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Assistant Planner

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Posted: 04/04/2021

Position:  Assistant Planner                                               (OPEIU Union 37.5/Hours/Week +)

Principle Duties and Responsibilities: 
Position Summary:
The Assistant Planner provides technical and administrative assistance to the Town Planner, Conservation Resource Planner, and the Director of Land Use Management (DLUM) as directed.  The intent is for the Assistant Planner’s time to be divided evenly amongst Conservation, Planning and Zoning Departments; however, the DLUM may authorize a different allocation of time based upon the needs of the Department.  The Assistant Planner provides support to the Planning Board, Board of Appeals and the Conservation Commission and occasionally attends meetings, conducts site visits and follows up on conditions of approval.  This is a professional-level planning and conservation position whose primary duties will be to draft agendas, legal notices, forms and decisions, to conduct and coordinate reviews of plans and application materials, to assist and explain permitting processes to applicants and interested parties, and other duties as directed by DLUM, Town Planner and Conservation Resource Planner.  The Assistant Planner communicates frequently with residents, town personnel, applicants, attorneys, developers, contractors, engineers, surveyors, real estate agents, and board members which requires excellent communication skills.  
Principal Responsibilities:
1. Provides technical and administrative assistance to the Town Planner, Conservation Resource Planner and Director of Land Use Management on tasks including: conducting and coordinating plan and project reviews, preparing legal notices, staff reports, memos, agendas and draft decisions and forms for Board/Commission approval.
2. Assists applicants through planning, zoning and conservation application processes.  Answers questions from landowners, developers and other interested persons seeking information about how to apply for permits, responds to daily public inquiries on Town conservation or planning matters over the phone, in writing and/or in person.  Shall conduct site visits.  
3. Assists with town committees such as the Conservation Commission, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Technical Review Committee, Healthy Westford Committee, Healthy Lakes and Ponds Collaborative, Master Planning Committees, and other Committees as directed.  Shall attend a minimum of one meeting each of the Conservation Commission, Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals each year, and Town Meeting if participation is required.  Participates in evening meetings on an as-needed basis with an expectation of not less than six of such meetings per calendar year.
4. Assists with public record requests as directed.  
5. Prepares plans and presentation materials using MassGIS and Westford GIS as directed.
6. Assists Town Planner and Conservation Resource Planner with tracking of projects to check for lapses of approval, recording of decisions/orders of condition/certificates of compliance, and verifying compliance with conditions of approval.  Assists with research of covenants, lot releases, deeds, plans, laws, and regulations.
7. Coordinates and attends pre-application meetings.
8. Assists with the preparation of packets (electronic and paper) in support of all Conservation Commission, Planning Board, Board of Appeals, and other committee meetings.
9. Assists Conservation Resource Planner with land management and stewardship, and land acquisition/protection projects as directed.
10. Assists with researching and drafting proposed amendments to Zoning Bylaw.
11. Assists with researching and drafting proposed amendments to Subdivision Rules and Regulations.
12. Assists with grant applications and related projects.
13. Assists with Town-wide Master Planning efforts and updates to the Open Space and Recreation Plan.
14. Assists with preparing draft Annual Reports.
15. Responsible for making project information available to the public online.
16. Assumes additional responsibilities as directed by DLUM, Town Planner and Conservation Resource Planner.

Qualifications and Requirements:
Two years of permitting experience with planning, zoning and/or conservation is required for this position.  Applicants should be familiar with local and state zoning and wetland laws, bylaws, regulations and applicable state statutes including Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 40A, 40B, 41 and 131, rules and regulations.  Applicants must be able to interpret plans.  The successful candidate will have strong prioritization skills, advanced organizational skills, excellent written and verbal skills, including experience corresponding with residents and others on complex issues, and experience with MS Office (GIS experience a plus) are required.  Experience with plant identification, soil classification related to wetland delineation and erosion control methodology is preferred. 

A Bachelor’s Degree in Planning, Environmental or related field is required.  Valid driver’s license is required.

Salary: OPEIU Grade C
Location:  Town Hall                                                     Approximate Start Date: May 10, 2021

Direct Report: Director of Land Use Management

Recruiting both within and outside the Town. If interested, please submit a resume to Human Resources, Town Hall, 55 Main Street, Westford, MA   01886.  Or email to:
Please reference Requisition #: 21-394-P

The Town of Westford is an equal opportunity employer committed to workforce diversity.

The duties listed above are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed.  The omission of specific duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.  This job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee and is subject to change by the employer as the needs of the Town and requirements of the job change.

Post:  April 2, 2021                                                            Remove:  April 16, 2021

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