Sterling Heights, MI (pop. 134,346) – The City of Sterling Heights is the second largest suburb in Metro Detroit and the fourth largest city in Michigan. Sterling Heights was incorporated in 1968 and consistently ranks as “safest city in Michigan” with populations over 100,000.  The city is 36.8 square miles and is 16 miles from Downtown DetroitThe City’s southern border is 6 miles from Detroit’s northern border.  The city’s high quality of life is rooted in its thriving local economy, wide variety of housing choices, safe neighborhoods, beautiful natural environment, high performing school districts, rich history, and effective local services.  The city’s vision is “A vibrant, inclusive community for residents and businesses that is safe, active, progressive and distinctive.  Sterling Heights – a bold vision for an exceptional quality of life.”

The City of Sterling Heights is seeking qualified planning professionals to apply for the position of City Planner.  The Office of Planning is part the City’s Community Development Department.  Interested candidates are encouraged to review the position responsibilities and minimum qualifications and apply to work with an exceptional city.

The City Planner directs the planning activity of the city and is responsible for the orderly development of land and other physical assets of the City in compliance with adopted master plans and planning policy.  The City Planner reports to the City Development Director.  This is a highly responsible management position that oversees the positions of Assistant City Planner/City Development Manager, a Planner II, a Planner I, and manages a budget of approximately $400,000.  The City Planner provides administrative leadership to the Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, and Sustainability Commission; is the liaison to the Corridor Improvement Authority; and serves as the Executive Director of the Sterling Heights Housing Commission.  The City Planner is part of the Michigan Association of Public Employees Supervisory Union. 

Sterling Heights is looking for ainnovative planning professional to lead its Planning staff.  The new City Planner will join a dynamic Planning Team and has the opportunity to help create and implement a model for 21st century redevelopment of a suburban city.  

Key Opportunities
  • New Planning Concepts and Innovation as a Top Priority.
  • Employee EngagementDepartment Culture and Cross-Department Collaboration.
  • Redevelopment of Lakeside Mall and North Van Dyke Corridor Improvement Plan.
Position Responsibilities
  • Directs the update of the Master Land Use Plan and recommends amendments to the Zoning Ordinances.
  • Assists the City Manager as a point of contact for prospective retailers and to market the City’s assets to attract retail business to the City. Establishes and maintains relationships with area real estate professionals. 
  • Collaborates with owners and/or developers of industrial, residential, and large multi-use sites and champions area redevelopments to include new design concepts and retail formats, public environments, amenities, tenant mixes, use mixes, unique parking configurations, neighborhood links, and customer experiences tailored to fit the needs of the community.
  • Acts as a technical adviser to employees regarding site plan and subdivision plat reviews, subdivision design principles and land use relationships, zoning ordinances, etc. 
  • Analyzes data and prepares comprehensive reports regarding planning related matters (e.g., land use patterns, population projections, housing trends, commercial feasibility and market analysis, etc.) as needed.
  • Presents planning-related information to City Council, the city manager and others in meetings as needed. Prepares evidence for presentation in court; testifies in planning related lawsuits.
  • Oversees the Community Development Block Grant Program. 
Minimum Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Public or Business Administration, Urban Planning or related field including training in real estate, principles of management, and real estate appraisal is required. Master’s Degree in Public or Business Administration, Urban Planning or related field is highly preferred.
  • Eight years of progressive experience in public planning preferably in a municipality, including experience in managing planning professionals.
  • AICP or other similar accreditations, certifications, or specializations, is highly preferred.
  • Knowledge of construction, planning and design fields including architecture, urban planning, transportation planning and landscaping.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Total compensation for this position, inclusive of base annual salary and compensatory pay, is up to $137,505 annually with regular increases, plus an excellent benefitsThe City provides a comprehensive and competitive benefits package inclusive of a BCBS medical coverage plan with an annual HSA contribution by the City, dental at no cost, vision benefits, retirement benefits, a generous schedule of paid holidays and leave time, parental leave benefits, disability benefits, and performance pay. The City also operates a physician-staffed, on-site medical clinic for all full-time employees and their dependents.

Apply online with resume, cover letter, contact information and three (3) professional references.  Questions regarding the position may be directed to the attention of Jaymes Vettraino, Vice President, GovHR USA, Tel: 847-380-3240.

Candidates will be reviewed upon receipt of application, with preliminary reviews to be completed by February 16, 2023.

As an equal opportunity employer, the City of Sterling Heights prohibits and condemns discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, color, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, pregnancy, national origin, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. The City is dedicated to providing a safe and inclusive workplace; is committed to the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all areas of employment; values each employee and appreciate the unique qualities every employee possesses. 

Application Deadline: February 16, 2023

Posted: 2023-01-19

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