Director of Planning and Development

Town of Kentville
April 5, 2024
(902) 679-2328

Job Posting Download

Position Summary:

The Director of Planning and Development is responsible for the management, administration, implementation and operation of all land use planning, development control, and business development functions for the Town, as well as playing a crucial role in overseeing zoning regulations, and urban development. The Department ensures that growth is managed effectively, balancing economic, environmental, and social concerns.

A well-planned municipality fosters sustainable growth, enhances quality of life, and attracts development and investment, making the director’s role pivotal in shaping the future of the community.

As a member of the senior management team, the Director of Planning and Development provides guidance and assistance to the CAO and Town Council. The Director is responsible for the overall management of the department including strategic and long-term planning, project management, development control, sustainability, and GIS services and managing the implementation of Council’s strategic priorities related to planning and development of the Town.

At the current juncture, the Director of Planning and Development has the exciting opportunity to build the Planning and Development Department from the ground up.  Kentville is poised for exponential growth over the next 5-10 years and requires a robust, efficient, and highly functioning planning department in order to achieve its development potential.  The next Director of Planning will have the unique opportunity to build that team and lead the department to success.

Core Expectations of the Role:

  1. Zoning and Land Use Regulation: Oversee the development and implementation of zoning bylaws and land use policies to guide growth and development in the Town. This involves assessing proposed developments, rezoning requests, and subdivision plans to ensure they align with the municipality’s long-term goals and objectives.
  2. Urban Planning and Development: Lead efforts to create comprehensive plans for the municipality, outlining strategies for land use, transportation, housing, economic development, and environmental preservation. These plans provide a blueprint for future growth and development, aiming to create vibrant, sustainable communities.
  3. Community Engagement: The director engages with residents, community groups, and stakeholders to gather input and feedback on planning initiatives. Public participation is crucial for ensuring that planning decisions reflect the needs and desires of the community.
  4. Environmental Protection: Work with stakeholders to protect natural resources, open space, and environmentally sensitive areas through land use planning and environmental regulations. This may involve implementing policies to mitigate the impacts of development on air and water quality, wildlife habitats, and ecosystems.
  5. Infrastructure Planning: Collaborate with other municipal departments to plan for infrastructure improvements, including transportation networks, utilities, parks, and public facilities. Coordinating infrastructure planning with land use planning is essential for promoting efficient and sustainable development.
  6. Regulatory Compliance: Ensure that planning activities comply with federal, provincial, and the MGA regulations governing land use, environmental protection, and historic preservation.
  7. The Director will also oversee the administration of development review processes and permitting procedures.

In addition to the core responsibilities of the job, the Director:          

  • Directs the day-to-day operations of the Planning Department, and guides and oversees the work undertaken by other departmental staff;
  • Provides advice on planning and development matters to staff, Council and committees;
  • Coordinates the preparation of reports, agendas, and support material for committees of Council;
  • Drafts planning documents, recommends plan amendments as necessary, and prepares and presents reports on planning-related issues;
  • Attends Public Engagement Sessions, Council Meetings, and various committee meetings as required;
  • Contributes to the overall strategic leadership of the Town including input into the advancement of strategic priorities;
  • Responds to inquiries from the public regarding planning documents, Planning Department publications, staff reports and other matters related to planning in Kentville;
  • Undertakes research and stays current on planning and development issues, provincial and federal government legislation and other planning-related matters;
  • Recommends new and revised policies and programs relative to the planning and development activities of the Town in order to meet the changing needs of the public and effectively fulfil Council’s goals and objectives.
  • Monitors and reviews municipal policies and procedures related to planning, and makes recommendations on their administration, development, and amendment;
  • Compiles and analyzes data on demographic, economic, legal, political, cultural, sociological, physical and other factors affecting land use
  • Confers with municipal, provincial and federal authorities, civic leaders, land developers, the public and special interest groups to formulate and develop land use or community plans
  • Prepares and recommends land development concepts and plans for zoning, subdivisions, transportation, public utilities, community facilities, parks, agricultural and other land uses
  • Prepares plans for environmental protection such as protection of watersheds
  • Reviews and evaluates proposals for land use and development plans and prepare recommendations
  • Keeps fully informed of developments in legislation, best planning and administrative practices, educational opportunities, and funding opportunities that may apply to the operation of the Department and Town;
  • Prepares and oversees the operating and capital budgets for the Planning Department and is responsible for purchasing and procurement within the department;
  • Provides supervision and mentorship to departmental staff and evaluates their performance;
  • Processes and maintains necessary employee records including payroll;
  • Coordinates shared services delivery for Planning and Development with other municipal units including building inspections;
  • Other duties as may be required in the fulfillment of the job.


  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and team building skills.
  • Experience supervising and managing diverse staff and resources.
  • Knowledge of municipal planning and community economic development.
  • Experience in grant and report writing.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of municipal government with a strong working knowledge of planning principles.
  • Considerable knowledge of legislative and policy making processes.

General Capabilities:

  • Ability to function as solution-oriented problem solver
  • Acts in the interest of the public, while maintaining alignment with organizational direction.
  • Strong leadership abilities
  • Ability to deal effectively and courteously with various team types including Council, staff, outside agencies and the public.
  • Computer skills are required
  • Adaptability / flexibility

Working Conditions:

  • This position spends periods of time in front of a computer monitor.
  • Supportive work environment allows for working remotely and flex ability
  • This position works directly with the public and community stakeholders.
  • High pressure situations and adversarial public meetings are to be expected

Education and Training:

  • A Degree in Planning or a related discipline.
  • Post-secondary degree in land use planning, preferably at the master’s level.
  • Eligibility to become a Licensed Professional Planner in Nova Scotia
  • Minimum six (6) years senior level planning experience is required, ideally in a municipal environment.
October 16 to October 18
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