Urban Planner I


The City of Alexandria is located in northern Virginia, and is bordered by the District of Columbia (Potomac River), Arlington, and Fairfax counties. With a population of approximately 150,000 and a land area of 15.75 square miles, Alexandria is the seventh largest city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Alexandria has a charming waterfront and is a unique and historic place to live and work. About one-quarter of the City's square miles have been designated as a national or local historic district. We proudly embrace our rich history and seize the endless opportunities that lie ahead. If you are interested in working for the vibrant City of Alexandria, we invite qualified candidates to apply for our Urban Planner I position.

Our work is driven by our 4 Guiding Principles:
  • Aligning the work we do with our strategic plan.
  • Executing against our strategy and ensuring accountability for our results.
  • Promoting and encouraging a culture of leadership and ownership at all levels of the organization.
  • Promoting a culture of service excellence, creativity and entrepreneurship.

The Overview
The City of Alexandria, Virginia, Department of Planning and Zoning is seeking a qualified applicant for the position of Urban Planner I. Alexandria is a dynamic and diverse planning environment located within the core of the Washington, DC metropolitan area and presents opportunities for planners to work with stakeholders and business owners within the city's neo-traditional neighborhoods, mixed use and transit oriented areas, waterfront areas, established neighborhoods, and historic districts. This position will be part of a team of five preservation planners.

What You Should Bring
The ideal candidate should have excellent and responsive customer service skills, ability to handle multiple projects within established deadlines, ability to work effectively with the public and City agencies to resolve issues, strong analytical, written and oral communication skills, extensive experience using strong organizing and multi-tasking skills and possess analytic skills necessary to address planning matters of varying levels of complexity. Selected candidate must also have the ability to quickly research information in detailed reports, communicate findings to Planning and Zoning staff, Boards of Architectural Review, and interact well with the public and staff of varying professional levels.

The Opportunity
  • Be a primary point of contact to assist the public and other City staff by phone, e-mail or at the Zoning counter;
  • Assist with the administration and enforcement of the Alexandria historic preservation regulations and processes;
  • Receive and manage applications and case files for the section; conduct architectural, historical and zoning research related to Board of Architectural Review (BAR) cases;
  • Assist in the preparation of engaging and clear PowerPoint presentations directed to City boards and commissions, community groups or other interested parties;
  • Analyze site plans, special use permits, building permit applications and Certificates of Occupancy for compliance with BAR decisions and historic preservation design guidelines;
  • Write staff reports for consideration before the BAR;
  • Assist with implementation of a digital survey project; and
  • Make site inspections throughout the historic districts, including at active construction sites.

About the Department
The Department of Planning and Zoning works closely with the community in each area of the City to carry out City Council's Strategic Plan for vibrant, amenity-rich neighborhoods, protected historic resources, and vital local businesses. With the community as our partner in developing neighborhood plans and reviewing proposals for development projects and businesses, we continue to deliver on the City's Vision we have developed together.


Four-Year College Degree from an accredited college or university in regional, or urban Planning, or a closely-related field such as Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Geography, Urban Studies, Public Administration, Physical Sciences, Historic Preservation, or Environmental Studies; or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities.


The preferred candidate will have a four-year college degree in urban planning, architectural history, architecture, historic preservation or a related field and at least one year of experience working for a government agency, board or commission, or in a similar regulatory environment, and will have an understanding of historic preservation practices, experience reading and analyzing architectural designs and construction documents, and a positive attitude with demonstrated superior customer service skills. This candidate will have proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite (including the ability to prepare visually compelling PowerPoint presentations), Adobe (graphics editing and layouts in PhotoShop and InDesign) and ArcGIS with the ability to prepare complex graphics and maps for the website and other special projects.

The preferred candidate will also have familiarity with American architectural styles, building terminology, construction techniques, building survey and best preservation practices and will be able to assist with the implementation of a digital survey project, under the supervision of a senior planner. The survey work will include trouble-shooting survey equipment, project and file management and coordination of volunteers.


This position requires successful completion of pre-employment background checks to include, but not limited to a criminal history records check.

Applicants must include an example of a graphics layout. This may be an excerpt from a PowerPoint presentation or any example of recent work that includes both text and images in a graphically compelling presentation format.