Principal Planner

Halifax Regional Municipality
November 26, 2020
Paula Lacrouts

Career Opportunity

Halifax Regional Municipality is inviting applications for the permanent, full-time position of Principal Planner with Planning and Development, Regional Policy.  We encourage applications from African Nova Scotians, racially visible persons, women (applying for non-traditional positions), persons with disabilities, Aboriginal persons and persons of the LGBTQ+ community. HRM encourages applicants to self-identify.

Reporting to the Program Manager, the Principal Planner is a senior professional who supervises and directs a team of professional staff and assignments. The Principal Planner may lead or participate in highly complex planning assignments or departmental projects based on business unit or corporate strategic priorities.


• Supervises and directs a team of professional staff and assignments and provides technical assistance and information to staff and the public on complex and sensitive professional planning assignments.
• Acts as liaison between citizens, government agencies, developers and elected officials
• Prepares and presents detailed reports and recommendations on planning matters to staff, Boards, Committees and Council and serves as liaison to such committees
• Conducts field evaluations and assessments
• Acts as witness in legal proceedings as necessary and provides expert advice at the Utility and Review Board and in Court
• Provides input into business unit positions and policies in response to strategic and sensitive issues relating to community and regional planning and development issues
• Represents the business unit or the municipality on various planning-related issues and advises senior management, Committees and Council of same
• Maintains and fosters relationships with other HRM business units, external stakeholders, and community groups, and provides professional planning assistance to communities and community groups on various land use projects
• Designs and facilitates internal or customer-focused strategic planning, training, education and consultation processes as required.
• Directs and/or prepares and presents complex reports, contract documents, terms of reference, request for proposals, policies and procedures, correspondence and briefs for senior management, Committees and Council on various planning-related matters
• Directs and/or leads the development of, in partnership with stakeholders, policy options, analysis and reports on complex planning issues for the business unit and/or the municipality
• Makes decisions, administers and enforces land use by-laws, development agreements and the subdivision by-law when appointed as a Development Officer by Council pursuant to the Halifax Charter.
• Provides leadership in the development and maintenance of a positive working environment and promotes professional behavior of staff in relationships with clients.
• Develops staff through delegation, coaching, mentoring and training by arranging formal training, work assignments and other experiences.
• Monitors and evaluates staff performance and makes effective recommendations with respect to training needs, corrective and disciplinary action; brings all related performance issues forward to the Program Manager
• Serves as witness and fully participates in grievance meetings, workplace rights investigations and other labour relations meetings, as required
• Resolves conflicts resulting from business unit activities (i.e., interpretive and procedural disputes with client, non-compliance, etc.)
• Monitors and reviews municipal policies and regulations and makes recommendations in their administration, development, and amendment.


Education and Experience

• A Master’s Degree in Community Planning or equivalent, from a university planning program recognized or accredited by the Professional Standards Board for Planning in Canada is preferred, with a minimum of six (6) years of related and progressive experience in a professional planning environment in an urban or regional municipality.
• An undergraduate degree from a similarly accredited university planning program may also be considered, with a minimum of eight (8) years of related and progressive experience in a professional planning environment in an urban or regional municipality.
• A Licensed Professional Planner as per the NS Professional Planners Act is required.
• Fully competent in all aspects of the Planner I, II and III positions
• Supervisory experience will be considered an asset.
• Equivalent combination of work and experience may be considered for this position.

Job Specific Knowledge and Abilities

• Advanced knowledge of the philosophies, principals, practices & techniques of planning including cross-functional knowledge involving other disciplines, knowledge of the principles and practices of supervision, training and personnel management.
• Demonstrated skills in project management, facilitation, conflict resolution and negotiation, conducting presentations, communicating, influencing, and leading group discussions. Ability to manage projects effectively and meet firm deadlines.
• Superior written and verbal communications skills with the ability to effectively present ideas and recommendations that involve complex and politically sensitive issues to management, decision-making bodies, committees, applicants and citizens while adhering to the intent of regulations and planning policy.
• Advanced knowledge of the Municipal Government Act, the HRM Charter, the Heritage Property Act, the Heritage By-law, the Subdivision By-law, various HRM Municipal Planning Strategies and Land Use By-laws, and other relevant legislation and municipal by-laws related to construction approvals, engineering specifications, and planning applications, including a clear understanding of their interrelationships.
• Valid driver’s license

Security Clearance Requirements: Applicants may be required to complete an employment security screening check.

Please note – Testing may be conducted as a component of the selection process to assess technical and job specific knowledge. Candidates, who are selected for testing, may be tested in a group setting, scheduled at the employer’s discretion.

COMPETENCIES: Analytical Thinking, Communication, Conflict Management, Customer Service, Teamwork and Cooperation, Visioning and Strategic Thinking, Conflict Management, Valuing Diversity.

WORK STATUS: Permanent, Full-time

HOURS OF WORK: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 35 hours per week.

SALARY: Non-Union, Level P2 ($69,370 – $102,010)

WORK LOCATION: 40 Alderney Dr., Dartmouth, NS

CLOSING DATE: Applications will be received up to midnight on November 26th, 2020.

Please note: We thank all applicants for their interest in this position. Only those applicants selected for interview/testing will be contacted.

During the recruitment process, applicants have the right to request an accommodation. Applicants invited to participate in an assessment process (such as an interview or testing) and who require accommodation, should discuss their needs with the Recruiter when invited to the assessment process.

Qualified HRM retirees may also be considered for competitions. In these circumstances, a form of employment may be offered, including term and/or contract employment.

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