Yakima County 640-36 Project Planner - Public Services Planning in Yakima, Washington


There is on position in Public Services, Planning Division. This position is responsible for providing experienced professional planning expertise and recommendation on routine to complex land use projects, land use code compliance/enforcement and other assignments. Other assignments include enforcement of land use and critical area regulations of Yakima County.This recruitment may be used to fill future openings which may occur within 90 days of the posted closing date.


Development and Maintenance of Plans, Programs, Regulations.

Performs or assists with a broader range of professional planning tasks:

Drafts and assists in preparing goals, policies, planning, programming regulatory and and/or non-regulatory options and updates, and other project assignments for review by Section/Division management or others;

Comprehensive Long Range Planning tasks: Researches, performs or participates in policy and technical analysis of comprehensive planning, land use, growth management, community/economic development issues and natural resource protection;

Reviews plans, policies, programs and projects submitted by other divisions, departments, agencies and jurisdictions for consistency with adopted County plans and codes within area of responsibility;

Serves as contact with other sections, divisions, departments and agencies on assigned programs or special projects;

Assists in preparing Section or project level work programs and processes within allocated budget;

Provides technical instruction to planners and other staff in area of specialization;

Develops and/or uses GIS coverages for project assignments;

Drafts grant applications to support Section, Division and Departmental programs;

Schedules, coordinates, collects, assembles and prepares data, projections and reports.

Policy and Technical Assistance.

Provides policy advice and technical assistance to the public, agencies and county staff relating to: enforcement process, plans, policies, ordinances, standards, regulatory and non-regulatory programs, federal and state statutes and administrative codes governing land development, environmental protection and growth management, within area(s) of assignment or expertise.

Public Outreach.

Develops, coordinates and participates in public education/outreach efforts and special studies related to land use, environmental and natural resource planning issues and other program or project assignments:

Organizes, facilitates and participates in meetings, group discussions, forums and open houses;

Presents technical information through reports, GIS coverages and other maps, graphics, newsletters and news releases;

Speaks before boards and commissions, the public, citizen groups and professional organizations;

Ensures the availability of relevant public information on Section programs, projects and activities via the website; and,

Responds to media inquiries as directed.

Development Project Review.

Under general supervision of Management:

Performs, conducts or assists with planning analyses related to processing of routine to more complex development project applications;

Participates in early assistance meetings with customers, providing feedback on project feasibility, approvals required, cost and timeline estimates;

Represents the Planning Division on Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDT), making agreements, decisions or commitments for the Section within the regulatory framework for an assigned project;

Provides technical guidance as needed by project coordinators in reviewing applications for completeness and preparing public notice;

Prepares or drafts SEPA threshold environmental determinations and appropriate mitigation measures to address identified environmental impacts for consideration and approval by the SEPA Responsible Official;

Utilizing MDT, agency and neighborhood comments, evaluates projects and recommends options and conditions for ensuring the project’s consistency with applicable plans, policies, regulations, standards and criteria;

Prepares the Planning Division’s final written analyses, findings and conditions for inclusion in the MDT project decision or recommendation within timelines established by Section Managers, project coordinators and the project team;

Represents the MDT position to various hearing bodies, as assigned.

Land Use/Critical Area Code Enforcement

Investigates agency referrals and public complaints associated with all Land Use and Critical Area Codes using established procedures to assist property owners into compliance either through volunteer compliance or court mandated compliance. Key elements associated with enforcement are:

  • Investigates land use complaints.

  • Initiates and follows through on Land Use/Critical Area Code Enforcement Action(s).

  • Evaluation of overall performance of code enforcement program including: establishing program goals, priorities and delivery strategies, compiling information, analyzing the effects of legislation on the program. Prepare related reports to ensure compliance with laws and guidelines.

Coordinate efforts between contractors, law enforcement and county staff to abate nuisance properties; reviews legislation and informs staff and supervisors of new regulations and resources related to contracting of work.

Directs clerical staff to prepare Notice of Violation and Nuisance and notices to file civil or criminal action to code violations. Works closely with district court in issuing citations for code violations. Prepares criminal citation, gather and prepare reports to criminal prosecuting attorney. Obtains and processes abatement warrants from Superior Court.

Design, direct and conduct code enforcement inspection and enforcement program.

Obtains and executes Warrants for entry to property and for abatement clean-up activities. Schedule workers; clean and secure nuisance properties physically and administratively.

Prepares and presents staff reports for Hearings Examiners hearings and BOCC hearings. Prepares and presents staff reports and recommendations for public hearings for abatement and resolutions.

Meets with community leaders when requested to discuss what role Planning Code Enforcement can provide them and explain the legal restrictions that are placed on the county.

Conducts on-site investigation or inspection; and selecting and managing abatement contractors.

Other duties required.


Education and Experience:Bachelor's degree in: Planning, Environmental Sciences, Natural Resources Management, Geography and Code Enforcement/Law Enforcement and three years of increasingly responsible professional experience (including related internships), demonstrating knowledge and experience in one or more areas within the Planning field, including Comprehensive Long Range Planning, Environmental Planning (SEPA, Critical Areas/Shorelines and Natural Resources) or Current Planning (Subdivision and Zoning) or Code Enforcement. Note: A Masters’ Degree in the above disciplines may substitute for one year of experience.


A valid WA Drivers’ License and criminal history background check at time of appointment.

Bachelor’s Degree in Planning, Environmental Sciences, Natural Resource Management, Geography, Construction Management, and Code Enforcement experience.


Ability to speak and understand Spanish.

Experience with Washington State land use and environmental protection law and code enforcement procedures of law.

Special Note: This position is a Clerical, Technical & Professional Employees Group Bargaining Unit Position. As a condition of employment, you are required to become a member or pay representation fees per the negotiated contract.

Equipment Used:Telephone, computer, printer, copy machine, fax machine, calculator, digital camera, shredder and other office equipment; audiovisual equipment; GPS unit; motor vehicle, county permit tracking system, state law enforcement database.

Working Conditions:Environmental Demands: excessive noise, exposure to weather, extreme temperatures, pathogen exposure, vibration, travel, field work. Physical Demands: bending, carrying, handling, lifting, pulling, pushing, reaching, sitting, standing, walking, fingering, balancing, climbing, crouching, kneeling, hearing, smelling, talking, visual acuity. Intellectual Demands: ability to multitask, confidentiality, ability to work under pressure, ability to articulate and communicate information in conversations, ability to follow written and verbal instruction. Other: Site visits to determine code compliance issues, may have to deal with other criminal activities, work with other law enforcement agencies, may encounter hazardous materials, i.e., meth labs.


  • Customer service techniques and teambuilding concepts;

  • Presentation and meeting facilitation, including use of technology for displaying, analyzing and evaluating research data;

  • Research and analytical methods for long range planning projects including using fundamental mathematics, statistics, scientific methods and field practices for gathering and evaluating data;

  • Principles of site impact analysis for plan amendments and various project review;

  • Principles of geography, geomorphology and natural systems functions;

  • Legal descriptions, cartography and GIS systems;

  • U.S. Census geography, demographics and methodologies.

  • Principles, methods and practices of planning related to the area of assignment, including: urban, regional, environmental, natural resource, transportation, and community development;

  • Public participation theory and practice including: methods of assessing areas of agreement and conflict among individuals or facilitation groups and techniques for mediating disputes and guiding them to consensus or informed consent;

  • Rules of grammar, spelling and punctuation used in professional report writing;

  • Micro-economic theories as applied to the effects of land use regulation;

  • Roles and responsibilities of federal, state and other local public and private organizations.

  • Understanding of land use codes

  • Code compliance/enforcement resolution process

  • Code Compliance/enforcement hearing procedures

  • Code compliance/enforcement district and superior court process

  • Collecting evidence and making presentations in a courtroom or hearing

  • Knowledge and preparation of reports, notice and orders

Skills (and abilities):

  • Critically analyzing and resolving customer service and internal work related problems;

  • Working independently with a minimum of supervision or direction.

  • Analyzing environmental and land use information to identify options, resolve problems, apply solutions, guidelines and policy to field problems and other work assignments;

  • Prioritizing multiple projects within established timelines and parameters;

  • Writing routine to complex technical reports and other documents;

  • Using a personal computer and related software applications, and operating basic office equipment;

  • Interpreting, applying and implementing land use policies and procedures;

  • Giving presentations, public speaking, and facilitating meetings;

  • Establishing and maintaining effective interpersonal relationships with County and other officials, at all organizational levels and with the public;

  • Ability to clearly speak, write and graphically illustrate in order to convey general and technical information;

  • Ability to: give and receive direction; understand, interpret and follow County and department personnel policies and procedures;

  • Researching, interpreting, evaluating and applying a wide variety of inter-related data, policies, laws, codes, and legislation to work assignments;

  • Reading and interpreting technical data, legal descriptions, maps and aerial photos;

  • Operating basic office equipment, scanners, plotters; public address systems and audio-visual presentation equipment;

  • Applying basic math, algebra and statistics in researching, gathering, organizing and analyzing data from a variety of sources;

  • Maintaining files;

  • Appropriate and critical thinking skills in associated with code compliance/enforcement issues,

  • Ability to communicate (verbally and in written formats) respectfully, politely, calmly and factually, with complainants, violators, management, elected/appointed boards, public and news reporters.

Working TitleProject Planner


TypeRegular Full Time Budgeted

FLSA StatusNon-Exempt

DepartmentPublic Services-Planning


Required Testing/ExercisesNone


Open Date4/3/2018

Close Date4/23/2018

Compensation$28.64 per hour