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Director of Planning

Location:  Delaware County, PA Download:  Director of Planning - Delaware County, PA - Brochure

The Community

With a population of 571,295, Delaware County is a dynamic, fast-growth region strategically located southwest of Philadelphia.  Named for the Delaware River, Delaware County is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities. 

Delaware County is the fifth most populous in the state and the third smallest land mass. From Delaware County you can efficiently reach domestic and global markets through a robust network of highways, railways, waterways, and airways. The county is poised for success and complemented by some of the best educational institutions and medical facilities in the country along with cutting edge technology such as the Boeing Vertol V-22 manufactured in Delaware County. Delaware County houses eleven colleges and universities including Villanova University, Haverford College, Swarthmore College, and Penn State Brandywine Campus. 

Delaware County is home to six county parks and Ridley Creek State Park which encompasses more than 2,606 acres of Delaware County woodlands and meadows. The gently rolling terrain of the park, bisected by Ridley Creek, is only 16 miles from center city Philadelphia and is an oasis of open space in a growing urban area. 

Delaware County's neighborhoods offer boundless options to satisfy a wide range of preferences that include thriving urban centers, peaceful suburbs, diverse housing options, exceptional schools, award-winning healthcare, nature, playgrounds, and shopping. Delaware County offers world-renowned art museums, festivals, gardens, and historic battlefields; five-star restaurants, wineries, and hometown brew pubs are also a staple of the region. 


Delaware County consists of a five-member elected Council.  In May 1975, the residents of Delaware County approved a Home Rule Charter plan which was later effective in January 1976.  The County thus because the first in the state of Pennsylvania to become a Home Rule county. 

The Home Rule Charter gives County Council the authority to pass ordinances, resolutions and proclamations and to provide budget and personnel to the needs of the residents as they arise. Council is responsible for adopting a budget each calendar year, raising funds through taxes or bonds for capital projects, setting payroll scales and employee size. 

County Council is involved in activities pertaining to economic development, public transportation, waste disposal, human services, land use and culture. The Council also decides the best means of providing services which are required by law or are necessary for the well-being of the county and determines the participation of the County in intergovernmental programs involving federal, state, and local government as well as distribute federal and state grants for social services. 

The Council is also responsible for all legislative and administrative functions of the county government. Although Council has overall responsibility for all actions of county departments, the Executive Director, a County Council appointee, is directly responsible for the operations of certain departments as outlined in the Home Rule charter or as assigned by county Council. The primary administrative level staff assistance is provided to Council by the Executive Director and the County Clerk. Legal guidance and representation is provided by the Solicitor. 

Members of County Council are elected on an at large basis to four-year terms at staggered two-year intervals when municipal elections are held, which occur in odd numbered years.  

The Position

The Planning Director is a vital member of the County’s Executive Team and provides the leadership for long-range planning and day-to-day management of the Planning Department, which is organized into several functional planning areas that include Community & Regional Planning, Environmental Planning, Historic Preservation, Open Space and Trails, Plan & Ordinance Review, and Transportation Planning.  Currently, the planning department is serving the purpose of promoting the sound development and redevelopment of the County through the strategic application of contemporary planning principles and smart growth concepts while maintaining and enhancing the county's cultural, economic, and environmental livability. The Director reports to the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO). 

Delaware County envisions its future Planning Director to foster a hyper-collaborative and dynamic workplace in a change-driven environment. This workplace will build momentum in achieving the vision as a sustainable, green, and connected county of choice for residents, businesses, and visitors through innovative and strategic planning. Aligning the Planning Department as an outcome-based organization shaped around a shared vision, goals, and action steps with a defined yet flexible work program will be a crucial responsibility of the Director. 

Essential Responsibilities:

·        Provide leadership, management, and coordination of all County planning functions

·        Lead by example in a culture of collaboration, readiness, information sharing, risk-taking, and enthusiasm

·        Develop department-wide goals, objectives, policies, and procedures and oversee their successful implementation geared toward defined outcomes

·        Work with the County Council, the CSO, the Delaware County Planning Commission, the public, and staff to articulate a clear vision of Delco’s desired goals relative to planning and development related issues

·        Prepare and manage the Planning Department's annual work program and budget

·        Represent the County on various County and regional boards and committees and at public meetings and events

·        Work with the Personnel Department to recruit, hire, and evaluate staff and contract personnel

·        Supervise professional staff. Manage, assign, and review projects and production with the team. Develop a meaningful and measurable annual staff review process. Conduct engaging and productive staff meetings.

·        Interpret and understand applicable ordinances and regulations with knowledge of federal, municipal, regional, and community planning

·        Conduct ongoing review of grant opportunities, proposals, and applications; promote grant programs and provide application assistance to municipalities 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

·        Knowledge of principles, methodology, and practices of research, data collection, and statistics

·        Ability to review contract documents and ordinances to determine compliance

·        Knowledge of computer programs such as Microsoft Office and Excel, Adobe Suite, State, and Federal applications, econometric or transportation modeling, database management, GIS, online meeting platforms

·        Ability to work on, schedule, and manage several projects simultaneously

·        Ability to prepare, monitor, and report annual budgets and objectives 

Education and Experience

Qualified applicants will have a Bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning, public administration, or a related field and at least 5 (five) or more years of progressively responsible planning experience, including two (2) years supervisory experience; a Master’s degree and education in both Planning and Landscape Architecture is highly preferred. An American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) designation and/or dual licensing as a PLA or RLA is preferred.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will have well-developed knowledge of planning and zoning principles, practices, reporting, and functional areas such as transportation, environmental, open space, and historic preservation and demonstrated success in economic development, business enterprises, green space, trails, historic preservation, and project implementation and delivery. The ideal candidate should have experience working in a fast-paced environment and dealing with the complex issues related to a growing County.

The ideal candidate should have the ability to build effective and positive relationships with a wide range of audiences, including elected officials, planning commissions, state and regional agencies, developers, civic groups, and the public.  The ideal candidate must have the capacity and interest to be an effective mentor and leader for staff.  Excellence in oral and written communication and reporting skills are imperative for successful interactions with various agencies, boards, committees, and the public.


The County offers a competitive salary and benefits program consisting of a choice of medical plans, retirement, paid time off, and educational opportunities; relocation assistance may be available for a successful out-of-county candidate.

How to Apply

Interested applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to:
Reference: DELCOPD

Affion Public
PO Box 794
Hershey, PA 17033

*The deadline to receive resumes is July 11, 2022* 

The Delaware County is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. 

Posted: 06/13/2022