Current Leadership Opportunities

Director of Planning, City ranked #3 of 25 by Southern Living Magazine

  • Community Development
  • Spartanburg, SC

City of Spartanburg You have an undergraduate degree and 25-35 years urban planning experience. You’ve earned your Masters in community development or urban planning. You have (or can soon obtain) your AICP. Whether you’re looking to launch your career to the next level, or seeking a capstone project to top off your career, this unique opportunity is for you. The Director of Planning will spearhead the implementation of a new Comprehensive Plan (“the Plan”). Over $800M of capital is being invested in a five block area, including a new $350M minor league baseball stadium with $425M mixed use investment surrounding it. Southern Living magazine cited the Comprehensive Plan — widely praised for its integrated application of measurable equity metrics — as a key factor in ranking Spartanburg third of the top 25 Rising Southeastern Cities.

About the Area

The City of Spartanburg (population 38,401) consists of twenty square miles in the Upstate of South Carolina near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It serves as the seat of Spartanburg County (population 328,000) and has attracted a good mix of outside development interests — locally, regionally and nationally. Surrounded by natural beauty and picturesque rural landscapes, the city is located along the rapidly growing 1-85 corridor. The City has enjoyed a sustained resurgence in economic investment and energy in recent years, most visible in the redevelopment of Spartanburg’s downtown core, and in its award winning Northside neighborhood. Thanks to close collaboration between the City and County, major employers in the area include Keurig/Dr. Pepper, BMW, Michelin, Milliken and Kohler: there are 25,106 jobs within 1.5 mile radius of downtown Spartanburg.

About the Opportunity

With a downtown residential population that has more than doubled over the past decade, Downtown Spartanburg is seeing its highest level of private investment in the City’s history. The largest cultural and entertainment destination in the county, the City is home to dozens of restaurants and unique retail shops, art galleries, live music venues, and recreation opportunities. Spartanburg has significantly reinvested in its neighborhoods: the Northside community has emerged as a national model for resident-led, equitable community redevelopment and a symbol of the city’s overall resurgence. With over 200 miles of walking trails, biking trails and blueways, and 1872 events and festivals annually, there is always “something new to do”. Best Life ranked Spartanburg the #1 Best U.S. City for Cyclists in 2022. In 2022, Good Hire ranked Spartanburg as the #2 job market in the U.S. and #10th “most affordable city to live and work in the U.S.”

Home to multiple colleges and universities, five campuses are within a mile of downtown Spartanburg. Clemson University and Charlotte are a one hour drive away; Atlanta is three hours. Proactive civic participation and interest drive Spartanburg’s growth and reinvestment: residents are excited about the future of the community and eager to contribute to its success. Over 3000 residents contributed to developing “The Plan”, alone. The caliber and diversity of citizens attending and/or serving in one of the City Councils’ four planning boards (Planning Commission, Architectural Design & Historic Review, Zoning & Appeals and Design Review) reflects the high degree of community engagement.

About the Position:

As you might expect, this is a highly visible role as you’ll be operating at the highest levels of government, from County Council leaders to the City Mayor. You’ll build relationships with and interact with the media, citizens, developers, architects, lawyers, city department heads, the City Council, and other public entities. You’ll be overseeing the development of a new zoning ordinance for the rest of the city (beyond downtown) using form-based code. You’ll be conducting land use surveys, population studies, and the myriad of activities required by a planning department in a rapidly growing city. You’ll be driving the implementation of strategic initiatives and resolving conflicts that will inevitably arise, while ensuring that the organization continues to maintain a continuous flow of requests ranging from zoning change requests to subdivision plats and site plans. In short, you’ll be the ‘go to’ person for the City.

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