Zoning Project Planner

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $72,788.00
Maximum: $96,638.00
Details: Excellent Benefits



Start Date:


Application Deadline:



795 Massachusetts Avenue
Room 309
United States


The Community Development Department (CDD) is the planning agency for the City of Cambridge. Within the Community Planning Division, the Zoning and Development team is responsible for various tasks in the areas of land use planning and urban development, including:  review of major development projects by the Planning Board and other committees; conducting land use planning studies and special initiatives; advising the City Council and Planning Board, and other City departments on matters related to development, zoning, and proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance; and providing information to the public, including residents, property owners, businesses, developers and design professionals. More information at http://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/zoninganddevelopment


Under the direction of the Senior Manager for Zoning and Development, the Zoning Project Planner will work in a very active planning office, collaborating with planners of various backgrounds. Primary responsibilities would include:

  • Conduct studies and manage projects on a range of land use and urban development topics, often including zoning policy recommendations – recent topics have included marijuana dispensaries, short-term housing rentals, infill housing development, and retail uses in mixed-use development areas.
  • Engage the Cambridge community in the context of topic-specific or location-specific projects, engage difficult to reach communities, and facilitate dialog and consensus-building among people with diverse interests and opinions.
  • Work in multidisciplinary teams – which may include planners specializing in urban design, transportation, environmental sustainability, housing, and economic development, as well as staff in other City departments – to advance zoning policy initiatives
  • Review and analyze amendments to the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance proposed by residents, property owners, City officials, and others.
  • Prepare written reports and oral presentations for a range of audiences including City administration, City Council, Planning Board, and community groups.
  • Provide information and advice on land use and zoning matters to other City staff, residents, business owners, property owners and developers, community groups, City Council, Planning Board, and others as needed.
  • Participate in the review of development proposals of varying scale and complexity.
  • Complete additional projects based on the applicant’s skills and interests, and the Department’s needs.
  • Attend after-hours meetings including Planning Board meetings (held most Tuesday evenings), City Council hearings, and community meetings.


  • Master’s degree in urban planning, real estate, architecture, or related field or equivalent combination of education, training and experience.
  • Minimum of five (5) years professional experience in a position involving regular analysis, interpretation, and/or development of zoning ordinances or by-laws, with Massachusetts experience preferred.
  • Strong public engagement and consensus-building experience, especially involving stakeholders with diverse interests and opinions. 
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills, both written and oral.
  • Experience in collaborative and multidisciplinary team-based project work, in both leading and supporting roles.
  • Ability to communicate with a diverse range of Department staff, other City employees, volunteer board/committee members, elected officials, and members of the public in a courteous and professional manner.
  • Strong project management and consultant management skills.
  • High level of motivation and detail oriented skills.
  • Overall computer proficiency including general office applications (Microsoft Office suite) and advanced applications (e.g., Adobe Acrobat).
  • Ability to prioritize workloads, multitask and meet deadlines while working in a fast-paced environment.


  • A genuine desire to study challenging and current issues in zoning and urban development.
  • Ability to develop creative regulatory approaches within the legal framework of zoning.
  • Knowledge of Cambridge is highly desirable.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required


How To Apply



Submit both your resume and letter of interest by via email to: employment@cambridgema.gov or to Personnel Department, Room 309, City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02139. Fax 617-349-4312. Resumes and letters of interest requested by 03/29/18. Position is considered open until filled. We are an AA/EEO Employer.

Selected candidates will be asked to provide and discuss examples of past work demonstrating their understanding of land use and zoning issues as well as their skills in presenting analysis and recommendations, which may include written materials and/or graphic representations.