. 

  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with persons contacted in the course of the job. 

  • Ability to convey accurate explanations of ordinances and regulations and the reasons therefore. 

Experience Level
Mid II (4-8 years)
AICP Level
Preferred
Specialty
Environmental and Natural Resources Planning
Salary Range
$72,393.00 - $112,207.00