Planning Director

Job Title: Planning Director

Location: 3101 Goodman Rd, Horn Lake, MS

Department: Planning & Development

Hours: Full Time

Job Description:

City of Horn Lake

Job Description – Planning Director 


Purpose of Position

            Oversee the day-to-day activities of the Planning Department, provide guidance to the Mayor and Board concerning planning and zoning issues facing the city and develop and implement policies, plans and ordinances regarding planning and zoning.

The duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed.  The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment to the class. 

Major Duties and Responsibilities

Oversee the day-to-day operations of the Planning Department to include Code Enforcement.

  • Oversee departmental employees’ work to assure that all tasks are handled in a timely manner.
  • Make decisions on administrative changes
  • Set goals for the department
  • File, type and answer telephone when needed

Serve as City Planner

  •  Develop policies to determine how and where the City will grow
  • Work with applicants to encourage efficient development of site plans and subdivisions
  • Review and update the comprehensive plan for the city
  • Consult with clients regarding proposed rezoning, planned developments and variances
  • Explain procedural steps for developments and rezoning
  • Negotiate access, buffering and other issues with commercial and residential developers
  • Provide information about applicable laws, regulations and ordinances
  • Correct past problems, when possible
  • Work on special assignments as directed by the Mayor and the Board
  • Write ordinances dealing with zoning, subdivisions and building construction, growth management and other related issues
  • Recommend changes in current ordinances to maintain development standards for the city
  • Update city maps and files for ongoing projects

Review all plans and applications for new developments

  •  Review plans for developments as they are received
  • Complete site inspections around the city
  • Conduct land use evaluations of all proposed development sites
  • Work with the City Engineer to discuss issues concerning subdivisions and streets

Issue building permits

  • Assist builder with completing permit forms
  • Calculate valuation of construction and appropriate permit fee
  • Issue receipt for permit fee
  • Issue permit
  • Give checks and cash to Planning Secretary for processing

Answer questions and complaints from citizens and developers

  • Take complaint or question from caller or field personnel
  • Answer questions if possible or refer to appropriate personnel
  • Check validity of complaint and make recommendation to resolve the problem

Perform administrative functions as required

  • File permits, plans, blueprints and other materials
  • Write reports and recommendations
  • Review and approve time sheets for all departmental employees

Perform the duties of all Planning Department personnel, to include Code Enforcement, as necessary.

Perform other duties as directed

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities


  • City land use ordinances
  • Code Enforcement
  • Municipal processes
  • Reading site plans
  • Legal court cases in planning field and speech rights
  • Fundamental Land Use Principles
  • Transportation planning
  • Municipal financial from planning perspective
  • Housing information trends such as materials, roads and sidewalk ordinances
  • General Municipal Infrastructure
  • How to develop goals and objectives for physical development of city
  • The operations of zoning and subdivision standards
  • Design, architecture, trees, plan material, engineer, sociology and anthropology
  • OSHA standards and regulations concerning employee safety
  • Federal and state statues concerning the work of the department
  • Mathematical skills, including addition, subtraction, division and multiplication
  • General function and operations of municipal government

Skills and Abilities

  • Public Speaking
  • Computer knowledge
  • Organization skills
  • Prioritize daily work flow
  • Work as a team member with other employees
  • Meet specified or required deadlines
  • Make decisions within specified time restraints
  • Communicate effectively with residents, elected officials, other City employees, etc., both oral and written
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Able to visualize future implications
  • Work autonomously when necessary
  • Handle multiple tasks simultaneously with frequent interruptions
  • Maintain professional composure in heated situations
  • Develop, implement and follow departmental and City procedures
  • Comply with stormwater requirements and ensure that proper inspections are completed for all projects.  For larger projects (if needed) coordinate with Neel Schaffer Engineering

Job Context

The Planning Director is a full-time, permanent position in the Planning Department.  The immediate supervisor for this position is the Mayor.  The person in this position is supervised on a weekly basis, and supervises three full-time employees.  The Planning Director works regularly-scheduled hours year-round, with frequent overtime and night work to attend Board and Commission meetings.  80% of the work for this position is indoors; 20% is outdoors and may require work done in all types of weather conditions.  The position has accountability for monetary, fiscal, budgetary, safety and legal issues related to the work for which this position is responsible.


There is no exposure to chemicals and/or hazardous materials.  The person in this position must have a valid driver’s license, preferably a Master’s degree in Urban Planning or equivalent, and at least five years of experience.  AICP Certification is recommended.  The stress level associated with this position is high.  Physical work involved with this position includes typing, walking around project sites and up and down stairs.

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