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Principal Planner (Project/Program Manager IV)

King County Department of Human Resources
Snoqualmie, WA Full-time
Posted on December 2, 2019

Are you a self-starting leader who works across agency boundaries to solve challenges? Is your focus on customers and do you have a drive for results that provides the maximum benefit for all involved? Do you lead/ manage your teams and peers with respect and encourage them to find simple, effective and cost-conscious solutions? If these statements appeal to you then this may be the opportunity for you.

The Department of Local Services is recruiting for a Principal Planner (Project/Program Manager IV) who will lead both the Utilities Technical Review Committee and School Technical Review Committee. This position will support the DLS mission by ensuring that the provision of facilities and services within unincorporated King County adhere to the plans and policies of King County.  This position will be responsible for chairing the School Technical Review Committee, which is charged with the annual review of school district capital facilities' plans as required to impose impact fees and preparing legislation for referral to the King County Council.  The position will also chair the eight member Utility Technical Review Committee, which meets monthly.
As the only county in the United States named after Martin Luther King Jr, one of the most influential civil rights leaders in our nation's history, King County is a vibrant community with residents that represent countries from around the world. It is a region with increasing diversity that cherishes the artistic and social traditions of many cultures. Together, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence.

King County employees provide more than 2 million residents with essential services that make this one of the nation's best places to live, work, play, and raise a family. We continue to build on an enduring legacy of shared values of equity and social justice, employee engagement, innovative thinking, and continuous improvement. With this commitment, King County has adopted a pro-equity agenda aimed at advancing regional change and is developing the systems and standards necessary to achieve better outcomes for all of our residents, regardless of their race or income.

King County is the local service provider for roughly a quarter-million people who live in unincorporated parts of the county. If all of these residents lived together in a single city, it would be the second-largest city in the state. The population of our urban unincorporated areas is three-to-four times more diverse than those of our rural unincorporated areas in terms of race, language spoken, and income. The Department of Local Services includes a Director's Office, a Community Service Areas group, a Road Services Division, and a Permitting Division. It provides a single point of accountability for delivery of local services to all unincorporated areas in King County.

Job Duties

  • Chair the King County School Technical Review Committee (STRC); which is responsible for coordinating the effort to identify school capital projects implementing the King County School Impact Fee Program.
  • Serve as the liaison to the school districts throughout the year as they propose school projects within unincorporated King County.
  • Chair the Utilities Technical Review Committee (UTRC), which is responsible for overseeing the provision of water and sewer services in unincorporated King County.  This position has  multiple responsibilities outlined in the King County Code and the King County Comprehensive Plan including:
  • The review and commenting on draft water and sewer plans to ensure consistency with the King County Code and Comprehensive Plan;
  • The review and recommendation for adoption of final water and sewer plans to the King County Council;
  • The review and recommendation for approval by the Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Parks (DNRP) for final wastewater plans pursuant to KCC 28.84;
  • Provide necessary ordinance packages, letters, reports, or memoranda, related to utility plan recommendations to Council or DNRP Director;
  • Represent the UTRC at Council hearings when plans are considered by Council;
  • Serve as the appeal body to hear issues related to whether or not sewer service is available in the urban area in a timely and reasonable manner under K.C.C. 13.24.136(B) and produce the UTRC decision;
  • Serve as the appeal body to hear issues related timely and reasonable water service appeals under the County's four Coordinated Water System Plans and KCC 13.24 and produce the UTRC decision;
  • Represent the UTRC if any water or sewer timely and reasonable decisions are appeal to the Hearing Examiner or Superior Court;
  • Provide information to assist in the preparation of future County comprehensive plans;
  • Provide information to assist in the review of right-of-way construction permits under KCC 14.28;
  • Fulfill the County's responsibilities as set forth in state rules and regulations, including chapters 90.54 (Water Resources Act of 1971), 36.70 (Planning Enabling Act of the State of Washington), 36.70A (GMA), 36.94 (Boundary Review Board), 57.02 (Districts) and 70.116 RCW (Coordination Act) and chapters 173-240 (Ecology rule on wastewater planning) and 246-290 WAC (DOH rule on water system planning);
  • Be responsible for providing the notification to Tribal governments for utility plan review/approvals that may affect Tribal interests within their usual and accustomed fishing areas (K.C.C. 13.02.020);
  • Approve additions and determents to council-approved sewer and water comprehensive plans without referral to the council to serve developments that have received preliminary approval from the King County Council;
  • Approve extensions to utility plans if the requested extension satisfies the UTRC rule;
  • Issue the findings required under K.C.C. 13.24.134, relative to sewer expansion in rural and resource areas;
  • Approve utility franchise applications under K.C.C. 6.27.050;
  • Serve as the contact person for County utility questions;
  • Serve as the County liaison to the Boundary Review Board for utility annexation questions;
  • Maintain the County's library of approved water and sewer plans, the UTRC web presence and utility paper files;
  • Provide testimony and technical assistance to the King County Prosecuting Attorney; provide expert testimony in litigation;
  • Provide information to citizens and resolve complaints regarding water and sewer activities; and
  • Apply equity and social justice principles as a daily responsibility and a foundational expectation for all King County employees.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

     The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • Ability to chair and facilitate a multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional team.
  • Ability to draft utility plan review letters, ordinance transmittal letters, ordinances, and detailed written reports on how school district plans or water/sewer plans comport with King County Code and the Comprehensive Plan.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, including ability to effectively interpret statues, rules, and technical information for non-technical audiences simply, clearly and concisely, communicate with tact and diplomacy.
  • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously, and meet established project deadlines.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a diverse group of individuals including elected officials, school district officials, business, utility, environmental, regulatory and community leaders, general public, and team members.
  • Ability to provide recommendations and/or decisions with minimal guidance on issues that may not have established or clearly defined guidelines, policies or directives.
  • Thorough understanding of how utility organizations (districts, cities, for-profit public water systems, homeowners associations, mutual etc.) operate; public utility development and management issues.
  • Knowledge of water supply management and planning, policy, and law at the local and state level in such areas as water utility planning, water supply options, Growth Management Act, ground water management, and resource management, demand forecasting, water conservation, and integrated water resource management.
  • Thorough understanding of how school districts prepare capital facilities plans and prepare for future student populations.
  • Thorough understanding of the King County Comprehensive Plan and King County Code (K.C.C.) related to franchises (K.C.C. 6.27); ground water (K.C.C. 9); water and sewer comprehensive planning (K.C.C. 13.24 and 13.28); right of way construction permits (K.C.C. 14.28) and the school technical review committee (K.C.C. 21A.28.154.)
  • Thorough understanding of the Washington State Growth Management Act as it relates to the provision of facilities and services in both designated urban and rural areas.
      Most competitive candidate will have the following:
  • Have an exceptional record of successfully managing, developing, and implementing projects, strategic initiatives, policies, and systems.
  • Understand how to build key relationships, trust, and regional partnerships necessary to deliver projects in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Be comfortable advising, partnering, and communicating with senior and executive-level management about complex initiatives, policies, and issues.
  • Demonstrated ability in facilitating committees comprised of individuals from various backgrounds and levels of expertise.
  • Be extremely organized and comfortable maintaining a vast array of files and plans.

Supplemental Information

This position is open to all qualified applicants. 
The typical workweek is 40 hours per week, Monday-Friday.  This position is exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and is not overtime eligible.  Must be willing to work extended hours, nights and weekends with minimal notice and carry a mobile phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

An online employment application, resume, and a cover letter (no more than 2 pages) summarizing how you meet the experience, qualifications, knowledge and skills for the job are required.
Applicants will be screened for clarity, completeness, and competitiveness. The most competitive candidates may be invited to participate in one or more interviews. Skype options are available for out-of-state candidates. Reference checks and record reviews will also be conducted.

For more information regarding this recruitment, please contact:

Theresa Reynolds
Senior Human Resource Analyst
King County values diverse perspectives, life experiences, and differences. The Department of Local Services encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and veterans. We are committed to being equitable and fair in providing equal access to opportunities for all.

King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being.  Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members
  • Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents
  • Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan
  • Transportation program and ORCA transit pass
  • 10 paid holidays each year (plus 2 personal holidays)
  • Generous vacation and paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave, family and medical leaves, and volunteer leave
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Wellness programs
  • Onsite gyms and activity centers
  • Employee giving program
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Flexible schedules and telecommuting options, depending on position
  • Training and career development programs
For additional information about employee benefits please visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page.

This is a general description of the benefits offered to eligible King County employees, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy.  If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the CBA prevails.  Also, in the event of any incorrect information in this document, applicable laws, policies, rules, CBAs, or official plan documents will prevail.
NOTE:  Benefits for Term Limited Temporary (TLT) or Short Term Temporary (STT) positions, including leave eligibility and/or participation in the pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, will vary based upon the terms and details of the position. Short Term Temporary positions are not eligible for an ORCA transit pass.
For inquiries about the specifics of this position, please contact the recruiter identified on this job posting.