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Rockville, Maryland

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Community Planning & Development Services (CPDS) Director – Rockville, Maryland


The Position

Rockville’s next Director of Community Planning and Development Services (CPDS) will join a high-performing organization in a community recently ranked as “the best place to live in Maryland.” The Director will work on a variety of exciting redevelopment projects near two Metro (rail transit) stations, along the Rockville Pike corridor and in the Research Boulevard area, and improve the development review and permitting processes with key stakeholders and other City departments. The Director will lead a well-qualified professional staff committed to ensuring a high quality of life for the residents and businesses in the City, as well as the workforce that make up its large daytime population (85,000).

This Director is responsible for the overall administration and implementation of all functions of the Department, including long-range community planning, development review, zoning administration and enforcement, historic preservation, redevelopment coordination, housing programs, and building construction codes.

The Director reports to the City Manager, is a member of the senior management team, and actively participates in strategic planning efforts for the City. The Director is required to regularly interact with community stakeholders, neighborhood leaders, applicants, the development community, and elected officials.

The Organization

The City of Rockville, founded in 1860, has operated under the Council-Manager form of government since 1948. Rockville’s governing body consists of an independently-elected Mayor and four Councilmembers, 
all of whom are elected at large every four years.

The City operates with a well-defined set of financial policies, including a requirement for a minimum General Fund balance of 20%. The City is an annual recipient of the Government Finance Officers Associations’ Budget and Financial Reporting “Award of Excellence.” Rockville has maintained an enviable AAA bond rating.

For Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, the City has an adopted operating budget of $130.3 million (all funds) with a General Fund of $79.7 million. The City has a well-developed Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) which annually funds programs for a range of projects in the areas of transportation, utilities, recreation and parks, stormwater management, and general government improvements. In FY2018, the City has 612 FTEs (combination of regular and temporary).

The Department

The CPDS Department is responsible for long-range community planning, land development review, zoning administration and enforcement, historic preservation, grants administration, the housing rehabilitation program, affordable housing, and building plan review, permitting, and construction/fire code enforcement. In addition, the Department provides professional and administrative support to the Planning Commission, Board of Appeals, Historic District Commission, Rockville Housing Enterprises, and the Sign Review Board.

In FY2018, the Department has 42 authorized positions and an operating budget of $5.8 million. The Department is organized into four divisions: Management and Support, Long Range Planning, Planning and Zoning, and Inspection Services.

The Department has several initiatives on tap for this year, including completing an update to the City’s Comprehensive Master Plan and continuing efforts to streamline and improve the City’s internal development review process.


Requirements for the position include a bachelor’s degree in urban planning, public administration or a related field and a minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible work in community planning, zoning or development review/permitting services working directly for a local government. At least three years in a supervisory or management position overseeing staff is also required.

Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree and AICP certification. Other preferred qualifications include experience working on mixed-use, transit-oriented development/redevelopment projects, overseeing permitting, innovating moderately-priced dwelling initiatives, working with historic preservation groups, extensive community engagement, and demonstrated ability to improve development and permitting processes.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will be an experienced and well-rounded planning professional who has proven ability to collaborate effectively and establish working relationships with elected officials, city staff, community leaders, and other stakeholders. Must demonstrate integrity, creativity, energy, strong communication and collaboration skills, and the ability to develop consensus on complex issues. Must be flexible, responding to the needs of the City Manager, Mayor and Council, department staff, and the entire Rockville community. Must effectively engage the community, shepherd items through the land development process, and guide the timely implementation of plans and codes after approval.

The next Director will have experience leading a department or division, working well with other departments and agencies, and supporting a talented staff. Must have an extensive knowledge of the principles, practices, laws, regulations, procedures, and requirements of CDBG and MPDU programs. Must have the ability to understand and explain the economics of development; common real estate practices; planning, zoning, permitting, affordable housing, and building-fire code enforcement and historic preservation; as well as local government finance and budgeting.

The successful candidate will be a strong communicator and collaborator and have creative problem-solving skills. Must have the ability to analyze data and information to accurately assess issues and trade-offs and make high-quality recommendations. Must be able to effectively work with groups and individuals with differing interests, helping to find common ground, and providing clear communication to elected and appointed leaders for decision-making. Must help prioritize projects and major initiatives, work with division directors and staff on work planning and deadlines and be accountable for progress on top priorities and day-to-day processing.

The successful candidate will also have demonstrated a record of strong customer service focus for the delivery of services internally and externally. Must be able to proactively and successfully navigate interjurisdictional relationships, and be comfortable working in and interacting with a diverse, well-educated, and highly-engaged community.

The Community

Rockville, population of almost 70,000, is Maryland’s third largest city, comprising 13 square miles. It is located 12 miles northwest of the nation’s capital along the I-270 bio-tech corridor, rich in technology-based businesses. Money magazine ranked Rockville as “the best place to live in Maryland” in its recent list of best places to live in all 50 states, noting its “low unemployment and an ultralow crime rate.” This year, named Rockville the number one city in which to raise a family. Schools and diversity were named among the reasons for the ranking.

The City serves as the County seat of Montgomery County, one of the most affluent and well-educated counties in the United States. Rockville embraces diverse cultures and an engaged citizenry. Recent data from the 2010 Census indicates that the City continues to reflect the growing diversity of the metropolitan Washington region with sizeable Asian, Hispanic, and African American populations.

Rockville serves as a residential, employment, and economic center for Montgomery County, with a daytime labor force of over 80,000. Rockville is home to a vibrant downtown, a regional shopping district, and a biotech hub. The City has a well-developed transportation network, with easy access to the metropolitan area. Two strategically-located Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Red Line rail stations are in the City and one additional Metro subway station is located just outside its border. The City is also within convenient driving distance of the Thurgood Marshall International, Ronald Reagan National, and Dulles International airports.

The City’s many residential neighborhoods include a range of housing from well-preserved historic homes of Victorian style in designated historic districts, to multi-family buildings in Rockville’s Town Center.

The City’s downtown includes the Rockville Town Center, a vibrant mixed-use area in the heart of Rockville with pedestrian-friendly streets and plazas, numerous restaurants and stores, the Rockville Memorial Library, a business incubator and VisArts (a community center for the arts), making Town Center a lively attraction for residents and visitors alike.

Employment and Economic Development

Rockville’s location in the metropolitan area provides the City a strong base of government employees who work for local, state, 
and federal government.

Rockville has built an impressive and diverse base of private sector employment, including major high technology and biomedical companies. In addition, employers of all sizes find Rockville to be a hub for innovation and creativity. Rockville’s largest employers include internationally-recognized names such as Westat, BAE Systems, Choice Hotels International, and Meso Scale Diagnostics.

The City’s economic base is enhanced through the efforts of Rockville Economic Development Incorporated (REDI) and the Maryland Women’s Business Center, as well as the Rockville Innovation Center, which provides more than 23,000 square feet of flexible office space to accommodate international, professional service, and advanced technology companies.

Parks and Open Space

While the City offers a largely urban environment, Rockville takes great pride in its open space and recreation opportunities. Residents and visitors enjoy approximately 1,035 acres of parkland in 65 parks with a variety of amenities. The City offers an award-winning Senior Center, a municipal swim center and golf course, three neighborhood community recreation centers, and an extensive array of recreation programs.


Rockville residents are served by the exceptional Montgomery County Public Schools, the largest school district in Maryland and a recipient of the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award in 2010. During the 2015-16 school year, the district served more than 156,447 students from more than 157 countries who speak 138 languages. Students in the district are among the top performers in the United States in Advanced Placement examinations.

Several institutions of higher education are convenient, including Montgomery College (Rockville Campus), Johns Hopkins University (Montgomery County Campus), and the Universities of Shady Grove (a collaboration of nine Maryland public degree-granting institutions).


The expected hiring range is $150,000 – $175,000 depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefit package that includes a car allowance and City contribution to deferred compensation.

How to Apply

Apply Online

Confidential applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group at and will be kept confidential. Applicants complete a brief online form and then are asked to provide a single document (Word or PDF) that includes a cover letter, resume, and salary history. Open until filled with first review of applications on March 12, 2018.


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

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