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Senior Planner, City of Evanston, IL

The City of Evanston Community Development Department is seeking a dedicated and experienced Senior Planner to join our dynamic team. As a Senior Planner, you will play a critical role in shaping the future of Evanston by providing expert guidance on urban planning, zoning, land use, and development projects. You will collaborate with various stakeholders to develop and implement the City's Comprehensive Plan and ensure that Evanston continues to thrive as a vibrant and sustainable community. This position is responsible for performing complex professional, administrative, technical, regulatory, policy, and programmatic functions and supporting multiple boards, commissions, and committees. This is an exciting moment at the City of Evanston and the Community Development Department in particular as we prepare to develop a new comprehensive plan and associated zoning code. You will play a meaningful role in the development and implementation of these initiatives.


$52.017 - $65.785/hour*

*Starting salary is dependent upon qualifications, but in most cases is no higher than the midpoint for the range.


Monday-Friday, 8:30 am- 5:00 pm. With occasional evening and weekend work


(Specific assignments will include some or all of the following):

  • Lead and contribute to the development and implementation of Evanston's comprehensive plan, ensuring alignment with the city's goals and objectives. This includes the development of land use policies, zoning regulations, and growth strategies.

  • Evaluate development proposals, zoning applications, and site plans for compliance with city ordinances and regulations. Prepare recommendations and present findings to city boards and commissions.

  • Facilitate community meetings, workshops, and public hearings to gather input from residents, business owners, and stakeholders. Foster open dialogue and ensure public involvement in the planning process.

  • Analyze demographic, economic, housing, and land use data to support evidence-based decision-making. Use GIS and other tools to create maps and visualizations for planning projects.

  • Manage complex grant applications and planning projects from inception to completion, including budgeting, scheduling, and coordination with consultants, community members, interested parties, and other city departments.

  • Stay up-to-date with local, state, and federal regulations related to urban planning, zoning, and land use. Ensure city ordinances and codes are current and aligned with best practices.

  • Collaborate with various city departments, regional planning agencies, and external partners to ensure that planning efforts align with broader community and regional goals and initiatives.

  • Provide guidance on planning and zoning matters, including but not limited to land use planning, transportation planning, historic preservation, and urban design.

  • Contribute to the development and revision of zoning ordinances, land use policies, and planning regulations, advocating for best practices and innovation.

  • Present planning recommendations, findings, and reports to municipal boards, commissions, and elected officials, effectively communicating complex planning concepts to diverse audiences.

  • Stay current with industry trends, emerging planning practices, and professional certifications. Engage in ongoing education and training to enhance planning skills and knowledge.

  • Provide guidance and mentorship to junior staff members and collaborate with cross-functional teams within the organization.

  • Prepare comprehensive reports, studies, and documentation related to planning projects, ensuring accuracy, clarity, and compliance with established standards.

  • Provide exceptional customer service and assistance to City staff, the general public, elected and appointed officials, and consultants/developers regarding City plans, zoning matters and development requirements.

  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Must possess a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, and five (5) or more years of experience in urban planning, zoning, land use, architecture, preservation, public administration, or substantially similar area OR must possess a GED and seven (7) or more years of planning or project management experience. Must possess a valid driver's license.

  • Knowledge, skills, and abilities in the following areas:

  • Urban planning, land use and zoning principles, best practices, and regulations to facilitate the development review and entitlement process.

  • Municipal government operations within a community development/building/planning department or equivalent.

  • Current legal procedures and limitations as administered by local municipalities throughout the United States.

  • Familiarity with federal and state court decisions affecting land use regulation.

  • Using relevant planning tools and software.

  • Communicating clearly verbally and in writing.

  • Collaborating with colleagues and working independently, as needed.

  • Reading and understanding architectural plans, site plans, technical studies and reports and demographic and financial data.

  • Word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, web apps, geographic information systems (GIS), project management tools, and other software  commonly used by public agencies.

  • Developing policy and strategy recommendations for a variety of planning, zoning, and community development programs and projects.

  • Conducting various work functions online, such as virtual meetings.

  • Thinking logically to define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions

  • Interpreting federal, state, and local statutes and regulations.

  • Reading memos, technical journals, abstracts, financial reports and legal documents.

  • Writing memos and reports with proper formatting, spelling and grammar.

  • Speaking effectively and persuasively to diverse audiences.

  • Working and partnering with, and serving people from diverse socioeconomic, racial, ethnic and educational backgrounds.

  • Providing excellent customer service

  • Managing projects organizational and project management skills.

  • Self-motivated, disciplined, organized, reliable, innovative, creative, resourceful and an independent thinker.

  • Ability to attend evening and occasional weekend meetings.   

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:                     

Light work: exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently, and or a negligible amount of force constantly to move objects.

Type of physical demands:

  • Balancing: maintaining body equilibrium to prevent falling when walking, standing, crouching, or running on narrow, slippery, or erratically moving surfaces

  • Stooping:  bending body downward and forward by bending spine at the waist

  • Crouching: bending the body downward and forward by bending leg and spine

  • Reaching: extending hand(s) and arm(s) in any direction

  • Handling: seizing, holding, grasping, turning, or otherwise working with hands

  • Fingering: picking, pinching, or otherwise working with fingers primarily

  • Feeling: perceiving attributes of objects such as size, shape, temperature, or texture by means of receptors in the skin, particularly those of fingertips

  • Talking: expressing or exchanging ideas by means of the spoken word

  • Hearing: perceiving the nature of sounds by ear

  • Seeing: the ability to perceive the nature of objects by eye

  • Far vision: clarity of vision at 20 feet or more

  • Near vision: clarity of vision at 20 inches or less

  • Depth perception: ability to judge distance and space relationships so as to see objects where and as they actually are, including safety to oneself and others

  • Field of vision: observing an area that can be seen up and in a given point, when required to see a large area while keeping the eyes fixed

  • Accommodation: adjustment of the lens of the eye to bring an object into sharp focus, especially important when doing near-point work at varying distances from the eye

  • Color vision: ability to identify and distinguish colors



You will report to the Community Development Department’s Planning Manager who outlines work assignments, reviews work in progress, and completes work. Performance reviews are conducted annually. 


You will have regular contact with residents, and community members, including elected and appointed officials. Presentations to the public are part of the scope of work for this role.


Structured Oral Interview

To apply for this position, please apply online at on or before the closing date, 05/23/2024.

Chosen candidates will be required to provide proof of licenses, certifications, and education required for this position.  Candidates will also be subject to qualifying pre-employment processes, including medical examination, drug/alcohol screen, employment verification, and criminal background check.

The City of Evanston is an equal opportunity employer and ensures against discrimination in employment on the basis of a person’s race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military discharge status, source of income, housing status, or gender identity.  The City of Evanston is also committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities.  Any person needing mobility or communications access assistance should contact Human Resources at 847-448-8204 (voice) or 847-448-8052 (TTY).

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