City of Takoma Park, MD Class Specification

DEPARTMENT: Housing and Community Development
REPORTS TO: Community Development Director
DATE: 04/2009
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Under general supervision performs a variety of planning and neighborhood revitalization functions including but not limited to: long range planning, transportation planning, project development and implementation, and economic development.


Customer Service

Handles customer questions and complaints, communicates with customers, handles service problems politely and efficiently, always available for customers, follows procedure to solve customer problems, understands all City services, maintains pleasant and professional image. Anticipates, monitors and meets the needs of internal and external customers and responds to them in an appropriate manner. Continually seeks to provide the highest quality service to all customers. Listens carefully when dealing with the public and communicates concern through tone of voice and by taking action to solve their problems in a timely manner. Follows up in a timely fashion on requests for service filed through ACTion. Complies with the City’s Customer Service Policy, including 24-hour response time for telephone calls and e-mails. Explains departmental and City issues to the  public in a manner that demonstrates interest and concern for their problems. Listens well, diffuses conflict before it starts, finds causes of and solutions to problems, handles difficult people.


Communicates well both verbally and in writing when required, creates accurate and punctual reports, delivers presentations, shares information and ideas with others, has good listening skills. Effectively conveys information and expresses thoughts and facts. Demonstrates effective use of listening skills and displays openness to other people’s ideas and thoughts. Keeps key employees informed regarding relevant information. Shares information with other members of the team to foster teamwork and to further attainment of the City’s goals. Written and oral information is presented in a manner that projects a positive and professional image of the City.

Reports problems, concerns, issues that should be corrected. Readily shares information and ensures that team members are kept informed and up-to-date. Establishes team and individual accountability for goals, objectives and outcomes. Intervenes as necessary to identify and resolve conflict among team members. Makes conscious and deliberate efforts to build team spirit and identity.

Job Knowledge

Understands duties and responsibilities, has necessary technical skills, understands the City’s mission/values, keeps job knowledge current. Demonstrates the appropriate level of proficiency in the principles and practices of one’s field or profession. Demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement, including the understanding and application of technology where appropriate. Operates within the organization's formal and informal structures, builds allies and relationships across departments, uses allies to build consensus and create results, is appropriately diplomatic, understands others' roles and perspectives, can sell projects and ideas across the organization. Adapts to change, is open to new ideas, takes on new responsibilities, handles pressure, adjusts plans to meet changing needs. Prioritizes well and reacts to opportunities. Is attentive to detail and accuracy, is committed to excellence, looks for improvements continuously, monitors quality levels, finds root cause of quality problems, owns/acts on quality problems.



Tackles problems and takes independent action, seeks out new responsibilities, acts on opportunities, generates new ideas, practices self-development.

Negotiation Skills

Conducts positive negotiations, ability to compromise, handles conflict, seeks common ground, articulates own and others goals, stays focused on positive outcome.


Develops realistic plans, sets goals, aligns plans with City’s goals, plans for and manages resources, creates contingency plans, coordinates/cooperates with others. Creates and communicates a long-term vision, balances short and long term goals, keeps own and team's work aligned with overall goals, creates and adjusts strategic plans. Generates new ideas, challenges the status quo, takes risks, supports change, encourages innovation, solves problems creatively.

Problem Solving/Analysis

Breaks down problems into smaller components, understands underlying issues, can simplify and process complex issues, understands the difference between critical details and unimportant facts.

Project Management

Establishes project goals, milestones, and procedures, defines roles and responsibilities, acquires project resources, coordinates projects throughout company, monitors project progress, manages multiple projects.


Manages the planning, and designing of complex capital projects related to improving livability, access to alternative modes of transportation and revitalization.

Assists in identifying and developing long-term and short-term development goals in line with Council objectives.

Establishes and carries out economic development programs such as conducting outreach to business and property owners on business development in line with City goals, and marketing State, County and City financial incentive/economic development program opportunities to small businesses.

Reviews proposed development projects with Community Development Coordinator in accordance with Montgomery County Park and Planning regulations and City objectives.

Secures funding for key planning programs through grant applications and administers grant awards including monitoring funded projects to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations and preparing required financial reports, progress reports, and disbursement requests.

Presents recommendations and proposals to City Council on behalf of the City Manager.

Plans and facilitates public outreach to identify issues, goals and objectives. These may include meetings and workshops or other means to develop, explain or refine planning projects, programs and procedures to residents, and property or business owners.

Writes requests for proposals, creates criteria for selecting contractors for technical services and construction, ranks prospective bidders, develops recommendations and presents to City Council for approval; administers contracts.

Supervises assigned special project staff and consultants, providing strategic direction with program and individual projects through regular meetings.

Administers contracts for technical services and construction.

Engages Federal, State, and County government departments in planning projects.

Analyzes demographic and economic data from the census and other sources.

Produces written and oral reports.

Creates drawings and site plans using mapping and graphic design software for presentations and projects.

Staffs Council appointed statutory committees as assigned; represents department and City interests as assigned at meetings within and outside the department.


Performs other related duties as assigned.


  • Computer
  • General Office Equipment


Education and Experience

Masters degree from an accredited college or university in Planning, or a related field; and,

One to two years of progressively responsible experience; or

Any combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Licenses and Certifications

AICP Desirable.

Valid Driver’s License.


Knowledge of:

Principals, practices, techniques and objectives of sustainable development, urban design, community planning, community participation, and community and economic development.

Principals, practices and applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Research procedures.

Techniques of construction rehabilitation and renovation projects.

Procurement procedures, contracts, bonding requirements, payment procedures and requests for proposal process.

Easements, right of entry, letters of agreement, settlement documents, and loan underwriting.

Applicable State, Federal and local ordinances, laws, rules and regulations.

Record keeping, report preparation, filing methods and records management techniques.

Correct English usage, including spelling, grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary.

Basic budgetary principles and practices.

Department organization, standard operating guidelines and policies, rules, and regulations.

All computer applications and hardware related to performance of the essential functions of the job.

Skill in:

Using tact, discretion, initiative and independent judgment within established guidelines.

Researching, compiling, and summarizing a variety of informational and statistical data and materials.

Planning, implementing and administering programs.

Conducting long range planning.

Organizing work, setting priorities, meeting critical deadlines, and following up on assignments with a minimum of direction.

Applying logical thinking to solve problems or accomplish tasks; to understand, interpret and communicate complicated policies, procedures and protocols.

Using mathematics.

Communicating orally with internal staff, residents, property owners, business owners, and other departmental staff in order to give and receive information in a courteous manner.

Reading site plans and construction documents.

Mental and Physical Abilities

Ability to read, analyze and interpret professional periodicals and journals, technical procedures and government regulations.

Ability to speak effectively before public groups and respond to questions.

Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists.

Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions.

Ability to comprehend and interpret codes and regulations.

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a variety of individuals.

While performing the essential functions of this job the employee is frequently required to sit, use hands to finger, handle, or feel, reach with hands and arms, speak and hear; lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.

Working Conditions

Work is performed in a normal office environment. Work may include occasional filed work outdoors in natural wild areas and at construction sites. While performing outdoors, employee may be exposed to weather elements.

The incumbent's working conditions are typically moderately quiet

file: Planner

This class specification should not be interpreted as all inclusive. It is intended to identify the essential functions and requirements of this job. Incumbents may be requested to perform job-related responsibilities and tasks other than those stated in this specification. Any essential function or requirement of this class will be evaluated as necessary should an incumbent/applicant be unable to perform the function or requirement due to a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Reasonable accommodation for the specific disability will be made for the incumbent/applicant when possible.