Planning Job Descriptions

Planning Technician

The position of Planning Technician, which may also be called GIS Technician/Analyst, Code Enforcement Technician, Zoning Technician, or other specialized technician, is entry-level paraprofessional work. The Planning Technician devotes a significant amount of time on routine administrative tasks. A Planning Technician often works closely with the public on a regular basis to provide customer service on planning issues. Successful Planning Technicians may be asked to perform professional-level (Planner I) duties of limited complexity as a trainee.

Typical Functions

  • Provides technical assistance and information to staff and the public in the administration of specific planning programs areas or ordinances
  • Reviews building plans and zoning permit applications to assure compliance with requirements such as use, bulk, placement, and parking ratios
  • Performs routine office tasks in designated program areas, including data entry, file management, copying and answering telephone
  • Develops and maintains automated tracking systems, hard copy files and records
  • Prepares narrative staff reports and recommendations of limited complexity, such as special use permits and variances
  • Researches and compiles information on a variety of planning issues from multiple sources
  • Prepares public notices or property owner verifications
  • Prepares maps, charts, tables of limited complexity
  • Investigates violations of planning regulations and ordinances, including site visits
  • Attends public meetings, assisting other planning staff as appropriate

Typical Knowledge

  • Knowledge of planning principles and practices, including pertinent specialties
  • Knowledge of principles and practices of research and data collection
  • Knowledge of effective writing techniques
  • Statistical, algebraic or geometric knowledge and ability to apply such knowledge in practical situations
  • Knowledge of computer hardware and software programs, which may include Microsoft Office, Internet applications, and GIS

Typical Skills

  • Oral communication and interpersonal skills to explain rules and procedures clearly to the public
  • Problem-solving skills to gather relevant information to solve vaguely defined practical problems
  • Ability to review plans and apply provisions of the ordinances and codes to determine compliance with such regulations and to apply regulations to field conditions
  • Ability to work on several projects or issues simultaneously
  • Ability to work independently or in a team environment as needed

Minimum Qualifications

The Planning Technician level generally requires, at a minimum, the completion of an associate's degree in urban planning, architecture, construction management, social sciences or related field. Two years of experience in plans review, zoning administration, building code issuance of surveying is also required. A bachelor's degree is preferred and may substitute for two years of experience.