Principal Planner – Comprehensive Planning & Research Team

Chesterfield County Human Resources

Chesterfield, VA United States

Principal Planner – Comprehensive Planning & Research Team

Planning Department

Hiring Range: $68,123 - $91,965

Deadline: 11:59 p.m. June 4, 2023

Come Join Our Team
Chesterfield County, a fast-growing community adjacent to Richmond, VA, is seeking a highly motivated person to join the Comprehensive Planning and Research team in the Planning Department. If you are passionate about making a difference in the community, come and join our dynamic team of long-range planning professionals. Using innovative planning techniques to create a vision for the future, our team is helping to make Chesterfield County a First Choice Community for many years to come!
This position works closely with many of the various sections of the Planning Department as well as other County Departments, the Planning Commission, and the Board of Supervisors on various projects to include small area plans, ordinance amendments, and other comprehensive plan implementation projects.
Here's What You Need
Bachelor’s degree in Planning, Economics, Environment or related field (master’s degree preferred) along with at least three years of experience in areas such as project management, land development, zoning ordinance amendments, zoning case management; or an equivalent combination of training and experience. AICP certification desirable.
The successful candidate will have the opportunity to participate in advanced, highly complex professional planning activities. The candidate is expected to be able to work independently as a self-starter while contributing to the success of a dynamic team. Strong written and verbal communication skills along with advanced project management capabilities are important. The candidate will need the skills to manage complex, long-term projects to deliver on-time and with superior quality; and an ability to form effective working relationships with citizens, officials, staff, departments and agencies.
In addition, the new team member would possess a combination of the following abilities:
 • Strong public speaking skills with an ability to prepare and make presentations to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors, citizen groups and the public.
 • The ability to conduct research and analysis, including the use of geographic information systems (GIS).
 • Extensive knowledge of planning and land use principles, laws and zoning ordinances.
 • Extensive experience with use of personal computers and Microsoft Office 365 software programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and SharePoint.
 • Knowledge of SketchUp or other modeling software and skills (Urban design knowledge is a plus).

Current valid driver’s license and good driving record required. Based on the Virginia DMV point system, record must not reflect a total of six or more demerit points within the twenty-four months preceding the anticipated hire date, or one major violation of six demerit points within the preceding thirty-six months. Out of state driving records must be obtained by applicant and presented at time of interview. Records must reflect at least three years of history and be dated within thirty days of interview date. Pre-employment drug testing, FBI criminal background check and education/degree verification required.
What You Do and How You Do It
Under general direction, the principal planner manages projects in support of the county’s Comprehensive Plan, including plan amendments, special area plans, zoning ordinance amendments, research and analysis, reports, presentations, and land use review and case management. Ideal candidates will be skilled in understanding the ‘big picture’, be self-starters, creative, and visionary in solving community issues and in community engagement efforts.
Examples of Work:
 • Serves as project manager for difficult planning projects and/or specialized studies.
 • Designs and implements citizen participation activities to encourage action or resolve problems related to planning activities and projects.
 • Facilitates and negotiates resolution of difficult issues relating to a wide variety of policy and development proposals; builds consensus with community leaders and organizations, customers, advocates, and other affected parties.
 • Mentors and trains subordinate planning and other staff, as assigned.
 • Establishes and maintains contacts with residents, staff and officials with effective working relationships in support of planning projects.
 • Conducts effective presentations regarding the comprehensive plan, small area plans, zoning ordinance amendments and related topics to staff, officials and residents.
 • Reviews and provides input on land development proposals in support of the comp plan; conducts research and analysis of trends; develops policies and programs in support of comp plan goals.
 • Perform other work as required.
Here are the benefits
We work hard to achieve our mission, but we also value work-life balance through paid-time off and flexible work schedules. We support professional development through career development plans, a tuition reimbursement program, our award-winning learning and development programs, and opportunities for advancement within the organization.

This position is a part of an approved Career Development Plan (CDP) and offers career progression opportunities and salary incentives, as funding permits, based on performance, qualifications, and experience.

A Chesterfield County application is required and must be submitted online by deadline. Visit to view instructions and to complete and submit an application. (804) 748-1551.

An Equal Opportunity Employer Committed to Workforce Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


Experience Level
Mid I (1-4 years)
AICP Level
Land Use and Development Regulation and Zoning
Salary Range
$68,123 - $91,965

Contact Information

Cheryl Duong
Human Resources
P.O. Box 40, 9901 Lori Road, Suite 302
Chesterfield, VA
United States
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