Position Details

Position Title: Planning Director
Department: Commission Office
Dept. Admin.: Board of County Commissioners
Type of Position:  Full-Time, Permanent
Salary: $70,000-$75,000 DOE
Closing Date: Open Until Filled

Position Description

The Planning Director (Director), under the general direction of the Board of County Commissioners is responsible for the administration and supervision of the Cascade County Planning Department (Planning Department), performs a variety of difficult, complex and specialized assignments in the preparation and distribution of planning reports, technical and professional work in planning programs for the County related to the development and implementation of land use, floodplain, zoning, subdivision, mapping and addressing, junk vehicle retrieval, littering and community decay enforcement and related plans and policies. This is a department head/senior management position responsible for the supervision and the work of all Planning Department personnel. The Director represents the County Planning Department and associated functions with groups and organizations to explain ordinances, resolutions, regulations and County policies to the public, other city, county, state and federal agencies and County departments, including but not limited to the Cascade City County Health Department, Clerk and Recorders Office, Cascade County Commissioners, Planning Board members, Zoning Board of Adjustment members, the general public, engineers, developers and surveyors. The Director supervises the Planning Department staff, performs special assignments as directed and provides administrative support to the Cascade County Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment and the Board of County Commissioners and other duties as required or assigned.

Essential Job Duties & Responsibilities

Directs and administers the day-to-day activities of the Planning Department staff, including land use planning, sub-division review and permitting, zoning, land use regulation geographic information systems, mapping/addressing and MS4 program, with the concurrence of the Board of Commissioners, plans, directs, coordinates and supervises the development of an effective long range and current planning program goals and objectives for the County, supervises and evaluates the activities and workplans of professional, technical and support personnel, plans and administers plans within the policies of the Board of County Commissioners, Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment, serves as Zoning Administrator for Cascade County, serves as the Floodplain Manager for Cascade County, reviews the Growth Policy, JLUS and related policies and recommends amendments, reviews FEMA regulations in conjunction with state and federal agencies, coordinates with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and/or Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on land management issues relating to the monitoring and remediation of contaminated sites and/or the repurposing of former industrial sites for future land uses, reviews land use and zoning policies to ensure compliance with laws and regulations, conducts research and prepares or supervises the preparation of reports and recommendations on zoning, land use, transportations, populations, community facilities and other related projects, assigns, allocates and distributes major planning projects to Planners and the GIS Manager, supervises and participates in the preparation and/or revision of the zoning ordinances and zoning maps, prepares draft ordinances and resolutions relating to zoning, subdivisions, annexations, environmental review and related zoning and planning matters, provides technical and professional advice to the Board of County Commissioners, Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment on planning and zoning matters, including the preparation and presentation of reports and recommendations and ensuring compliance with Montana open meeting and public participation laws, coordinates activities between the Planning Department and other entities, including but not limited to Board of County Commissioners, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment, Environmental Health Department, civic organizations, industry/trade organizations and the general public, confers with private citizens and various governmental representatives or agencies regarding staff or board functions and activities and attends public meetings as required, confers with architects, engineers, developers, consultants and the general public on planning matters, tracks ongoing legislative proposals and advises Board of County Commissioners on potential financial and operational impacts to the County, trains staff to ensure compliance with changed or new laws relating to land use management, with the concurrence of the County Attorney’s Office, makes authoritative interpretations of applicable laws, regulations and policies, supervises and participates in the more complex and technical planning studies, determines and prioritizes departmental budget needs, prepares, monitors and administers the implementation of the department budget and approves budgeted expenditures, attends meetings and makes presentations to represent the County, Planning Department and Zoning Board of Adjustment, works and cooperates with municipal officials, developers and community organizations in connections with new or contemplated subdivision projects, oversees the coordination, development and management of complete, timely and accurate GIS data to support users of geographic data in effective decision making within government, oversees the Cascade County Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) program and ensures compliance with state reporting requirements, establishes work priorities and methods for all work activities related to GIS projects, plans, organizes, assigns and reviews the work of department staff to meet departmental goals and community needs, monitors and ensures adherence to changes, revisions or updates to state and federal rules, regulations and laws and informs department staff, the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment of any such changes, revisions or updates, attends meetings and conferences, directs and serves on boards, commissions, committees and prepares and maintains necessary records and reports, maintains effective, professional communication with all levels of management and the public, professionally and respectfully responds to inquiries from the general public in a timely manner, regularly schedules interdepartmental and departmental meetings to maintain effective communication/ interaction and liaison among departments, staff and the County Commissioners, follows the Cascade County Human Resources recruitment and hiring processes to fill approved staff positions, follows the Cascade County progressive disciplinary process to achieve corrective action or termination of the employment of individuals, establishes training plans and ensures Planning Department staff receive adequate certifications and refresher training to perform their duties, communicates well with others both orally and in writing using technical and non-technical terms, identifies, analyzes and addresses problems and trends in a timely, efficient and equitable manner, oversees the proper retention of and public access to public records of land use documents and permits, oversees and ensures the protection and proper handling of confidential information, performs other duties as required or assigned.

Knowledge and understanding of: Supervisory techniques, principles and practices, Cascade County Human Resource policies and procedures and related state and federal statutes, public sector budgeting policies and procedures, principles of land use planning and development, planning programs and processes including but not limited to: growth policies, subdivisions, zoning, MS4 programs, floodplain management, mapping/addressing and monitoring of contaminated sites, zoning, floodplain, junk vehicle, littering and community decay and subdivision laws, comprehensive plans including their formation, process of adoption and implementation, basic statistics and mathematical calculations, word processing and spreadsheet software, safety rules, procedures and practices, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, proper business correspondence and communication, automated computer systems, basic computer use and data entry, basic knowledge of geographic information systems (GIS).

Ability to: Plan, organize, prioritize, supervise and evaluate the work of professional, para-professional and clerical workers to meet departmental goals and community needs, plan, organize and prioritize the workload presented in a professional manner, perform a wide variety of work and public relations tasks with accuracy and speed under the pressure of challenging and time-sensitive deadlines, establish effective working relationships with the Public Works Director, Board of County Commissioners, County Attorney’s Office and other County departments, employees, Federal, State and City agencies, private agencies and the general public, communicate well with others in both technical and non-technical terms, both orally and in writing, to include engineers, developers and surveyors, maintain composure and professional demeanor under stressful and sometimes adversarial conditions when interacting with the public, relay complex information in understandable language and in a respectful manner, prepare accurate and reliable reports containing findings, recommendations and technical documentation, evaluate resources as needed, organize tasks and work environment to maximize efficiency, operate a personal computer using word processing, spreadsheet and database applications appropriate to assigned duties, use logical and creative thought processes to develop solutions according to written specifications and/or oral instructions, quickly learn and utilize new skills and knowledge brought about by rapidly changing information and/or technology, drive to meetings within the state of Montana usually to attend conferences a couple times a year, identify, analyze and address problems and trends in a timely, efficient and equitable manner, adapt to interruptions, equipment failures, unusual demands or changing priorities, properly handle confidential information, coordinate, analyze and utilize a variety of reports and records, employ and enforce safety practices and procedures, occasionally work outside normal hours as required by departmental needs.


The above is typically acquired through a combination of education and experience. At a minimum, all qualified applicants must have:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in a Planning, Physical Science, Political Science, Geography, Natural Science or closely related field and five (5) years of experience in planning, zoning, subdivisions or floodplain permitting and procedures including two (2) years of supervisory experience.
  • Or, any equivalent combination of education and experience totaling ten (10) years of experience in planning, zoning, subdivisions or floodplain permitting and procedures.


  • Valid Driver’s License issued by the State of Montana or be able to obtain within 30 days of hire date.

Application Instructions

Applications available at Cascade County Human Resources Department, www.cascadecountymt.gov or Job Service.

All application materials must be turned in to the Cascade County Human Resources Department and date stamped by 5:00 p.m. on the closing date.

The successful applicant shall serve a (1) one-year probationary period and may have a criminal background check conducted. The results thereof may disqualify the applicant from consideration for employment with the County.

Notice to Applicants: Applicants who are claiming Veteran’s or Handicap Preference must provide a DD-214 Discharge Document (Part 4) or DPHHS Handicap Certification and Employment Preference Form with their application for employment so Cascade County may apply the preference during the selection process.

Cascade County makes reasonable accommodations for any known disability that may interfere with the applicant’s ability to compete in the recruitment and selection process or an employee’s ability to perform the essential duties of the job. For Cascade County to consider such arrangements, the applicants must make known any needed accommodations.