Associate Planner - The Dalles, OR

Description :

Position Information-434122

Position Title:

Associate Planner



Working Title:


Salary Grade:

“L” $4,350.06 - $4,570.28/month

Reports to:

Planning Director/Senior Planner

FLSA Classification:




Effective Date:



General Position Summary:

The Associate Planner performs professional and technical level planning work of moderate difficulty. The Associate Planner provides information to the public, conducts research and implements land use policy.  The individual in this position performs a variety of challenging administrative, technical and professional work in the current and long range planning programs.  Excellent customer service, communication, problem solving and analytical skills are essential. Although the incumbent will receive direction from the Planning Director, the Senior Planner is expected to exercise primary supervision. 


Essential Functions (in a typical work week):

Duties may include, but are not limited to the following:
Interprets and applies local, state and federal ordinances, regulations and laws. This includes but is not limited to the Wasco County Land Use & Development Ordinance, National Scenic Area Land Use & Development Ordinance, Oregon Revised Statutes, and Oregon Administrative Rules.
Responds to public inquires and provides information regarding land use regulations and development application procedures to both internal and external audiences.
Conducts field inspections and evaluates site characteristics throughout Wasco County.
Prepares and presents staff reports evaluating development applications for consistency with land use ordinances, state and federal regulations, and case law.
Prepares and delivers presentations to elected officials, commissions, supervisor(s), boards, civic groups and the general public utilizing appropriate technology such as PowerPoint or GIS.
Continually seeks improvement to operational efficiencies and departmental functions.

Secondary Functions (in a typical work week):

Assists in the research and development of amendments to the Wasco County Comprehensive Plan, Land Use & Development Ordinances, long-range planning and other special projects.

Attends professional development workshops and conferences to keep abreast of developments in land use and planning.  Additional course work in public speaking, customer service, technology or other pertinent educational opportunities are provided as needed and as funding allows.

Represents the Planning Department and Wasco County at meetings with the community, advisory committees, local, state and federal agencies, and other professional organizations.

Performs code enforcement activities initiated by a citizen complaint process.  Once assigned an enforcement file, investigate these land use violation complaints and provide appropriate follow up to resolve the land use issue.

Other duties as assigned (e.g., routine photocopying, data management, etc.).


Responsibility/Accountability: This section of the job description describes the amount and breadth of responsibility and accountability that rests with the position, including the expected results of the position, the impact on County operations and activities, and the responsibility for budget.

Some influence on departmental operations, programs, and expense or budgetary outcomes.  Dollar amounts influenced would be considered moderate when compared to the overall County budget.  Responsibility for the prudent use of County assets may extend beyond own work responsibilities to the work unit or department financial management.  Contact with the public is a regular aspect of the position and actions could impact community or user satisfaction levels. 


Supervision of Employees:  This section of the job description describes the supervisory responsibility assigned including the range and types of supervisory functions performed, from directing work activities and delegating assignments to coaching, counseling, making disciplinary decisions, hiring, firing, salary actions, performance appraisal, training, etc. as well as the types of employees supervised.   

Positions at this level are not responsible for any supervisory functions or responsibilities, but may occasionally be asked to orient and/or train new employees.


Interpersonal Skills/Contacts:  This section of the job description describes the characteristics of personal interaction with others including the frequency of contacts with others, the breadth of interactions (within the County, outside the County, with vendors/contractors, dealing directly with the public, etc.), and the level of persons interacted with.  Also, included in this section is the reason for contact such as gaining cooperation; use negotiation, tact, teamwork, and sensitivity; or the likelihood of dealing with disagreeable or hostile individuals.  

Positions at this level have frequent responsibility for contact with others not employed at the County.  Internally, primary contacts are usually made with other departments, as opposed to own work group.  Contacts usually concern non-routine information, and the potential for positive or adverse consequences to the County because of these contacts is constantly present.  Negotiation, persuasion, tact, sensitivity, and confidential exchanges are all part of the interactions required.  Formal presentations may be periodically made.  Communication and interpersonal skills are important, and must be well refined to complete job responsibilities.


Working Conditions:  This section of the job descriptions outlines the work environment, conditions, and hazards that are encountered in the course of assigned work.  This includes the personal risk, hazard, varying work schedules, level of interruptions, job pressure, and the need to frequently juggle priorities and work assignments.  Also, exposure to unpleasant working conditions such as high noise levels, heat or cold, inside or outside work, exposure to electricity, chemicals, poor lighting, confinements, machinery, interactions with disturbed or dangerous individuals, personal attacks, contact with contagious disease, or situations where personal safely cannot be assured.

This level has a work environment that is usually well protected and free from hazards or obstacles.  There is little element of personal risk or hazard.  Job conditions are usually comfortable, with only occasional issues of confinement, temperature change, incident of noise, interactions of a disagreeable nature, interruptions, changes in job assignments that require adapting, etc.


Physical Requirements:  This section of the job description describes the physical effort and manual labor, such as sitting, standing, lifting, carrying, digging, operating equipment, performing with speed, etc., as well as the dexterity required to complete the job functions.  The need for travel, extended hours, and situations of physical discomfort are also outlined here.

Positions rated at this level require occasional physical effort such as light lifting, carrying, or movement, etc.  Physical capability involves use of office or power equipment where some dexterity is needed.  Movement around the work space is not challenging, and there are little to no restrictions on mobility.


Education, Experience, and Certification/Licensure:  This section of the job description outlines the education, previous experience, professional licenses, certifications, and specific skills necessary to perform the assigned work. 

Positions at this level require abilities, skills, training, and/or knowledge base equivalent to an entry level professional.  Education including a four year degree beyond high school, or its equivalent, is typically required to learn and understand the information necessary to successfully complete job assignments.  Positions require broad knowledge of a number of business/public sector areas, and/or the specialized knowledge of a professional discipline.  Previous work experience of 2+ years is required, but it may not be directly in the professional discipline.  Three years of previous directly-related work experience may be substituted for academic training.  Capabilities include the ability to think through complex situations, weigh alternatives and options, and make sound judgments on the basis of research or other factual considerations.


Below is an outline of the specific Education type, Experience type or licensure/certification that is required for this role.  The County will also consider any equivalent combinations of the qualifying criteria.

Bachelor’s degree in planning or closely related field and three years of professional experience; OR Master’s degree in planning or closely related field and one year of professional experience; OR demonstration of equivalent combination of formal education and experience desired. 




Ability to possess and maintain a valid driver’s license.

Ability to meet County’s policies, including driving standards. 

The following describes the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities required to successfully perform the assigned duties.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.



Must have a well-developed knowledge of principles and practices related to planning and land use. Specific knowledge of Oregon land use law, current planning and development review is preferred.

Superior customer service strategies and protocols.

Basic office functions including letter writing, record keeping, data management, faxing, and copying.

Basic cartography and graphic design principles.

Research methodology and statistical techniques.


Skills and Abilities:

Excellent oral and written communication skills for preparing reports and presenting to diverse audiences.

Provision of excellent and attentive customer service to both internal and external audiences.

Ability to work cooperatively with other employees, elected officials, and the general public.

Problem-solving skills necessary to identify critical information and solve challenging or vaguely defined planning problems.

Objectively define problems, collect data, establish facts, draw conclusions, interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form, and deal with several abstract and concrete variables. 

Ability to read, interpret and understand complex rules, regulations and instructions.

Facilitate group meetings and workshops consisting of people with diverse opinions from different backgrounds.

Manage stressful situations successfully and deescalate interpersonal conflicts.

Ability to multitask and prioritize competing projects in order to meet firm deadlines.

Ability foster consensus-building in a creative and team-oriented working environment.

Ability to use computers, Microsoft Office, GIS, and internet applications.


Contact :  All application packets must be submitted to:
Human Resources
511 Washington St. Suite 302
The Dalles, OR 97058

OR emailed to:
OR faxed to: 541-506-2771-fax

If you have any questions about a position or need assistance with obtaining an application packet, please call 541-506-2774 or 541-506-2775.

**Incomplete application packets will not be considered for employment**


Deadline for Applying : Open until filled