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Manager, Planning & Development Services

Job Type: 
Policy / Planning / Research
Sturgeon County / Richardson Executive Search
Job Description : 


We have an excellent opportunity for a Manager of Planning and Development Services to join a leading and competitive municipality. This is a fast-paced and dynamic role which requires a charismatic leader to execute the strategic planning and development priorities for the department, support their team’s areas of focus, get involved in special projects, and roll up their sleeves and be a working manager as required. Someone who is politically savvy, diplomatic, tactful, resourceful, solution-driven, and an amazing communicator, both written and verbal will excel in this role.


The Manager of Planning and Development will report into the Director, Development and Strategic Services and oversee a team of four (4) direct reports. This is a key leadership role that will support the delivery of planning and development services and be an Ambassador for Sturgeon County within the community, including resident and investor confidence, and satisfaction in those services. They will be instrumental in building a positive culture for the department, internal and external stakeholders, residents, Council and industry partners.


Sturgeon County is a growing municipality located north of the City of St. Albert. It serves more than 20,000 residents and is comprised of 2,100 sq. kms which include 35 townships, 185 kms of secondary roads and 1,776 kms of local roads. Sturgeon County is a vibrant municipality made up of farmland, world-class industrial development, and residential acreage developments.

Sturgeon County provides residents with a high standard of living, a wide range of services, including recreational programming, community events, protective and transportation services and utilities. It is the home of the Alberta Industrial Heartland which is one of the world’s most attractive locations for chemical, petrochemical, oil, and gas investments.

To learn more, visit their website at: https://www.sturgeoncounty.ca/


Planning & Development Service Delivery & Stewardship

  • Develop, amend, and steward the County’s Municipal Development Plan, Land Use Bylaw, and other key long-range planning documents.
  • Ensure concierge support services are offered to land and community developers submitting statutory plans for consideration.
  • Oversee the County’s interface into regional planning matters and related obligations. 
  • Ensure highly efficient and customer-centric processing of current planning and development applications. Ensure customers receive regular progress updates where required and clear/positive communication of requirements.
  • Ensure a collaborative and efficient relationship and arrangement is maintained with the County’s contracted safety codes provider.
  • Provide advice and guidance to the Municipal Planning Commission and Subdivision Authority and Development Authority, as required.
  • Protect the County’s interest and manage risk through advice from County solicitors and others where required.

Project Development and Delivery

  • Recommend and advance both departmental and corporate projects that align to priorities, including required resources and staging. 
  • Ensure effective project management of all projects, focusing on scope, time and cost management, staff qualifications and capacities, etc.
  • Oversee contract development and progress regarding assigned plans and projects.
  • Oversee or interface into regional projects and joint efforts.

Corporate, Committee and Client Communication

  • Provide expertise through timely reporting (divisional and corporate) and proactive recommendations to supervisor and at times other leadership members or Council.  Provide clear and concise background and strategic recommendations.
  • Represent the department at the Municipal Planning Commission, the Subdivision Authority and Development Authority, public advisory committee meetings, industry meetings, regional committees, association meetings, and other forums as required.
  • Provide advice, guidance and accurate response to the general public, consultants and other agencies regarding planning and development matters.
  • Routinely meet with representatives of the development industry to discuss new development plans and major proposals.
  • Meet with stakeholders and residents to discuss inputs on County land use plans and/or regulations.
  • Maintain awareness and interface into Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board matters of interest to the department.

Departmental Administration, Continuous Improvement, and Leadership

  • Provide expertise and leadership to the Department, Division, and organization related to planning and development.
  • Supervise direct reports, provide mentorship, coaching, motivation, recognition, staff development, information sharing, team building, performance management, and overall leadership.
  • Develop and oversee clear work plans, with flexibility to respond to emerging issues.
  • Gain and sustain confidence, trust, respect, and employee engagement.
  • Catalyze continuous improvement within the department.  This includes:
    • Customer service and customer experience assessment and improvements
    • New or enhanced service delivery channels
    • Process and policy development
    • Best practice incorporation and environmental scanning
    • Key performance indicators and measurement
    • General service innovation opportunities
  • Recruit and retain outstanding personnel to support the department.  Ensure role clarity and specific accountabilities.  Attend to human resource matters as required.
  • Prepare, recommend, monitor and control the Planning and Development Services Department budget.
  • Develop and report on progress in relation to the annual departmental and corporate business plan, in alignment with Council’s Strategic Plan.
  • Champion a culture of collaboration and support to achieve high customer satisfaction.

Other Responsibilities

  • May be required to backfill and provide project management support on key projects, including on major strategic initiatives, events, and organizationally focused reports.
  • Adhere to applicable responsibilities and accountabilities as outlined in the Sturgeon County Health and Safety Management System.


  • Proven leadership and management skills with ability to mentor, coach, motivate, and develop individuals to achieve individual and department goals.
  • Ability to mediate and solve problems of varying complexities and successfully allocate responsibility, where necessary. 
  • Experience in financial management and budgeting, including directing the establishment of appropriate fees and charges.
  • Ability to plan, set deadlines, delegate, oversee and evaluate work towards achievement of key objectives.
  • Solid political acumen with the ability to proactively recognize and anticipate issues that could have a significant impact on the community and organization arising out of legislative and regulatory changes, regional decision points, and/or internal policy/procedure directions, and more.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and be discrete in relation to sensitive matters.
  • Well-developed project planning and project management skills, and the ability to balance multiple projects concurrently thorough a commitment to ‘do what it takes’ to support the organization.
  • Environmental awareness of current trends/issues locally, regionally, provincially, and federally, including current academic research or positions of other organizations.
  • Facilitation skills with the ability to effectively include stakeholders in the process of information sharing, planning and decision making.
  • Strong communication skills to achieve buy-in and agreement.
  • Ability to deliver concise communication skills in both verbal and written presentations, briefings, direct conversations, customer correspondence, etc.
  • Ability to navigate well throughout organization; analyze financial, operational, and business environment information.
  • Commitment to customer service and process innovation, constantly seeking and implementing improvement opportunities.
  • Approachable demeanor with an appropriate sense of humour to foster a positive team morale.
  • Sound interpersonal skills with the ability to build rapport and trust with a wide variety of stakeholders.
  • Strong initiative, proactive planning, and time management skills and ability to respond to often heavy and shifting workload(s).
  • Comprehensive knowledge and practical experience dealing with public policies, procedures as well as key functions and operations of municipal government.
  • Have strong professional knowledge in all aspects of municipal planning and development.


  • Post-secondary degree in Planning or equivalent education in a related discipline;
  • Minimum of 10 years of progressive experience in both municipal planning and municipal development, including five or more years of supervisory or managerial experience; 
  • Membership in the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) and other professional associations; and
  • Awareness and experience working with major industrial investments is preferred.
Closing Date: 
January 31, 2021
Application Return: 

Please submit your cover letter and resume to:

Sandy Jacobson
T: 780.944.1327
E: sandy.jacobson@richardsonsearch.ca 

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