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12 Apr 2022

Full-Time Principal Planner (Project/Program Manager IV) Anywhere

Job Description

In order to hire and maintain a quality workforce that reflects the diversity of the community and works well within our True North values-based organization, the Permitting Division of the Department of Local Services (DLS) is accepting applications for the career-service position of Principal Planner (Project/Program Manager IV).

The person in this role will serve as a technical subject matter expert on the administration and application of King County’s land use related development permit regulations. This position is responsible for a variety of programs and activities mandated or delegated by state and local regulations. This position requires substantial skills in the areas of application project management, customer relations, collaboration, leadership, and the training of technical review staff. This person will exercise considerable judgment, independence, and initiative in making recommendations to the Department of Local Services – Permitting Division leadership.

To be considered for this opportunity, you must at a minimum, demonstrate knowledge, skill, and abi lity to:

Applying equity and social justice principles is a daily responsibility and a foundational expectation for all King County employees. In this role, you will apply equity and social justice principles that exemplify shared values, behaviors, and practices to all aspects of the work.

·         Assure that permits or approvals administered by the Permitting Division meet applicable King County codes for land use, clearing, grading, drainage, critical areas, zoning, state and county environmental procedures and the permit processing procedures of King County Code Title 20.


·         Provide technical oversight and guidance to Permitting staff in the administration of land use, zoning, environmental, and related development regulations

·         Supervise and monitor the work of Planner’s in the review of various land use and development permits.

·         Serve as project manager for the review of complex permitting submittals and coordinate the reviews of other disciplines.

·         Coordinate the reviews of a multi-disciplinary team of reviewers to assure timely and accurate reviews and communications with the applicants.

·         Interpret county codes and policies in cases of questions or ambiguities. Serve, and potentially co-chair, on the Permitting’s Regulatory Review Committee (RRC)

·         Develop and implement programs and procedures and be able to analyze and adapt programs as needed to meet Permitting’s business needs.

·         Assure compliance with a wide variety of land use policies and development codes is documented. These may include Comprehensive Plan, land use, zoning, subdivision, drainage, shoreline, critical area, stormwater, road standards, accessibility, building and fire, WAC, RCW and SEPA codes.

·         Perform reviews and communicates with applicants on code requirements and solutions related to demonstrating compliance with applicable codes and permitting requirements.

·         Exercise considerable independent judgement on professional planning and policy matters.

·         Serve as a representative regarding planning and permitting issues with elected officials, agency representatives, developers, consultants, and citizens.

·         Coordinate the screening of newly submitted proposals to assure compliance with applicable codes and permitting requirements.

·         Prepare production reports for the group.

·         Review, comment, and assist with drafting proposed legislation and policy.

·         Oversee the review, conditioning, approval, and inspection of private development proposals that involve public right of+ way and private roads improved to minimum County standards.

·         Provide technical expertise in the review of proposed revisions to codes and standards and assists King County in defending against claims stemming from permitted activities.

·         Manage and participate in technical and policy committees, potentially serving on Inter- branch Team (king County multi-department coordinating teams)

·         Collaborate with other departments, agencies as needed to review, develop, and coordinate modifications to existing programs.

·         Exhibit and support a culture of superior customer service and honor commitments made to customers and others.

·         Other duties as assigned.

·         Bachelor’s degree in planning, urban studies, public administration, or a related field; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

·         Advanced knowledge and experience in land use, environmental and construction permitting processes.

·         Experience reviewing and drafting legislation.

·         Advanced knowledge and experience in the interpretation and application of development regulations such as zoning, urban design, critical area, shoreline,

·         Knowledge and experience with the coordination and understanding of related professional disciplines such as engineering, ecological, geological, surface water, traffic, critical area, building and fire

·         Demonstrated skill in researching and making recommendations, conclusions, and decisions.

  • Advanced skill in using common desktop workflow tools, including but not limited to Microsoft Office Suite: Excel, Power Point, Project, Visio, Word, Access and permitting processing software.
  • Proficiency in analytical thinking, problem solving, resolving conflicts, and bringing others to
  • Skill in analyzing and interpreting technical
  • Demonstrated competence in applying project management principles and
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills including training and
  • Skill in providing customer service and
  • Skill in handling multiple competing priorities and producing quality detailed work within tight
  • Skill in working effectively and cooperatively with a variety of individuals from diverse

Our Most competitive Candidate Will Also Have:  

  • Master’s degree in planning or a related American Institute of Certified Planners accreditation.
  • Advanced experience in making presentations to legislative bodies, jurisdictional partners, and the public.
  • Knowledge of the King County government, its mandates and functions and familiarity with the regional and local policy issues and challenges that affect King County.
  • Served as a designated State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Official, Shoreline Administrator or similar role.
  • Knowledge and experience in code enforcement processes, federal, state and local permitting processes and other applicable state and local development regulations.


  • Must have a valid Washington State driver’s license and the ability to operate a motor vehicle safely throughout the County.


Those applicants who pass the initial screening will be invited to interview the week of May 2, 2022.


If you are selected as a finalist you will be asked to come back the week of May 9, 2022 for a second interview.


WHO MAY APPLY: This position is open to all qualified candidates.

This recruitment may be used to fill vacancies for up to 6 months. Including career service, special duty assignments, STT and TLT opportunities.

WORK SCHEDULE: The work week is normally Monday through Friday, 7.00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., but may at times require work outside of normal business hours. This full-time position is overtime eligible.

FORMS AND MATERIALS: A completed King County Application is required. We highly recommend that you also provide a resume and cover letter (no more than 2 pages) summarizing how you meet the experience, qualifications, knowledge and skills for the position and a writing sample from your past work that demonstrates your analytical abilities and for which you were the lead author. It could be a staff report, policy analysis / recommendation, briefing memo, etc.

UNION MEMBERSHIP: This position is non-represented.

SELECTION PROCESS: Applicants will be screened for clarity, completeness, and competitiveness. The most competitive candidates may be invited to participate in one or more interviews. Interviews will be conducted teleconference via Teams. Reference checks and file reviews will be conducted.

For more information regarding this recruitment, please contact:

Sonali Sharma

Human Resources Analyst


Teleworking Requirement

The work associated with this position will be performed by teleworking; complemented with onsite work and meetings as needed. Employees will have access to shared workspaces at various King County facilities. Employees must reside in Washington state and within a reasonable distance to their King County worksite to respond to workplace reporting requirements.


Employees will be provided with a County issued laptop and must maintain a workspace with an internet connection (access may be supplemented in some situations) where they can reliably perform work and remain available and responsive during scheduled work hours. Please note that when an employee conducts work that is likely to bring them in contact with another individual, safety precautions are required, including the wearing of masks in some situations. King County is doing its part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and remains committed to reducing our carbon footprint.


King County is the local service provider for the roughly quarter-million people who live in the unincorporated areas of the county. Taken together, the population in unincorporated King County would be the second-largest city in the state. The Department of Local Services includes a Director’s Office and the Road Services and Permitting Divisions. The Director’s Office includes a robust Community Service Area group focused on identifying and responding to the needs of urban and rural unincorporated King County residents and businesses. The department provides a single executive point of accountability for delivery of local services to all the unincorporated areas.


King County has a robust collection of tools and resources to support working remotely.

The individual selected for this opportunity will be joining an innovative and progressive team that is redefining how we work as we transition to the department’s hybrid environment.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

King County Executive Branch employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are the successful candidate for the position you applied for, the County will send you a conditional offer letter.

As a condition of employment, prior to a final offer of employment, you will be required to: submit proof of vaccination, or

have an approved request for medical or religious exemption and an approved accommodation.

Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.


People are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the final dose of a vaccination approved by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


The Executive Branch includes employees in the Executive branch, the Assessor’s Office, Elections, the King County Sheriff’s Office, and the Executive Office.

Forbes recently named King County as one of Washington State’s best employers.

Together, with leadership and our employees, we’re changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation’s best places to live, work and play.


Guided by our “True North”, we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles–we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.

King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer

No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.

To Apply:

If you are interested in pursuing this position, please follow the application instructions carefully. If you need this announcement in an alternate language or format, would like to request accommodation or assistance in the application or assessment process or if you have questions please contact the recruiter listed on this job announcement.

How to Apply

To Apply: Principal Planner (Project/Program Manager IV) | Job Details tab | Career Pages (

Job Types: Full-Time.

Job expires in 9 days.

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