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 Detroit.  The 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 two positions, 1) City Planner; and 2) Planner III.  The Office of Planning is part the City’s Community Development Department.  Interested candidates are encouraged to review the position responsibilities and minimum qualifications for both positions and apply for one or both opportunities to work with an exceptional city.
City Planner
The City Planner 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 Community Development Director.  This is a highly responsible management position that oversees the work of three (3) professional planners 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 Union (supervisory unit).
The base annual salary range for this position is $92,071 to $126,834 +/- DOQ plus excellent benefits.
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.

Planner III
The Planner III, or Senior Planner, requires advanced professional planning experience of high complexity and variety. The Planner III often leads or is significantly involved with larger, more complex planning assignments than those assigned to the Planner II or Planner I. The Planner III exercises independence and judgment on planning projects and assignments and must display innovation and leadership in order for the Office of Planning to achieve its objective of being a high-performing and impactful part of the City Development Department. The Planner III will assist the City Planner in mentoring and supervising the Planner II and Planner I positions and lead the Office of Planning in the absence of the City Planner.  The Planner III is part of the Michigan Association of Public Employees Union (non-supervisory unit).
The base annual salary range for this position is $86,497 to $105,438 +/- DOQ plus excellent benefits.
Position Responsibilities 
  • Provides administrative direction to subordinates through the policy, procedures and directives that are continually updated.  Counsels staff on changes and interpretations of laws, guidelines, policies and procedures.
  • Research data, assembles, collates and analyzes it for use in a variety of planning projects such as land use, population projections, housing, zoning or utility studies.
  • Recommends and develops innovative planning policies, strategies, and procedures in areas regarding land use, zoning, development standards, affordable housing, sustainability and other planning initiatives.
  • Under the supervision of the City Planner, reviews assigned site plans for proposed residential, office, commercial, and industrial development in the City and reviews assigned applications for special approval land use, rezoning, and planned unit development and prepare or review staff reports for the Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, and City Council.  
  • Reviews assigned applications for dimensional and use variances and prepare or review staff reports for the Zoning Board of Appeals under the supervision of the City Planner.  
  • Attends meetings with property owners, developers, architects, and other professionals to discuss projects at various stages of development.
  • Attends as assigned meetings of the Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and City Council to present and answer questions regarding staff reports, studies and other information sought by the Commission, Board or Council.
  • Develops and lead projects and initiatives consistent with the City’s Vision and Guiding Principles, including affordable housing and sustainability.
Minimum Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Urban or Regional Planning, Environmental Planning, Urban Design; Master’s Degree is highly preferred.
  • At least six (6) or more years of professional planning experience, preferably within a municipality, with at least two (2) years of supervisory experience with a planning firm or municipal planning department/office.
  • AICP or other similar accreditations, certifications, or specializations, is highly preferred.
  • Knowledge and experience in plan review
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Application Instructions (both positions)
Apply online for either position (or both) with resume, cover letter, and contact information for 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 November 11, 2022.
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: November 11, 2022

Posted: 2022-11-11

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