The Town of Wendell in Wake County, NC, seeks a customer service focused and visionary leader for their next Planning Director. The department will play a major role in meeting the community’s strategic goals and ensuring that new initiatives are implemented through innovative programming, funding, and creative partnerships. The new Director will be highly visible in the community and perform difficult and complex professional and administrative work in directing the current and long-range planning activities for the Town, which includes economic and community development.
About the Organization:
With a Council-Manager form of government, the Town Manager reports to the Mayor and a five-person Board of Commissioners, leads 55 FTE and oversees the departments of Administration, Finance, Parks and Recreation, Planning, Police and Public Works. The FY 19-20 general fund budget of $7.5M is supported by a tax rate of $.049 per $100 of assessed tax value. Wendell offers natural gas via PSNC, garbage and recycling through contracts with Waste Industries, and water and sewer through the City of Raleigh. The Town’s website is http://www.townofwendell.com/.
About the Department and Position:
The Planning Department consists of four (4) full-time staff, all with tenure under three years. The Director will oversee an operating budget of approximately $500,000 and a capital budget over $3 million in FY 2021. The Planning Director appears before the Town Board, advisory boards, and public groups; serving as lead staff to the Planning Board, Board of Adjustment, Appearance Commission, and Economic Development Committee with the goal of assisting the Town Manager in meeting community strategic initiatives.
The Planning Department has a strategic focus to oversee and encourage growth in Wendell. All new residential, commercial, and industrial development are reviewed by the department to ensure consistency with Wendell's short-term and long-range growth plans, policies, and ordinances. The next Director will be expected to incorporate creativity and best practices in growth management and sustainability, land use planning, building permits, zoning, and code enforcement. The ideal candidate must exhibit the initiative to promote sound growth and development, preserving traditional small-town values, and balancing the needs of a diverse citizenry in a changing economic landscape. Effective community education, problem-solving, and flexibility are critical to delivering effective customer services to stakeholders. The next Director will be responsible for promoting a strong community, fostering quality environments; and involving stakeholders in planning for the Town’s future. With over 2M square feet of commercial space and 3000 residential units in process, Wendell is positioned to take advantage of the projected quick growth in the next 10 years. Check out current projects here: https://www.townofwendell.com/departments/planning/projects-initiatives/current-projects.
Key Priorities of the next Planning Director will include:
developing implementation plans with other Town partners for the newly approved Economic Development Strategic Plan and 2019 Strategic Plan;
continuing work on the Wendell Falls development and implementation of the vision to integrate the newer and original parts of the Town;
evaluating and supporting ongoing UDO text amendments and code updates following the completion of a Comprehensive Land Use Plan update starting in spring 2020;
collaborating and engaging with stakeholders to develop, evaluate and support major town capital investment projects; and,
initiating an action plan for staff professional development, mentoring and support to enhance professional skills and employee engagement.
To apply, please go to http://www.developmentalassociates.com,and click on the Planning Director – Wendell link on the left side of the home page. All applications must be submitted online. All applications must be submitted online via the Developmental Associates application portal – NOT the Town portal, nor any other external website; it is not sufficient to send only a resume. Resumes and cover letters should be uploaded with the application. Application review begins April 12, 2020. Semi-finalists will participate in onsite interviews and skill assessments on May 7 or 8 in Wendell. We encourage all applicants to hold these dates should they be invited to participate. All inquiries should be emailed to
Minimum Qualifications: A master’s degree in urban planning, architecture, public administration, business administration or closely related field is required along with a minimum of five to seven years of progressively more responsible planning experience, including considerable supervisory experience. AICP certification is preferred.
The Successful Candidate:
is an empowering leader dedicated to building a cohesive department as well as the development of individual employees;
excels at innovative problem solving, seeking win-win solutions while keeping strategic goals in mind;
is an excellent and effective communicator, engages citizens, community groups, staff, and board and council members; and,
successfully builds partnerships with community, regional and inter-governmental stakeholder groups;
embraces engagement in the community to clearly and proactively communicate town values and initiatives to stakeholders;
is extensively knowledgeable about comprehensive planning, transportation planning, land use management, UDO development, affordable housing, ETJ revisions, open space and greenways planning, permitting, and other critical planning competencies;
understands state and local government zoning rules and regulations;
has an extensive track record of fostering a climate of excellent customer service;
values accountability while holding realistic and fair expectations of self and others;
has expert skills in navigating the complexities of varying roles (e.g. need for building relationships, seeking consensus, educating elected officials, clear communication, maintaining and establishing trust).
Additional Salary Information: Benefits include:
•Health, Dental, Vision, and Life Insurance
•Vacation, Sick, Holiday, and other leave
•Straight compensation time for exempt employees
•Local Government Employee Retirement System with 5% Supplemental Retirement.
Salary commensurate with experience. Residency is not required.
Internal Number: 2020-14
About Town of Wendell
The Town of Wendell (pop. approx. 9K) is located within eastern Wake County, approximately 12 miles from the capital city of Raleigh. The Town is located directly off of US Highway 64/I-87, which provides efficient access to Downtown Raleigh, Raleigh-Durham International, Research Triangle Park, and many other points of interest within the greater Research Triangle Area. The current demographic statistics for Wendell can be found https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/wendelltownnorthcarolina#.
Wendell’s roots began as a humble tobacco farming community in the 1800’s. While honoring its past with historic districts, the Town also hosts global businesses like Siemens and Kioti as well as smaller boutiques and service businesses along Main Street. Elected officials and staff are committed to balancing the opportunities for business and enhanced service to the community. The new Planning Director must have the vision to balance the “small town” atmosphere desired by citizens with the development opportunities that exist due to the Town’s inclusion in a larger metropolitan environment.
Known for its low crime rate, affordable housing stock com...pared to the metro area, a public commitment to art and expanding parks and recreational opportunities, the Town is well located to take advantage of City amenities while living in a community with the small-town feel. With its temperate climate and close proximity to both the mountains of North Carolina and Atlantic Ocean beaches, the Town of Wendell provides residents the best of both worlds.