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Last Updated: 5/16/23

Job Description

Join our team as the Director of Planning! At Great Parks, our team members work together to preserve and protect natural resources and to provide outdoor recreation and education in order to enhance the quality of life for present and future generations.

Be a part of an inclusive organization that enriches the region by inspiring nature-based experiences, celebrating cultural heritage and building strong and healthy communities through our dedicated staff, volunteers, and friends.

This position will direct and provide leadership to the agency including master planning, community engagement, land acquisition, land development, GIS, and regional initiatives. Will maintain responsibility for planning, developing, administering, and achieving departmental goals and objectives, and for providing leadership and coordination of work in accordance with Great Parks’ master plans, strategic plans, policies, and requirements.

The successful candidate will perform the following:

  • Provides leadership, development, and an effective system of accountability to the Planning Department team. Manages in accordance with delegated authority, and Great Parks’ policies, applicable laws, and regulations.
  • Maintains responsibility for the timely and effective accomplishment of assigned strategic goals in accordance with Great Parks’ Comprehensive Master Plan (CMP), Park & Facility Master Plan (PFMP), strategic plans and initiatives.
  • Responsible for the achievement and tracking of organizational goals in coordination with the Director of Design and Construction, Chief of Planning, and other divisions as required.
  • Maintains the CMP and PFMP as dynamic documents to support the mission, vision, and strategic plans of the park district as they relate to planning and capital improvement projects.
  • Establishes and implements a land acquisition process based on conservation priorities established in the Master Plan, Park and Facility Master Plan, Natural Resource Management Plan and other factors as directed in agency strategy.
  • Responsible for recruiting talent and monitoring performance of the planning department team.
  • Manages various employee levels and makes major personnel decisions in consultation with supervisor and Human Resources staff.
  • Delegates job responsibilities, maintains effective organizational communications, and consistently follows sound management principles and practices.
  • Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the agency’s practices, policies, and applicable laws. Plans, organizes, directs and evaluates performance of assigned staff.
  • Establishes priorities, performance requirements, and professional development targets that are connected to the agency’s goals, objectives, and initiatives.
  • Regularly monitors performance and provides coaching for performance improvement and development.
  • Takes disciplinary action, up to and including termination, to address performance deficiencies in coordination with Human Resources.
  • Directs planning efforts across the park district and coordinates with other divisions in the planning of parkland.
  • Contributes to project scoping for architectural, engineering, and landscape architectural projects in cooperation with the Director of Design and Construction and assigned Project Manager.
  • Establishes community engagement goals and methods for capital improvement projects.
  • Identifies opportunities and recommends partnerships with other agencies and organizations.
  • Embraces the cultural heritage present in current and past cultures in the region by thinking holistically about cultural assets. Identifies a regional approach to telling the GPHC story through recommendations of programming, and education where appropriate. Coordinates with other agencies, non-profits, advocates and Great Parks staff in the preservation and protection of these resources as appropriate.
  • Develops and implements departmental revenue and expenditure budgets and maintains responsibility for monitoring and controlling expenditures within approved budget. Approves purchasing requests.
  • Makes formal presentations and speaks before groups concerning park planning and development.
  • Updates and enhances own knowledge, and that of direct reports, by involvement in continuing education for professional growth including attending industry-related conferences, seminars, in-service training, and certification programs.
  • Maintains confidentiality of confidential and sensitive information.
  • Works assigned schedule, exhibits regular and punctual attendance, and works outside of normal schedule as required.
  • Other duties as assigned.


An appropriate combination of education, training, course work and experience may qualify an applicant to demonstrate required knowledge, skills, and abilities. An example of an acceptable qualification is:

Bachelor’s degree in planning, landscape architecture, or related field is required.

Experience: A minimum of 5 years of progressive Planning and Leadership experience. GIS and Land Acquisition experience preferred.

Demonstrated knowledge of the following: planning principles, geographic information system (GIS) applications; land acquisition; land use and zoning practices; planning processes and research methods; federal, state, county and municipal rules and regulations; leadership and management principles, budget management; natural and cultural resources.

Excellent verbal and written communication skills and be able to decisively solve problems.

Strong organizational skills and meticulous attention to detail.

An Innovative and creative approach to design; project management; interpreting boundary and land surveys.

Demonstrated ability of job specific and industry standard software; writing reports and grants; written and verbal communication; collecting and analyzing planning data; brainstorming techniques and conceptual design development.

Ability to document identity and employment eligibility within three (3) days of original appointment as a condition of employment in compliance with Immigration Reform and Control Act requirements.


State Motor Vehicle Operator’s License that meets Great Parks current carrier guidelines.

The typical salary range for this position will be $94,328.00 - $110,968.00 depending on experience.

We offer an excellent benefit package that includes medical, dental and life insurance; paid vacation, 11 holidays and sick time; enrollment in Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and free or discounted use of many Great Parks of Hamilton County recreational activities.

Great Parks is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or any other classification protected under applicable law.

Company Details

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States