Job Listing: Regional Planner

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Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments (UCPCOG) Published: February 10, 2021
Wilson, NC
Job Type




General Statement

To perform professional planning, grant writing and award administration, project implementation, facilitation, research and analysis to meet the priority needs of the region, organization, department, member governments and ensure the orderly growth of local and regional resources.

Distinguishing Features of the Class

An employee in this class provides professional planning and project assistance to member governments and for partnerships working on efforts collaboratively.  Work includes tasks such as grant and funding research, applications, and subsequent award administration and compliance, as well as general project administration.  Work includes developing and maintaining productive professional client relationships and group facilitation in the general topical areas of land use planning, infrastructure, as well as economic and community development.  Position may serve as planner and land use administrator for contracting communities, conducting planning, land use and zoning studies, administering ordinances and staffing the Planning Board and Board of Adjustment; serving as staff support for area and regional commissions and boards, and may also include other services for the community such as serving as a compliance officer, reviewing applications for permits, and facilitating public processes.  Work may include tasks such as basic GIS mapping, organizing and analyzing data, ordinances, laws, policies, and developing recommendations, evaluating programs and preparing and presenting reports; and providing technical assistance to local governments and regional stakeholders., The employee must exercise good judgement, accuracy and attention to detail in work, and must also exercise considerable tact and courtesy in frequent contact with COG, county and municipal officials, and the general public.  Work is performed under the general supervision of the Planning and Development Director and is evaluated through conferences, observation, reports, progress on projects, and feedback from the clients.

Illustrative Examples of Work

  • Conducts planning and project administration in the interrelated disciplines of municipal and regional planning, economic development, community development, infrastructure and the environment. Specific areas of work may include but not be limited to land use, municipal water and sewer, parks and recreation, broadband, housing, food and agriculture, energy, transportation, energy, brownfields, water and air quality, and more.
  • Notifies partnership and member governments of grant opportunities; writes and administers grants on behalf of the members or partnership or for the Region; completes reports to comply with grant requirements.
  • Conducts, coordinates, prepares, presents, and participates in planning, land use, water quality, and zoning studies for communities; develops recommendations on code and zoning ordinances as assigned; conducts research on ordinances; reviews and drafts ordinances and map amendments.
  • Staffs and/or serves as a technical advisor to assigned Planning Board and Board of Adjustment for contracted communities; prepares agenda items; makes presentations.
  • Reviews applications for zoning permits and advises citizens on approval; advises public on compliance issues; answers questions from the public regarding land development issues.
  • Serves as staff to assigned regional commissions, preparing meeting agendas, taking minutes, maintaining email correspondence and client and public communications.
  • Helps prepare and monitor assigned project budgets and related financial accounts including reviewing and verifying contractor invoices.
  • Conducts research; gathers and normalizes data on a variety of factors; may prepare or provide GIS maps as requested;
  • Assists with publicity and public communication efforts including social media, web pages, press releases, departmental and organizational publications, public speaking and formal presentations.
  • As related to projects: attends meetings of elected and appointed officials, committees, workgroups, and project teams; develops and maintains relationships with state and federal agencies; makes presentations; provides workshops.
  • Attends conferences, workshops, and training sessions in the region, state, and nationally;
  • Prepares this position’s portion of required monthly and annual reports as needed.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Considerable knowledge of the principles, practices, and research methods related to urban, municipal and regional planning, economic and community development, land use concepts, as well as their socio-economic implications.
  • Knowledge of relevant federal, state and local laws and regulations pertaining to the essential duties and responsibilities of the position.
  • Knowledge of regional issues, plans and programs and their impact on local governments, their communities, and the environment.
  • General knowledge of the application of personal computers to document preparation, produce GIS maps and research, and other related applications, and skill in their operation
  • Ability to research, apply for and administer grants and successfully complete their related tasks on projects.
  • Ability to simultaneously administer multiple local and regional projects across a variety of topics with various professional stakeholders, including facilitation of project teams and public input groups.
  • Ability to study and develop adequate knowledge of new subject areas of local and regional priority.
  • Ability to develop and maintain professional relationships with elected and appointed officials, funders, regulators, executives and managers, peers, community leaders, as well as citizens from multiple socio and economic backgrounds.
  • Ability to develop and maintain cooperative and effective relationships with intra- and interdepartmental personnel, as well as any external entities with whom position interacts.
  • Ability to work independently and in a team-based environment, on committees, and in partnerships on a variety of projects from multiple funding sources simultaneously.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in oral, written and mathematical forms including through personal, computer, on-line and virtual formats including to interpret and explain plans, data, regulations, policies, planning, zoning, and local ordinances to officials and the general public, and to make public presentations.
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze and systematically compile technical and statistical information, and to prepared technical reports.
  • Ability to apply time management and prioritization skills in a multi project and deadline environment.
  • Ability to effectively deploy technology for efficient work strategies.
  • Ability to maintain records and prepare reports and appropriate minutes.

Minimum Education and Experience 

  • Bachelor’s Degree in planning, public administration or a related field and relevant experience in municipal and/or regional planning; or a Master’s degree in planning, public administration or related field and some experience in municipal and/or reginal planning or an equivalent combination of education and experience.  AICP and/or other relevant Certifications preferred.


  • Possession of a valid North Carolina driver’s license.

Physical Requirements

Work is generally sedentary requiring the exertion of up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to move objects. Employee must have visual acuity to be able to prepare and analyze data and figures for accounting, perform extensive reading, operate a computer and other office equipment, determine accuracy and thoroughness of work, observe general surroundings and activities. Vocal communication is required for expressing or exchanging ideas by means of the spoken word.  Hearing is required to perceive information at normal spoken word levels.  Physical activities may include climbing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, reaching, standing, walking, pushing, pulling, lifting, fingering and grasping.

Working Conditions

Work is performed in an office with a controlled environment without exposure to harmful conditions. Position is subject to meetings outside the normal 8-hour day environment and may include travel to facilities, working after hours.

FLSA Status: Exempt


This classification specification has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by an employee within this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, authorities and qualifications required of employees to perform the job. UCPCOG reserves the right to assign or otherwise modify the duties assigned to this classification.

See (http://www NULL.ucpcog for details.