Assistant Director of Planning and Urban Design

City of Asheville
Asheville, NC

Description of Job / Position
This position provides principal assistance to the Director in the leadership, strategic planning, supervision of employees, managing and evaluating department programs, functions and activities to ensure alignment with City goals. The Assistant Director may be assigned to fulfill the duties of the Director in their absence.

This position is open until filled with an initial application review beginning on November 5th.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Participates in the development and implementation of goals, objectives, policies and priorities for the Department, including the Department’s work plan, service priorities and performance objectives.
  • Assists in the development and administration of the department’s budget.
  • Supervises staff by managing daily tasks and activities, establishing procedures and guidelines, evaluating assigned duties, coaching and mentoring for performance improvement and recommending personnel actions.
  • Reviews staff reports for the Planning and Zoning Commission, City Council and other relevant boards, commissions and committees; and, ensures that expected deliverables and timeframes are met for these boards.
  • Ensures quality review processes by conducting periodic overview of processes and ensuring benchmarking mechanisms are in place.
  • Assists the Director as needed as a liaison to the Planning and Zoning Commission, Technical Review Committee and other city boards.
  • Interfaces and collaborates with City departments, City Council members, the public, local and regional agencies, private and non-profit organizations, developers, design professionals and others regarding projects, programs, development-related meetings and related issues.
  • Advises on long range planning projects, zoning amendments and other strategic planning efforts of the Department, with emphasis on how proposed plans, policies and actions can be realistically implemented within the administrative and budgetary capabilities of the City.
  • Participates as a leader and team member within the organization and city, and presents to the public on Department initiatives.
  • Coordinates implementation and completion of projects and programs, such as long range planning initiatives, small area plans and zoning amendments.
  • Facilitates the grant process by researching grants available for civic programs and projects.
  • Monitors and evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures.
  • Attends and participates in professional organizations, staying abreast of new trends, best practices and innovations in the field.
  • Performs other similar duties as required.

Job Requirements

  • Required Education and Experience:
  • Bachelor’s degree in planning, urban design, architecture, landscape architecture, engineering or a related field, with a minimum of six (6) years of progressive planning experience.
  • A Master’s Degree in a related field is desirable.
  • Two (2) years of supervisory experience with proven leadership, personnel management, communications and decision-making ability preferred.

Preferred Licensing and Certifications:

AICP, LEED, CNU-Accredited, AIA, ASLA, RLA or similar license or certification preferred but not required.


  • Thorough knowledge of the principles, practices and trends in community planning and urban design.

Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to lead within the organization and City.
  • Ability to analyze and improve systems and processes.
  • Ability to conduct advanced research on organizational policies and procedures, best practices and innovative techniques.
  • Ability to effectively supervise and mentor staff for performance improvement and career growth.
  • Ability to delegate and follow-up on work assigned to others to ensure progress, and examine and modify the flow of work to increase efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Ability to use and communicate complex data and graphics, and draw reasonable conclusions and/or recommendations.
  • Ability to to manage and coordinate the implementation of activities related to a Comprehensive Plan, Department Work Plan and other community goals, including the use of innovative solutions to implement projects and initiatives.
  • Ability to develop and maintain strong working relationships within and outside the organization, including cross functional team building on specific work assignments and projects.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in written and spoken form, including preparing reports for technical or administrative purposes, as well as presenting to the public, boards, commissions and other organizations and groups.
  • Ability to analyze situations, bring resources together to identify a problem or obstacle, and recommend solutions to resolve the issue.
  • Ability to analyze and interpret policy and procedural guidelines and to apply this understanding to tasks.
  • Ability to work independently with limited supervision, and to lead a team.

Salary & Benefits
Depends on Qualifications

How to Apply
Position is open until filled.

Please complete an online application.

The City of Asheville is dedicated to providing quality service for the residents and visitors of our beautiful city, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. Asheville, NC is a thriving mountain city that has a culture enriched in diversity.

The City of Asheville values and respects a diverse community, workforce and ideas, and is committed to promoting an equitable, fair, and just employment environment. Our organization seeks to create and provide access and opportunities to employees, residents and visitors to fulfill their potential through inclusive engagement practices. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status.