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Urban Planner III, Historic Preservation


Listing Summary

Salary Commensurate with Experience

Summary of Duties

The City of Atlanta Department of City Planning (DCP) is committed to implementing Atlanta City Design and transforming Atlanta into the best possible version of itself. Adopted into the city charter in December 2017, Atlanta City Design articulates an aspiration for the future city that Atlantans can fall in love with, knowing that if people love their city, they will make better decisions about it.

The Office of Design of the Department of City Planning provides leadership for the physical design of the city. It accomplishes this through the design of physical plans for the logical organization of our future city, creation of vibrant public spaces that cultivate public life, and architectural guidance, including preservation, of high-quality buildings that contribute to a cohesive public realm. This work is framed by Atlanta City Design and driven by the desire to design a city for everyone in the most inclusive way possible.

General Description and Classification Standards 

The Urban Planner III is responsible for supporting the successful implementation of: Atlanta City Design; the City of Atlanta’s historic preservation program regulations and policies; the City of Atlanta’s Section 106 Programmatic Agreement for U.S HUD-funded projects and programs in partnership with other City agencies; and other initiatives of the Department of City Planning and Office of Design. Duties at this level include, but are not limited to: providing quality customer service to the stakeholders of Atlanta; ensuring that project applications, project design reviews, staff analysis, research projects, and open record requests are processed efficiently and in a timely manner; and performing community engagement, administrative, analytical and technical functions in support of the development, implementation and monitoring of the City’s historic preservation and urban design programs, regulations, and policies. 

This work is done in close collaboration with the Office of Design’s other functional units – the Public Space Studio and the Planning Studio – as well as other offices of the Department of City Planning, other City agencies (including particularly the Department of Grants and Community Development), regional and state agencies, community members, and private sector partners. 

This would be accomplished with very general supervision from the Historic Preservation Studio Assistant Director. 

The Historic Preservation Studio of the Office of Design is responsible for the implementation of all the City of Atlanta’s historic preservation programs and activities at all scales - from the entire city, to districts, neighborhoods, blocks, streets and buildings.  These programs and activities include architectural review using historic preservation design regulations within a public-facing process; wide-ranging technical assistance to individual property and business owners, City residents, community groups, outside researchers, other City agencies and other government entities; supporting the enforcement of the City’s historic preservation regulations; creating and managing programs and policies that advance the goals of the City’s historic preservation program; managing compliance with appropriate state and federal historic preservation-related requirements and regulations; and incorporating the City’s historic places and spaces into its future. These actions will guide the physical and economic development of our rapidly growing city. The programs and activities must thoughtfully and creatively consider how best to leverage the value of the City’s historic places and spaces to achieve desired patterns and densities of development, support new types and levels for diverse affordable housing options, and create opportunities for parks and other public spaces that reinforce the City’s physical identity while also addressing existing community needs.

This is an experienced, professional level capable of carrying out most assignments typical of the profession with limited guidance or review. This level would be considered a promotional level and attainable by any incumbents in a work group who demonstrate the necessary knowledge, ability, and performance.

Supervision Received

Direction received is very general, focuses on end results, and is typically collaborative in nature. Candidate should be extremely self-motivated and willing to take initiative.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities                        

These are typical responsibilities for this position and should not be construed as exclusive or all inclusive. Other duties shall be performed as assigned.

  • Compliance with Federal Historic Preservation Regulations 

Effectively and efficiently lead the Department of City Planning’s compliance with federal historic preservation regulations and requirements in partnership with the City’s Department of Grants and Community Development.  Complete Section 106 reviews for all types of U.S. HUD-funded projects or programs implemented by the City of Atlanta, including but not limited to housing rehabilitation, commercial revitalization, infrastructure projects, site improvements, property acquisitions, and building demolition actions. 

  1. Review a wide variety of property types, project scopes and scales, and construction documentation for National Register of Historic Places eligibility and compliance with Secretary of the Interior Standards for Rehabilitation.  Conduct field evaluations and assessments to support such reviews. 

Implement programmatic/mitigation agreements on individual projects (at all scales) and multi-year federal programs, including existing programmatic agreements for all U. S. HUD-funded projects and U.S. HUD-funded demolitions required by the City of Atlanta.  Create, revise, and/or update existing and future programmatic agreements and similar documents in partnership with the State of Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs to continually:

  1. Improve the City’s compliance with federal historic preservation regulations and requirements.  Complete all reporting and tracking activities required by the City’s existing programmatic agreements and other Section 106-relate documents.   
  2. Develop and manage processes to effectively incorporate community voices and concerns into the City’s compliance with federal historic preservation regulations.  Develop and implement appropriate training and information sharing initiatives for both potential recipients of U.S. HUD funding as well as communities that are the location of U.S. HUD-funded projects and programs.  Provide strategic and technical assistance to the City’s historic and potentially historic neighborhoods and commercial areas as it relates to federal historic preservation regulations and requirements. 
  3. Advise City agencies on federal historic preservation compliance related to the programs they manage.  Respond, as needed, to official information requests related to federal historic preservation compliance on behalf of the City, including representing the City’s interests in that research and analysis. Present the City’s federal historic preservation compliance work to a wide variety of audiences, including elected officials and other City of Atlanta leaders.    Act as liaison between community groups, government agencies, developers and elected officials related to the City’s historic preservation and federal historic preservation compliance functions.
  4. Interact with private consulting firms and other outside entities who are conducting federal historic preservation compliance work, including representing the City’s interests in that research and analysis.


Decision Making

Applies organizational policies. Establishes work methods, timetables, performance standards, etc. Selects from multiple procedures and methods to accomplish tasks.

Leadership Provided

Serves as a technical resource and mentor to other employees.  May lead or instruct less experienced workers in high level or technical tasks.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

This is a partial listing of necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the job successfully. It is not an exhaustive list.

  • Nationally accepted and progressive historic preservation principles and concepts; historic preservation design guidelines and regulations; federal historic preservation law, review, and compliance procedures; U.S. HUD regulations and guidance related to compliance with the Section 106 review process; the National Register of Historic Places and its criteria; the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and its related guidance;  and Advisory Council on Historic Preservation procedures, regulations, and current guidance;  
  • Current/progressive concepts of urban design, community engagement and project coordination; 

GIS and how to prepare maps, graphics and reports; spreadsheets, databases and software to help visualize and present projects and programs; 


  • Planning and zoning, economic development, historic preservation, and related principles, methodologies, processes and practices; 
  • Historic preservation and urban planning research methodology, including field inspections, computer and electronic searches, and archive and file searches; 
  • Principles and practices of developmental design and engineering, including historic preservation, architecture, landscape architecture, site design and development, and land use compatibility.
  • Oral communication and interpersonal relationships to explain rules, procedures and programs clearly to the public; creative problem-solving to gather relevant information to solve vaguely defined practical problems; and management of historic preservation planning and program analysis projects.
  • Read and interpret architectural and civil engineering plans, city regulations, procedures, master plans, regulatory codes, technical and operational documents, reports, research material and information, and maps; analyze applications and apply relevant regulatory ordinances and codes; operate and maintain a GIS computer system; 
  • Prepare and present oral, written and graphic reports, documents, brochures and pamphlets, maps, and related historic preservation, general planning and development documentation; and

Operate standard office equipment including a personal computer using program applications appropriate to assigned duties; communicate effectively; and establish and maintain effective working relationships with the public, customers, citizen groups and other employees.

Qualifications and Education Requirements

Minimum Qualifications for Education & Experience

Bachelor’s degree in urban planning, history, historic preservation, architectural history, urban design, architecture, public administration, or related field.  Five (5) years of historic preservation-related work. 

Preferred Qualifications for Education & Experience

Master’s degree in urban planning, history, historic preservation, architectural history, urban design, architecture, public administration, or related field and seven (7) or more years of experience in historic preservation-related work, including one (1) year applying National Register of Historic Places eligibility criteria and one (1) year applying the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.   

Equivalent professional experience may be considered as a substitute for the required degree on an exception basis.

Licensures & Certifications

Position would be expected to hold, or currently in pursuit of, licensure or professional certifications appropriate to the position.

Required: Valid Georgia driver’s license and a certified “Preservation Professional” under 36 CFR 61 or the ability to secure such certification within six (6) months of employment with the City of Atlanta.   

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