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Director of Planning and Building

Town of Blacksburg

Blacksburg, VA United States

How to Apply
URL: https://www.bgllc.net/_files/ugd/e303cd_5e1ec319d0ba48799b6c38d4564748cf.pdf
Email: jennifer.whistleman@bgllc.net

The Town of Blacksburg, Virginia is seeking an experienced planning professional to serve as Director of Planning and Building. The successful candidate will report to the Deputy Town Manager, Community Development and will serve as a member of the Town's Leadership Team responsible for directing operations and services within the Planning and Building Department. The Director will provide guidance and supervision of employees, prepare the departmental budget, and provide leadership for a highly visible function within the Town's government.

The Planning and Building Department

The Planning and Building Department develops Blacksburg's long-range comprehensive plan, reviews site development plans, issues building construction permits and conducts inspections. The Department also enforces the Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Ordinance, and the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code. The Department partners with the community to manage growth and promote high quality development by implementing the community's vision for the future, providing information and creative recommendations based on comprehensive planning, building, and engineering best practices, and effectively explaining and enforcing regulations.

The Director of the Planning and Building Department leads a team of experienced professionals to deliver professional planning, development/redevelopment, code compliance, and zoning services consistent with the Town Code and Comprehensive Plan. The Director will provide technical assistance to the Town Manager, Town Council, Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, and Historic Design Review Board to guide land use policy development and decision-making. The Planning and Building Department has 16 employees, with an annual budget of approximately $1.8 million.

The Director reports to the Deputy Town Manager-Community Development and ultimately to the Town Manger and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the department, supervising employees, developing work schedules/programs, ensuring compliance with safety regulations, and developing and administering the annual department budget. The Director is responsible for managing personnel issues in the department, along with filling staff vacancies. The Director is a member of the Town's leadership team of department heads who are responsible for the delivery of a wide array of services to the citizens of Blacksburg.

Current Areas of Focus and Opportunities

The Town Manager has identified several current areas of focus and opportunities for the new Director to work on, including the following:

  • Collaborate with and understand the various perspectives of community stakeholders and interest groups to balance their aspirations with overall Town needs and resources.
  • Actively work to continuously improve the functionality of the department.
  • Continue the process of updating planning and zoning standards to meet current development trends.
  • Review and improve code enforcement practices to support neighborhoods.
  • Support recent technology upgrades in the department (Open Gov platform and electronic plan review) to create operational efficiencies and enhanced customer service.
  • Provide pro-active leadership for timely and accurate development plan reviews.
  • Support the Town's affordable housing initiatives and manage demand for student housing growth created by a growing university.

Qualifications, Education and Experience

The following education and experience factors outline the qualifications for successful performance:

  • Bachelor's degree with coursework in urban planning, urban design, public administration, or a related field. Master's degree in a similar discipline is preferred.
  • Ten years of progressively responsible professional planning experience with a minimum of five years of supervisory and project management experience.
  • American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification is preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to actively participate in and lead a dynamic team of professionals.
  • Ability to successfully navigate an environment where public stakeholders, developers, elected and appointed officials have differing views on planning policy issues and projects.
  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully in a team environment, functioning for the good of the organization and the community over the individual.
  • Ability to assess social cues and maintain situational awareness.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage people and programs and to provide clear direction and establish accountability.
  • Ability to prioritize, organize, and manage multiple projects.

Personal Traits and Desired Characteristics

  • Professionally competent and strategic thinker who is confident in their job knowledge and able to adapt to changing priorities and navigate a sophisticated environment.
  • Practical problem solver and decision maker who is customer focused.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to listen effectively and understand differing views.
  • Engaging and collaborative style, setting a departmental vision to implement effective processes and schedules.
  • Effective and efficient manager, sharing the workload while maintaining departmental leadership, motivating employees, and supporting teamwork across other departments.
  • Comfortable operating in a constantly changing environment and demonstrated ability to lead change where needed.

Compensation and Benefits

Compensation for the Director of Planning and Building is dependent upon qualifications and experience within a starting range of $116,00 – $135,000 annually. The successful candidate will be provided the Town's benefits package including participation in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS), health/dental/vision insurance, vacation and sick leave, professional development support, and other benefits provided for all Town employees.

Visit: https://www.blacksburg.gov/departments/departments-a-k/human-resources/benefits to learn more.

Application Process

Initial review of candidates will begin on or around December 22, 2023. Applications received after that date may be considered until the position is filled. Timely submittal will ensure the most advantageous review. Highly qualified candidates may be invited to interview at any time. To be considered, please submit a cover letter, resume, salary expectations, professional references and two or more representative project examples to The Berkley Group, via e-mail to jennifer.whistleman@bgllc.net. Questions may be directed to:

Jennifer Whistleman
The Berkley Group
P.O. Box 181
Bridgewater, Virginia 22812

Email: jennifer.whistleman@bgllc.net

Mobile: 540.435.2505

For the full recruitment profile, please visit www.bgllc.net.

Experience Level
Senior (8-10 years)
AICP Level
Land Use and Development Regulation and Zoning
Salary Range
$116,00 – $135,000

Contact Information