City of Des Moines Washington
  • 17-Mar-2017 to 30-May-2017 (PST)
  • Community Development
  • Des Moines, WA, USA
  • $110,196 to $133,944 annually
  • Salary
  • Regular Full-Time

The City provides an attractive benefits package which includes medical, dental, vision, life and long term disability insurance, Washington State PERS retirement, 401(a) Social Security replacement retirement plan, 457 retirement plan contribution, and paid holidays, vacation, and sick leave.


Closing Date

Open until filled, with initial review April 3, 2017.

To Apply

Please complete the online application available on the City's website and attach a resume and cover letter. Note that the online application includes several supplemental questions.

Nature of Work

Under the general direction of the Chief Operations Officer, the Community Development Director assumes full leadership and management responsibility for and directs all Community Development Department services and activities, including current and long-range planning, building inspection, code compliance, plan review, permit processing, human services, and community outreach and livability.  Coordinates code enforcement in coordination with the Police Department. Administers and interprets the Comprehensive Plan and Land Development and other codes; ensures compliance with federal, state, and local laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations; drafts code provisions or amendments to correct deficiencies or effect compliance with new laws or regulations; develops plans or programs to satisfy future needs for department services.  Exercises considerable independence and has full responsibility for departmental operations, managing supervisory, professional, technical and clerical staff, directly and indirectly.

About the City

The City of Des Moines offers sweeping views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains to the west, and Mount Rainier to the east. The City possesses a wide variety of neighborhoods and housing options, along with countless recreational possibilities including sailing, boating, fishing, and beach exploration. The City is only an hour's drive of skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing, and has many beautifully maintained City and county parks including the 18-acre Des Moines Beach Park. Des Moines operates its own 850-slip marina and every Saturday from June through October the Marina's Waterfront Farmers Market presents local vendors offering creations from local artists and fresh flowers, produce, meats and cheeses from nearby farms. The City is also home to highly-acclaimed Highline College, as well as a satellite campus for Central Washington University. Des Moines offers the best of the Pacific Northwest and is an amazing place to call home.

Des Moines is completely surrounded by other incorporated cities so there are no opportunities for annexation.  There are several unbuilt subdivisions, totaling 150-200 building lots, that are expected to begin construction this summer.  Several medium sized to large multi-family projects are in various stages of permitting or have begun construction, including a 119 unit senior housing project, an 87 unit mixed use building, and a 49 unit mixed use building in the Marina District; a 350 unit apartment project in Pacific Ridge, and a 324 unit mixed use project on Pacific Highway adjacent to Highline College.

Essential Job Functions

  • Administers all the activities of the Community Development Department, which includes current and long-range planning, building inspection, code compliance, plan review, permit processing, and community livability; also coordinates code enforcement with the Police Department. 
  • Responsible for administrative interpretation and enforcement of all land use and building related codes, standards, and regulations. 
  • Ensures that all new development in the City meets city, state, and federal development, environmental, and Growth Management Act requirements.  Prepares, reviews and approves City SEPA reviews and mitigation plans for critical areas. Acts as the City's SEPA Responsible Official.
  • Participates as a member and representative of the City's senior management team to develop and implement the City's vision, strategies, and policies; establishment and promotion of organizational values; facilitating quality improvements throughout the organization and/or community; and participation in community service work.
  • Serves as the primary contact for and advisor to various neighborhood and community committees, City Council, City Manager, Chief Operations Officer, and staff on land use policy issues, planning procedures, special and comprehensive plans, as well as regulatory ordinances. Attends committee and City Council Meetings.
  • Works with representatives from neighboring jurisdictions and regional partners in the development of regional land use policies, plans and/or resolutions of regional land use issues.
  • Takes a proactive approach towards potential economic development projects for the City.  Responds to inquiries with information on the planning process, demographics, real estate market, and public policy. 
  • Responds to difficult and sensitive public inquiries and complaints and assists with resolutions and alternative recommendations.
  • Ensures City regulatory and permit processes meet local, state and federal regulatory requirements and guidelines.
  • Manages and directs department personnel.  Establishes work priorities and performance standards for staff; monitors performance and provides effective feedback; works with staff to correct any deficiencies; implements any necessary disciplinary action after consultation with the Human Resources Manager.
  • Contributes to the overall quality of the department's service by developing, reviewing, and implementing policies and procedures to meet legal requirements and City needs; continuously monitors and evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures; assesses and monitors the distribution of work, support systems, and internal reporting relationships; identifies opportunities for improvement; directs the implementation of change.
  • Represents department on citywide task teams. Represents the City on regional and state-wide committees and in legislative matters.
  • Operates and drives a motor vehicle safely and legally.
  • Delivers excellent customer service to diverse audiences.
  • Prepares a variety of letters, memos, contracts, forms, reports, and other documents; operates computers to produce documents with clearly organized thoughts using proper sentence construction, punctuation, and grammar.
  • Presents issues and recommendations on major issues requiring policy direction to appropriate advisory bodies and to the Council.
  • Keeps informed of new trends, developments, laws, and regulations impacting the activities of the department.
  • Establishes and maintains cooperative, effective working relationships with co-workers, other City employees, and the general public using principles of good customer service.
  • Reports for scheduled work with regular, reliable and punctual attendance. 

Necessary Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Comprehensive knowledge of federal, state, and local laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations related to land use planning, building codes, regional issues, code compliance practices, community services, and economic development practices and programs.
  • Knowledge of federal, state, regional and county programs, procedures and funding sources related to assigned programs, projects, activities and operations.
  • Excellent communication and facilitation skills, including the ability to address large formal and informal groups and facilitate public processes.
  • Excellent supervisory skills; ability to hold employees and supervisors accountable for performance goals and contributions towards organizational objectives and values; ability to develop and motivate staff and to delegate, supervise and review the work of staff.
  • Excellent leadership skills, interpersonal judgment, and organizational skills.
  • Ability to inspire, build trust, persuade, engage, speak directly about complex planning and community development issues, make tough decisions, and take difficult actions. Display balanced thinking that combines analysis, wisdom, experience, and perspective.
  • Ability to influence, articulate, and translate the vision and goals for building a vibrant community into tactics that are realistic and effective.
  • Ability to generate creative, innovative and visionary approaches to problem solving that are effective and responsive.
  • Ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically; bring innovative approaches and solutions; streamline and remove processes that do not bring value; measure success based on results; and set high standards of performance, using accountability measures and benchmarks to track progress.
  • Ability to manage effectively in a rapidly changing environment while staying focused on priorities.
  • Ability to build alliances and collaborate across boundaries to build strategic relationships with other City departments, outside agencies, various levels of government, and private interests. Bring diverse leaders together to discuss and resolve regional planning and community development issues and break down traditional silos. Inspire action without relying solely on authority. Listen skillfully. Perceive the complexity of situations quickly.
  • Strong budget management and reporting skills.
  • Ability to successfully use and evaluate sustainability principles within the department and organization-wide.
  • Ability to understand how to apply technology and lead efforts to improve efficiency and customer service.
  • Ability to attend meetings for extended periods of time, and to work under time pressure.
  • Ability to present ideas effectively orally and in writing.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, other City employees/departments, City officials, and the public.
  • Skill in effective, clear and persuasive oral and written communications to individuals and groups.
  • Understanding of the City's political environment and sensitivities; ability to function effectively within that environment.
  • Ability to make timely decisions considering relevant factors and evaluating alternatives, exercising discretion and sound independent judgment.
  • Create and meet schedules, time lines and work independently with little direction.
  • Ability to work effectively in a dynamic environment that is constantly changing, resulting in continually re-evaluating and shifting priorities.
  • Ability to work both independently and within a collaborative team-oriented environment; contribute openly, respectfully disagree, understand the ideas of others, listen well and work for consensus.
  • Respond to emergencies and other situations on a 24-hour basis.

Education and Experience Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in public administration, business administration, planning, or a related field required (master's degree preferred); and
  • Six years of municipal administrative experience in community development and at least four years of supervisory experience.
  • American Institute of Certified Planners or Building Official Certificate desirable.

Special Requirements

  • Ability to attend night and weekend meetings when required.
  • Successful completion of a criminal history and background check.
  • Possession of or the ability to obtain, and maintain throughout employment, a valid Washington State driver's license with a satisfactory driving record.
  • Because of the known effects of tobacco use, the City of Des Moines does not hire applicants who use tobacco products.

Working Conditions and Physical Abilities

  • Duties require the willingness and ability to work the hours necessary to accomplish the assigned duties, including evenings and weekends; attend evening meetings; travel out of town to attend workshops, conferences, seminars during work and non-work hours.
  • Works indoors in a climate-controlled office environment with low noise levels. Constant use of sight, hearing, and speech abilities necessary to perform essential functions and to communicate with others. Constant fine finger manipulation and use of hands and arms in reaching/handling/fingering/grasping while operating office equipment and computers, preparing written documentation, handling paperwork, etc. Frequent sitting, may be extended at times, while doing desk activities. Frequent bending/twisting at waist/knees/neck while working at desk, worktable, or moving from sitting to standing position. Frequent standing in combination with walking (short distances) throughout work shift in office areas. Occasional lifting/carrying up to 25-pound documents, materials, file boxes, etc. Occasional pushing/pulling force up to 10 pounds opening doors, drawers, and moving materials. Requires mental acuity to ensure thorough mental analysis of situations in a fast-paced environment.

Equal Opportunity Employer

  • The City of Des Moines is committed to hiring a diverse workforce and all qualified applicants, including all ethnic backgrounds and persons with disabilities, are encouraged to apply. The City is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, color, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status, disability status, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, or local law.
  • In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer is obligated to make a reasonable accommodation only to the known limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability. In general, it is the responsibility of the applicant or employee with a disability to inform the employer that an accommodation is needed to participate in the application process, to perform essential job functions or to receive equal benefits and privileges of employment.

General Information 

  • The statements contained herein reflect general details as necessary to describe the principal functions for this job classification, the level of knowledge and skill typically required and the scope of responsibility, but should not be considered an all-inclusive listing of work requirements.
  • The physical abilities described above are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • The provisions of this job description do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. Any provision contained herein may be modified and/or revoked without notice. 
City of Des Moines Washington
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