Zoning Project Planner


Date Posted



Urban Planning August 16, 2018 City of Cambridge Cambridge, MA, USA

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The Community Development Department (CDD) is the planning agency for the City of Cambridge. The Zoning and Development Division is responsible for various tasks in the areas of land use planning and urban development, including:  review of major development projects by the Planning Board and other committees; conducting land use planning studies and special initiatives; advising the City Council and Planning Board, and other City departments on matters related to development, zoning, and proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance; and providing information to the public, including residents, property owners, businesses, developers and design professionals.  More information at http://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/zoninganddevelopment

Under the direction of the Director of Zoning & Development, the Zoning Project Planner will work in a very active planning office, collaborating with planners of various backgrounds.  Primary responsibilities would include:

  • Developing and analyzing zoning ordinances and managing projects on a range of complex land use and urban development topics – recent topics have included standards for sustainable development, inclusionary housing requirements, and regulations to support diverse retail uses.
  • Engage the Cambridge community in the context of topic-specific or location-specific projects, engage difficult to reach communities, and facilitate dialog and consensus-building among people with diverse interests and opinions.
  • Work in multidisciplinary teams – which may include planners specializing in urban design, transportation, environmental sustainability, housing, and economic development, as well as staff in other City departments – to advance zoning policy initiatives
  • Review and analyze amendments to the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance proposed by residents, property owners, City officials, and others.
  • Prepare written reports and oral presentations for a range of audiences including City administration, City Council, Planning Board, and community groups.
  • Provide information and advice on land use and zoning matters to other City staff, residents, business owners, property owners and developers, community groups, City Council, Planning Board, and others as needed.
  • Participate in the review of development proposals of varying scale and complexity.
  • Complete additional projects based on the applicant’s skills and interests, and the Department’s needs.
  • Attend after-hours meetings including Planning Board meetings (held most Tuesday evenings), City Council hearings, and community meetings.


  • Master’s degree in urban planning, real estate, architecture, or related field or equivalent combination of education, training and experience.
  • Minimum of five (5) years professional experience in a position involving the development and/or analysis of proposed zoning ordinances or by-laws, with Massachusetts experience preferred (although experience from other jurisdictions will be considered).
  • Strong public engagement and consensus-building experience, especially involving stakeholders with diverse interests and opinions.
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills, both written and oral.
  • Experience in collaborative and multidisciplinary team-based project work, in both leading and supporting roles.
  • Ability to communicate with a diverse range of Department staff, other City employees, volunteer board/committee members, elected officials, and members of the public in a courteous and professional manner.
  • Strong project management and consultant management skills.
  • High level of motivation and detail oriented skills.
  • Overall computer proficiency including general office applications (Microsoft Office suite) and advanced applications (e.g., Adobe Acrobat).
  • Ability to prioritize workloads, multitask and meet deadlines while working in a fast-paced environment.


  • A genuine desire to study challenging and current issues in zoning and urban development.
  • Ability to develop creative regulatory approaches within the legal framework of zoning.
  • Knowledge of Cambridge is highly desirable.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:  Work involves frequent evening meetings, requiring traveling to and through the City to project locations. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: Work involved is primarily indoors in a professional office setting although some work may be outdoors including construction sites and congested city roadways.

Closing date: September 7th, 2018