Principal Planner

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Planning and Development Services Department

Winston-Salem, NC United States


Performs difficult professional work completing plans, reports and ordinances guiding the growth and development of the City/County and coordinating the staff and assignments of a team of Planning Division; and related work as apparent or assigned. Work is performed under the limited supervision of the Assistant Planning Director. Continuous oversight is exercised over all personnel within the team.

Qualification Requirements

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential function satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Examples of Duties

  • Manages work assignments and a staff of a section team of the Planning Division; supervises, directs, and reviews the work of direct reports; establishes project milestones and deadlines; coordinates project review; evaluates and edits work products.
  • Leads selected assignments such as ordinance amendments or reports and research projects; sets deadlines and milestones, researches best management practices and existing conditions (both locally and in peer communities); prepares final reports; makes formal presentations at public meetings.
  • Represents the department at various meetings with citizens, business interests, and elected/appointed officials; Meetings include stakeholder 'focus groups', preliminary meetings on potential projects including expressing department positions on proposals and meeting with elected and appointed officials.
  • Serves on the division management team; assists the Planning and Development Services Director and other management staff in establishing and evaluating departmental and planning policies; participates in weekly management meetings; reviews and revises office policies when necessary.
  • Manages direct reports regarding leave time, performance evaluation, discipline, and other personnel issues in consultation with Assistant Director; develops and implements necessary Performance Improvement Plans.
  • Facilitates team and direct report development; responsible for finding opportunities for employee growth and development, team building, and providing coaching and feedback of direct reports' professional development.

Typical Qualifications

Education and Experience: Master's degree in planning, geography, architecture, landscape architecture, public administration, or related field and considerable experience with planning and development principles and regulations, progressively responsible leadership, project management and public presentation experience; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Knowledge of City policies and procedures; knowledge of fiscal and project management; knowledge of the principles and practice of public planning and of development regulations and processes; strong project management skills; ability to lead a team of professional to complete high quality work, within established timeframes; excellent writing and public presentation skills, including the ability to present complex information in a concise and understandable manner to appointed/elected officials and the public; ability to proofread and edit the work of team members; advanced skills in using Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint software, and position specific software; ability to respond effectively to inquiries and complaints and solve complex problems; ability to represents the department at various meetings; ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with supervisors, co-workers, appointed/elected officials and members of the public.

Physical Requirements: This work requires the occasional exertion of up to 50 pounds of force; work regularly requires speaking or hearing and using hands to finger, handle or feel, frequently requires sitting and repetitive motions and occasionally requires Principal Planner for Comprehensive Planning and Design Dept/Div: Planning & Development Services/Planning FLSA Status: Exempt City of Winston-Salem standing, walking, stooping, kneeling, crouching or crawling, reaching with hands and arms and lifting; work has standard vision requirements; vocal communication is required for expressing or exchanging ideas by means of the  spoken word and conveying detailed or important instructions to others accurately, loudly or quickly; hearing is required to perceive information at normal spoken word levels; work requires preparing and analyzing written or computer data, using of measuring devices, operating motor vehicles or equipment and observing general surroundings and activities; work is generally in a moderately noisy location (e.g. business office, light traffic).

Supplemental Information

  • American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) or other specialized certification (Recommended)
  • Valid driver's license 
Experience Level
Mid II (4-8 years)
AICP Level
Comprehensive or Long-Range Planning
Salary Range
$68,382.73 Annually