Skip to Main Content

Deputy Director of Community Planning and Sustainability

Location:  City of Boulder, CO Download:  City of Boulder, CO - Deputy Director of Community Planning and Sustainability Brochure

Deputy Director of Community Planning and Sustainability
City of Boulder

With approximately 100,000 residents, Boulder is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 5,430 feet, at the edge of the rolling plains.  It is located 35 miles northwest of downtown Denver and 45 minutes from Denver International Airport. Boulder is a beautiful mountain community enriched with a diverse culture, a dynamic economy, an award winning university, and a love of the outdoors.

An Active Community
Boulder residents are engaged, well organized, well educated, and informed.  They have high expectations for their city government, and seek innovative, leading-edge solutions, particularly in relation to sustainability issues. Further, with a strong urban growth limit and a strong focus on redevelopment of lower intensity sites within the city, land use and development issues are always the subject of considerable debate. 

The Boulder community takes pride in its history of citizen activism and on being a national policy leader in areas such as growth management, open space conservation, alternative transportation, historic preservation, and environmental sustainability. These efforts have created a community that is routinely honored with awards and distinctions, including being named America's Happiest, Healthiest City (Gallup, 2010), America's Best Town for Start-ups (BusinessWeek, 2010), and one of the Ten Best Cities for the Next Decade (Kiplingers, 2010).

Sustainability in Boulder
Boulder's strong planning tradition and environmental values have positioned it to be a leader in sustainability. Surrounded by open space and committed to a compact urban form, the community began articulating a sustainability framework in its comprehensive plan nearly twenty years ago. The primary areas of focus in the most recent update to the comprehensive plan were "sustainable urban form," economic vitality, climate action, and local food systems.

Boulder was the first community in the country to adopt a local carbon tax to fund climate action programs, and has been a leader in zero waste initiatives. It has a leading-edge program for integrated pest management; has an aggressive green buildings program; and is well known for its extensive bike path and community transit systems. The community is home to a large number of "green" companies and consulting practices, as well as the scientific resources and activities of the University of Colorado and the federal labs of NCAR, NOAA, NIST and nearby NREL.

The city routinely works with local, regional, state and national partners to advance policy and program initiatives related to sustainability. The city was a founding member of ICLEI-US, and is an active member of the Applied Solutions Network. The city is routinely invited to present at national and international gatherings and workshops on sustainability, and hosts visitors from around the world who are interested in specific issues and policy initiatives.  

The Department of Community Planning and Sustainability
The city's Department of Community Planning and Sustainability provides leadership on a range of planning and policy issues, and serves as steward of Boulder's built and natural environment. The department has a strong team of professionals dedicated to inclusive planning processes that are grounded in the community's values and guided by a shared long-term vision of community sustainability.

Community sustainability is a strategic policy framework used by the City Council to help make decisions that maintain and enhance the livability and vitality of Boulder now and into the future.  Sustainability exists at the intersection of environmental quality, economic vitality and social equity, and may be achieved by thoughtful attention to all three of these critical components in planning policies and practices. 

The department of Community Planning and Sustainability supports an integrated planning approach that underscores the community's sustainability goals. It is composed of three primary divisions: 

  • Comprehensive Planning: includes long-range planning, ecological planning (environmental planning, urban wildlife management, and integrated pest management), urban design and historic preservation.
  • Land Use Review: includes zoning administration, development review, and zoning enforcement, and serves as a key work group within the city's Planning and Development Services Center
  • Local Environmental Action: includes climate action and zero waste policies and programs as well as special project coordination for sustainability initiatives

The Office of the Executive Director also includes a Regional Sustainability Coordinator (who leads strategic initiatives with key partners) and an Economic Vitality Coordinator (who oversees the city's economic vitality policies and services).  All of the teams are supported by four work groups that provide critical support functions, including Administrative Services, Information Resources, Finance/Budget, and Communications. These groups also support the Planning and Development Services Center.  The center implements the city's green building and energy efficiency policies, and ensures that new development is consistent with the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan and adopted codes.

Planning and Development Services Center
The Community Planning and Sustainability Department collaborates with the Public Works Department to deliver effective, efficient and timely development review services through a physical and virtual "one stop shop" called the Planning and Development Services Center.

The Position
Under general direction of the Executive Director of Community Planning and Sustainability, the Deputy Director assists in providing vision and leadership to enhance integration and coordination between the department's work groups; supports managers and employees in service of the department's mission; plays a key role in facilitating organizational development initiatives; and helps ensure the success of sustainability efforts throughout the city organization and community.  The Deputy Director also provides leadership in complex and high profile projects as well as ongoing processes involving multiple work groups, other city departments and external partners.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assists the Executive Director in the management and supervision of the Community Planning and Sustainability Department, including the functions of Comprehensive Planning, Land Use Review, and Local Environmental Action as well as implementation of the Economic Vitality work program and coordination of the Regional Sustainability program.
  • Assists in the management and success of P&DS, emphasizing a problem-solving orientation, effective communication, focus on continuous improvement, and effective, efficient and accountable service toexternal and internal customers.
  • Nurtures the strong, constructive relationships that exist with the University of Colorado, Boulder Valley School District, Boulder County, the federal labs, community nonprofits, and the local business community as well as other municipal jurisdictions in the county and in the Denver metro region.
  • Works regularly with active neighborhood organizations and other interest groups, and supports facilitation of an involved, democratic process of government. Resolution of competing interests requires strong mediation, facilitation and decision-making skills.
  • As part of a management team, helps provide leadership and contributes to the development and implementation of the departmental strategic plan, a comprehensive customer service program, the annual work program, fiscal management and continuous improvements.
  • Facilitates processes to define the department's vision and goals, and develops strategies and work plans to achieve those goals and to advance the city's social, economic and environmental priorities.
  • Coordinates work programs and projects within the department and among other departments, work groups and government agencies to ensure work is completed cooperatively and efficiently, and to ensure that resources and assistance are provided as appropriate.
  • Provides technical guidance and serves as a policy advisor, in coordination with the Executive Director, to the City Manager, Deputy City Manager(s), City Council, the Planning Board, Board of Zoning Adjustment, Landmarks Board, Downtown Design Advisory Board, Environmental Advisory Board and other boards and commissions, and various public groups.
  • Coordinates and manages complex and high profile projects involving competing interests and multiple objectives.
  • Takes a strategic, creative, and innovative approach to issues and problems and takes calculated risks.
  • Provides excellent customer service. Supports and reinforces open-minded and solution-oriented staff response to customer needs. Looks at issues and problems from the customer's point of view and finds ways to address these issues and concerns while balancing the needs of the city and ensuring consistency with adopted policies.
  • Demonstrates business savvy and political understanding and sensitivity.
  • Stays knowledgeable of trends and current thinking in the fields of planning and sustainability, public administration, project management, leadership and employee management, and uses all forms of data and information to analyze and present viable choices and alternatives.

Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent communication skills including strong listening, verbal, written, presentation and public speaking skills.
  • The ability to work well with and understand the perspectives of a wide range of individuals and groups, and the ability to make people feel included and heard.
  • Proven skills as a pragmatist who can get things done. A track record of solving problems and resolving issues in difficult, complex and/or contentious situations.
  • Demonstrated ability to coordinate and manage complex projects involving competing interests and multiple objectives, effectively represent diverse interests, and objectively evaluate alternative approaches.
  • A strong commitment to and the ability to integrate the broader perspectives of economic, environmental, and social sustainability into a larger vision and eventual work product. Demonstrated history of producing high quality results relative to work plans, operations, and initiatives.
  • Well-developed customer service skills and demonstrated history supporting and reinforcing an open-minded and solution-oriented staff response to customer needs.
  • Proven ability to be strategic, creative, and innovative, taking calculated risks, setting bold performance goals, and bringing about positive change in an organization.
  • Experience fostering interpersonal and intergovernmental relationships.
  • Proven business savvy and political understanding and sensitivity.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and strong mediation, facilitation, and diplomacy abilities.

 Position Requirements

  • Minimum of eight years of progressively responsible administrative and managerial experience in providing direction and supervision of relevant programs and operations.
  • Previous land use and planning experience to include long-range planning, ecological planning, urban design and historic preservation, zoning administration, development review, and zoning enforcement and/or significant experience with community sustainability efforts involving economic, social, and environmental sustainability policy development and implementation.
  • Superior project management skills.
  • Ability to effectively implement sustainability plans for the City of Boulder.
  • Strong leadership abilities and the ability to make strategic decisions pertaining to staff and procedures within the organization.

The Ideal Candidate will have

  • Experience with an active, highly engaged, university community.
  • A combination of both private sector and government work experience.
  • The ability to set a positive example of competence, professionalism, energy and work ethic to the organization and community.
  • The capacity and interest to be an effective mentor and leader for staff.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, effective communication skills and a commitment to excellence.
  • The ability to adhere to the highest ethical and moral standards and be able to display transparency.

Interested candidates should possess a Master's Degree in Urban Planning, Business Administration, Public Administration, Environmental Management, Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering, Architecture, or related field.  A combination of education and experience will be taken into consideration when reviewing applicants.

The City of Boulder is offering a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package. Relocation assistance will be available for any successful out-of-area candidate.

How to Apply:
Interested applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to:
Reference: BoulderDDCPS

Affion Public
20 North 2nd Street, Suite 200
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Fax: 717-214-2205


Deadline to receive resumes: November 25, 2011

Posted: 03/22/2022