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Loudoun County, Virginia

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Director of Planning and Zoning –
Loudoun County, Virginia


The Position

Loudoun County is looking for a leader, someone who can not only oversee an important department with outstanding planning and zoning professionals, but also someone who can help advise the County Administrator and Board of Supervisors (Board) on some of the most exciting planning and zoning occurring in the country. Where else will you find development around multiple new metro stops, exceptional growth in residential and commercial sectors, agribusiness and agritourism, and historic preservation all in one jurisdiction? Few places have such a rich diversity of planning – with both new development and redevelopment, urban, suburban, and rural – all in one of the most attractive and livable places in the country. The County needs someone with vision, tenacity, and energy to lead this County’s Planning and Zoning Department.

The Director of Planning and Zoning oversees a staff of 62.97 FTEs with an approved FY 2019 budget of $7.5 million. The department’s programs are largely mandated by the Code of Virginia, which requires a current comprehensive plan. The Board of Supervisors’ strategic work plan outlines initiatives for the department. With the County’s rapid growth, Planning and Zoning issues comprise a majority of the Board of Supervisors’ agenda, necessitating significant interaction with Board Members, Planning Commission members, developers, homeowner’s associations, and residents. The department has four divisions:

Application Review and Management: This division reviews legislative development applications, such as rezoning and special exceptions, ensuring that they are in compliance with County and Commonwealth regulations and adopted plans. The division determines the potential impact on County services, existing development, utilities, and fiscal resources. The division supports the Planning Commission, a nine-member Board-appointed advisory body, and reviews applications in accordance with Historic District Guidelines. Approved staffing: 7 FTEs

FY 2017 Legislative Development Applications (Rezoning & Special Exceptions)
Number of legislative cases 176
FY 2017 Public Review of Land Development Proposals
Number of cases acted upon by the Board of Supervisors 120
Number of Planning Commission hearings 12
Number of Planning Commission meetings 12
FY 2017 Certificate of Appropriateness (CAPP)
Number of CAPP Applications Approved 8
Number of CAPP Applications Submitted 9
Number of Historic District Review Committee Meetings 5

Community Planning: This division oversees the policy development process by supporting the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission in developing long-range land use and growth management policies. The group processes Board-initiated Comprehensive Plan amendments. Key Board of Supervisors’ strategic work plan items, including coordination of the Silver Line plan amendment initiatives, the Dulles Community Outreach project, and implementation of the Route 28 Corridor-related activities, are managed by this Division. Approved staffing: 9.47 FTEs

FY 2017 Comprehensive Plans and Zoning Ordinance Amendments
Number of Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Amendments acted upon by the Board 13
Number of Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance Amendments initiated 8

Services Center: The Planning and Zoning Services Center, established in FY 2017, serves to increase understanding of the County’s planning policies and initiatives, land development activity, and Board planning initiatives; and provide land development applicants and the community with an efficient, concise, and equitable development review process. The Services Center provides demographic and geospatial data, tracking development and maintaining various housing, population, and employment forecasts, and similar research. The Center is also the source for the County’s current demographic information, development status, and demographic and employment forecasts. The Center provides assistance in the interpretation and correct use of demographic and Geographic Information System (GIS) data to a wide range of users, including County officials and the general public, and supports the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the Board’s Fiscal Impact Committee, and the Department of Management and Budget. Approved staffing: 9 FTEs.

FY 2017 Service Center
Number of front counter customer assistance requests 2,640
Number of telephone inquiries/comments and email inquiries 5,933

Zoning Administration: This division enforces the zoning ordinance and portions of the Virginia Maintenance Code; maintains the Zoning Map; manages proffers, proffer amendments, and land development applications in conjunction with the Department of Building and Development; and supports the Board of Zoning Appeals. Efforts are underway to upgrade the division’s website presence and to process Zoning Ordinance amendments that are part of the Board of Supervisors’ initiative to promote business friendly zoning practices. Approved staffing: 27.5 FTEs

FY 2017 Site Plan Referrals
Average number of days to provide site plan referral 16.5
FY 2017 Proffer Determinations
Number of Proffer appeals received 3
Number of Proffer determinations received 64
FY 2017 Legislative Referrals
Average number of days to provide legislative referrals 32.9
Number of legislative pre-applications 110
Number of legislative referral applications 196

The reorganization of Zoning Administration functions from the Department of Building and Development to the Department of Planning and Zoning (formerly Planning Services) in July 2014 allowed for streamlining of internal processes and alignment of resources to better serve the public, the development community, and the Board of Supervisors.


Any combination of education and experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in urban planning or directly related field with at least twelve years of progressively responsible planning experience in a local government or relevant private sector, including supervisory experience. Preferred qualifications include a candidate who has worked in a high growth environment, understands the impact of fiscal policy and utility policy on growth, and is knowledgeable about transportation. Other preferred qualifications include MUP or MPA and/or AICP certification. A candidate with experience as a city/county manager or assistant manager who oversees planning and zoning or a skilled department director, assistant director, or division head with excellent leadership skills is strongly desired.

The Ideal Candidate

The next director will be a strong, experienced leader who has a passion for planning and land development and can navigate complex and controversial land use issues with ease. The ideal candidate will be a seasoned professional who can lead and empower the department employees and collaborate well with other departments to find solutions that are in the best interest of the County. The director’s communication skills will be exceptional, with the ability to identify key issues and implications of decisions, and the ability to articulate complex zoning regulations and laws into a clear, understandable message for a variety of audiences. The ideal candidate will be flexible but firm, fair but empathetic, open-minded but decisive. The next director will be able to see the future financial impacts of land use decisions, be able to balance the needs of the public, elected officials, development community, and staff, and be able to translate and interpret the impact of those to each group. The ideal candidate will understand the complexity of land use policy and how it is inexorably linked with economic development, transportation, and mobility, and ensuring the County is well-balanced for a fiscally sustainable future. Loudoun County is looking for someone who thrives in a fast-paced, dynamic environment, can build and sustain relationships with different stakeholders with opposing views, and help advise the County Administrator and Board of Supervisors on cutting edge planning issues that will impact future generations. The ideal candidate will serve as an important translator who can speak the land development, zoning, and planning language and make its impacts clear to decision makers in the process. He or she will also be proactive and prioritize and align staffing to organizational and Board of Supervisor priorities in a thoughtful and coherent way.

The Loudoun Difference

Loudoun County Government is an organization of individuals who choose to dedicate their talents, education, and experiences to making a difference in the community. What sets Loudoun apart from other local governments is a strong organizational culture that values teamwork, community, and innovation. Loudoun County employees share a true appreciation for the dynamic nature of the community they serve and a passion for ensuring that Loudoun remains a great place to work, live, and play. Employees of the County enjoy the camaraderie of working together in a collaborative and inclusive environment and appreciate the County’s emphasis on maintaining a diverse and respectful workplace. As the community continues to experience growth, the County offers new and seasoned professionals the opportunity to work on challenging projects, emerging issues, and innovative solutions.

The Community

Loudoun County, Virginia, “DC’s Technology Corridor,” is an innovative, globally competitive community known for its favorable business environment, exceptional quality of life, and strong sense of community. Located in northern Virginia, approximately 45 minutes northwest of Washington, D.C., Loudoun County is a growing and thriving community of more than 392,711 residents. Loudoun has been one of the fastest growing communities of its size for the last decade. The County’s eastern area is mainly suburban in character while its western area is more rural, including small towns, horse farms, and more than 160,000 acres of well-preserved open space. Loudoun County is also home to more than 1,400 farms, occupying a significant portion of land in the County’s western region. The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors approved a Rural Economy Business Development Strategy in 2013, a plan that aims to double the growth of the agricultural business sector by 2023. Loudoun County is also home to 35 wineries and was number one in grape production in Virginia last year. Loudoun enjoys an active rural economy as well as engagement by citizens committed to a wide array of heritage resources. Dulles International Airport, a major facility serving nearly 30 million passengers every year, is located in the southern part of the County. Additionally, the Washington D.C. Metro area is currently expanding into Loudoun County with the extension of the Silver Line – scheduled for completion in 2019 – which will allow residents to travel conveniently into Washington, D.C. Ranked by Forbes Magazine as the wealthiest County in the United States in 2012, Loudoun is also the second fastest growing County in the nation.

Fast Facts

  • 3,662 residential dwelling unit permits in 2017
  • Non-residential permits were issued for 4.2 million square feet of non-residential space permitted in 2017, including 1.7 million square feet of data center space.
  • Total single family home assessed value increased by 5.8% from 2017 to 2018 (to $57.9B)
  • Total assessed value of commercial property increased by 10.0% from 2017 to 2018 (to $15.6B)
  • 2020 population forecast: 422,946 (up from 403,815 estimated for 2018)
  • 2025 population forecast: 458,789

Sources: 2018 Loudoun County Assessment Summary; Loudoun County Demographics Forecasts; FY18 Loudoun County Bond Book; Loudoun County Residential permits report


The salary range is $160,000 – 175,000, depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefits package.

How to Apply

Apply Online

Confidential applications accepted by The Novak Consulting Group at where applicants are asked to submit one document that includes a cover letter and resume with salary history. Open until filled with first review of applications September 10, 2018.


Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish at or 513-221-0500.

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