Director of Planning

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Delaware County is insouth-eastern Pennsylvania and borders Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Chester County, New Castle County (Delaware), and Gloucester (New Jersey). We are the fifth most populous county in Pennsylvania with over a half million residents, with 49 municipalities, and only a 15–30-minutedrive into Philadelphia. Delaware County is a full-service county with 49 municipalities, 15 school districts, seven colleges and universities, a hub of commerce, and a network of non-profit organizations. As the County traverses through our renaissance period, we envision an epic future for our county as a thriving, sustainable, and connected community: a county of choice for all residents, business, and visitors alike.


Delaware County is seeking an energetic and experienced planning professional to orchestrate and implement the robust activities needed to advance our vision.The PlanningDirector is a key member of the County’sExecutive Team and provides the leadership for long-range planning as well as day-to-day management of the Planning Department, which consists of Transportation,Historic Preservation, Open Space,andTrails.Currently, the PlanningDepartment 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 cultural, economic, and environmental livability of the County.The Director reports to the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO).

In our change-driven environment, Delaware County envisions its future Planning Director to foster a hyper-collaborative and dynamic workplace. This workplace will build momentum in achieving our vision as a sustainable, green, and connected county of choice for residents, business, and visitors through innovative and strategic planning.Aligning the Planning Department as an outcome-based organization shaped around a common vision, goals,and action steps with a defined yet flexible work program will be a key responsibility of the Director.Ideally, the new Director will have notable demonstrated success in economic development, business enterprises, green space, trails, historic preservation, and project implementation and delivery.


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

Lead by example 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 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

Build effective and positive communication with a wide range of audiences including elected officials, planning commissions, state and regional agencies, developers, civic groups, and the public

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 staff. 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


Leadership and Change Management Skills – Our Planning Director will have to create high performing teams; provide direction; manage and persuade different viewpoints; build bridges across the organization and Delaware County; communicate clearly and effectively within the organization as well as to personify Delaware County government to public and private sector partners and stakeholders; evaluate, motivate, develop, and coach staff; and resolve disagreements in a way that all parties can embrace.

Results Driven – Demonstrated track record of successful implementation of projects. The Planning Director will be a professional who understands how to seize opportunities, build meaningful relationships, and inspire the potential in others to make transformative things happen.

Strategy and Business Acumen – With a strong understanding of the environment in which Planning Department projects and actions will be implemented, the Planning Director will connect department priorities with benefits, outcomes, and positive impacts.

Agility and Adaptability – The Planning Director will have to be comfortable working in changing and uncertain contexts and moving forward with limited information at times to achieve positive outcomes.

Ethics and Values – As a role model for the Department, the Director will create a safe, respectful non-judgmental environment in which the whole department team can build trust and communicate effectively.


Education Required: A Master's degree in urban and regional planning, public administration, or related field. Education in both Planning and Landscape Architecture is highly preferred.

Experience Required: A minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible planning experience is required. Five years of experience must be in a supervisory capacity.

AICP certification is required and dual licensing as a PLA or RLA is highly preferred.

Valid Pennsylvania driver's license required at time of appointment and throughout employment.

Well-developed knowledge of planning and zoning principles, practices, reporting, and functional areas such as transportation, environmental, open space, and historic preservation

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

Excellence in oral and written communication and reporting skills to interact with various agencies, boards, committees, and the public

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

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


The Director’s salary will be commensurate with the members of the County’s Executive Team with a range of $110,000 to $130,000.The County offers a competitive benefits program consisting of a choice of medical plans, retirement, paid time off, and educational opportunities.


To apply, please fill out our online application form.

Contact Us

  •   201 West Front Street,
         Media, PA 19063
  •   8:30AM - 4:30PM
           Monday - Friday
  •   610-891-4000

About Delaware County

Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.

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