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Director of Planning, Design & Development #2211-212500-01

Date Opened
Friday, November 11, 2022 7:00 AM
Close Date
Sunday, April 02, 2023 11:59 PM
Planning Design & Development
  • Commensurate with relevant experience


The City of Charlotte is the largest municipality in North Carolina and the 17th largest city in the United States, with a total population of more than 872,498 citizens. A major commerce center, Charlotte hosts several of the nation’s largest banks and technology companies.

Also known as the Queen City, Charlotte is home to the Carolina Panthers, the Charlotte Hornets and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. We work hard to ensure that the community will be a winning city for everyone – a truly remarkable place to live, work, learn and play. Join us in helping to keep our City thriving, ensuring upward mobility and advancement in the workplace.


Planning, Design & Development


The City of Charlotte is recruiting nationally for a highly experienced director of the city’s Planning, Design & Development Department who possesses a verifiable track record of success in fast-paced, high growth, progressive urban environments. The successful candidate will have a broad background in all aspects of urban planning, land use, development, community development and zoning with a public or private agency. The candidate should also have experience managing financial operations, including developing and managing a budget.

This senior-level executive will be results-driven and possess the following qualities:

  • Well-grounded and ethical decision-making abilities.
  • Superior interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Political astuteness.Capability to navigate complex planning projects and initiatives.
  • Outstanding public speaking abilities.


The Planning, Design & Development Department is a public planning agency established in 1954 as a joint city-county department to provide integrated planning services to the City of Charlotte and unincorporated areas of Mecklenburg County. In 2003, the city and county amended their Inter-local Cooperative Agreement to make the planning department a City of Charlotte department, while still providing planning services to both jurisdictions. As a City of Charlotte department, the planning director reports to the Office of the City Manager. 


The planning department consists of approximately 110 employees and has a total budget of approximately $12 million. The department provides a comprehensive array of long-range planning, land development, urban design and zoning services that improve the quality of life in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. The department’s services include oversight of six divisions that address:

  • Land development.
  • Community tree canopy preservation.
  • Entitlement services.
  • Design and preservation.
  • Long-range planning.
  • Regional transportation planning. 

The planning department also oversees the CLT Development Center, which is a collaborative effort of six city departments to streamline the land development permitting process. Additionally, the planning department works with a 14-member appointed planning commission that advises on planning and zoning issues. To ensure the entire community is well-prepared for the future, planning department staff also work with the Charlotte City Council, the Mecklenburg County Board of County Commissioners, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board, neighborhood and business groups, and other advisory boards. Advisory boards include the Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Historic District Commission and the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization.

Preferred Qualification

Education: A graduate degree in planning, urban design or a closely related field is highly desired.

Experience: The selected candidate is expected to have 10 years or more of progressively responsible experience, with at least six years of successful leadership experience. Candidates who have worked in high-growth and fast-paced urban environments will have the most likelihood of success in this role. Having a proven track record of successfully leading a large and complex community through a unified development ordinance process is highly desired. Consideration will be given to internal and external candidates. American Institute of Certified Planners certification, or the ability to obtain within one year, is desired. 

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor's level degree and ten years relevant experience. Or Master’s level degree and seven years relevant experience.


Commensurate with relevant experience.

Conditions of Employment

The City’s Background Check Policy requires background checks to be conducted on final internal or external candidate(s) applying for any position with the City of Charlotte. The type of information that will be collected as part of a background check includes, but is not limited to: reference checks, social security verification, education verification, criminal conviction record check, and, if applicable, a credit history check, sex offender registry and motor vehicle records check.

Background checks must be in compliance with all federal and state statutes, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The checks must be consistent with the guidelines set forth by these laws requiring organizations to obtain a candidate’s written authorization before obtaining a criminal background report, motor vehicle records check or credit report; and to properly store and dispose of information derived from such reports.

Final candidates must pass a pre-employment drug-screening test and physical examination. During the selection process, candidates may be asked to take a skills test, and/or participate in other assessments.

The City of Charlotte is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

How To Apply

Apply online.

Federal law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. Please tell us if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for a job.

You are welcome to visit the City of Charlotte Human Resources Department lobby where we have workstations available. Our office is located at 700 East 4th Street, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28202. Our hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST), excluding official City holidays.

Anyone seeking an accommodation to apply for a job may call (704) 336-2285 for assistance or you may email questions to

Additional Considerations:

This is a confidential process and will be handled accordingly throughout every stage. References will not be contacted until mutual interest has been established. This position is open until filled. However, candidates are encouraged to apply early in the process for optimal consideration. Resumes will be reviewed and evaluated throughout the recruitment process. 


To be considered, candidates must submit a compelling cover letter, a comprehensive resume, a salary history and six professional references. An electronic version of all submittals is strongly encouraged. 


The final selection of the candidate will be made by the city manager, pursuant to the City of Charlotte’s charter, with input from an interview team that includes the county manager, the chair of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission, the executive director of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, and a representative from the development community.


The City of Charlotte provides a comprehensive benefits package to all employees.

Click here to learn more about the City of Charlotte’s benefits.

The City of Charlotte is a drug and alcohol-free workplace.

In Conclusion

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