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Director of Planning and Building Safety
City of Louisville

The Position

The Planning and Building Safety Director provides leadership to the department responsible for the physical development and historic preservation of the City. The department is responsible for the development and implementation of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, Small Area and Neighborhood Plans, the Historic Preservation Master Plan, and the Louisville Municipal Code, as well as reviewing and inspecting building construction throughout the City. The department supports the Louisville City Council, the Planning Commission, the Board of Adjustment, the Historic Preservation Commission, and the Building Code Board of Appeals. The Director supervises the staff of 10.5 FTE, oversees the FY 2015 budget of $1,261,260, and reports to the City Manager.

The Organization

The Louisville City Council established six goals to guide the 2015 budget:

  • Maintain small-town character;
  • Improve basic City services;
  • Promote economic sustainability;
  • Maintain fiscal stability;
  • Protect and preserve Louisville’s history; and,
  • Improve efficiency and effectiveness in City operations.

The department’s program area—one of ten overarching programs in the City—is focused on Community Design, which the City defines as “Sustaining an inclusive, family-friendly community with a small-town atmosphere; effective and efficient building services and effective preservation of the City’s historic structures through a voluntary system.”

The Planning and Building Safety Department plays a key role in achieving these goals by providing efficient service delivery through two divisions: planning and building safety.

The Planning Division provides current and long-range planning services. Current planning processes 30 to 50 land and development applications each year and leads community design initiatives and preservation planning. Long-range planning manages the City’s transportation planning initiatives, leads updates of the Comprehensive Plan, guides planning and community design for the City’s small area/neighborhood plans, and spearheads legislative modifications to the Municipal Code. The division also performs construction permit review, development forecasts, and demographic data assembly.

The Building Safety Division conducts permit processing, plan review, and building/construction inspections for 1,500 to 1,800 building permits annually. The Division also provides technical support to the Board of Appeals and coordinates constructions permits with the Public Works Department. The department also serves as the first contact for developers and landowners who are considering new development or changes to existing development.

Current departmental initiatives include developing and implementing EnerGov, a new community development software, finalizing the South Boulder Road and McCaslin Boulevard Small Area Plans and initiating the Fireside Neighborhood Plan, the first of nine Neighborhood Plans.

In early 2016, the department will present the South Boulder Road Plan to the Planning Commission and City Council, as well as conduct a second community workshop to review design alternatives and develop a preferred plan for the McCaslin Boulevard corridor.

The Planning and Building Safety Department has a strong commitment to superior customer service. The department recently implemented over-the-counter permits with guaranteed review times. The City recently surveyed building permit and land development applicants to assess the quality of and satisfaction with department services. The survey indicates satisfaction with the application process, knowledge/clarity of staff, and fairness of the Planning Commission and City Council hearing process, but suggested some areas need improvement, including timeliness of plan review as well as the pre-construction aspects of the land development review process. For 2016 the department will be implementing an ongoing system to enable all permit applicants to rate the department’s performance to assess changes in these areas and help ensure high levels of satisfaction.

Requirements and Preferred Qualifications

Applicants must have a master’s degree in urban planning, architecture, public administration, or a related field and five years of responsible management and/or supervisory experience in state or local government, or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience. AICP required. Experience with planning and permitting software, public engagement, GIS, historic preservation, code interpretation, and work in communities experiencing redevelopment is highly desired.

The Ideal Candidate

The next Planning and Building Safety Director will be a strong, experienced leader with knowledge of all aspects of planning, community design, new urbanist principles, development review, building safety, code interpretation, and historic preservation. She/he will have experience working in communities with a clear and distinct identity, and be able to apply planning and design principles to reflect the community’s values of livability, economic prosperity, and sustainability. The ideal candidate will be an effective listener, creative problem solver, skilled in public engagement, and a strong collaborator with community members, permit applicants, and staff. The Director will have political savvy and be a strong and effective communicator, providing clear information on complex issues for citizens and decision makers. The Director will be able to balance the community’s desire to retain its unique character and small-town appeal while helping guide its future managed growth to ensure the highest quality development and redevelopment. The Director will be able to manage a high volume of work and produce exceptional materials for the public and decision makers. The ideal candidate will earn staff respect, be able to develop and retain a talented workforce, and work effectively with all departments on Citywide issues.

The Community

The City has about 20,000 residents and is located in Boulder County, about six miles east of the City of Boulder and 25 miles northwest of Denver. Louisville is situated in the Denver-metro area but only minutes from the Rocky Mountains.

Citing Louisville’s recreational opportunities, small-town ambiance, highly-educated population, great schools, numerous employment opportunities, and moderate tax rates, Money Magazine ranked Louisville the #1 Best Place to Live in the U.S in 2009 and again 2011, #2 in 2013 and #4 in 2015. Louisville was also selected by Frommer’s as the #1 place in the Country to raise children in Best Places to Raise Your Family: The Top 100 Affordable Communities in the U.S. Louisville residents have access to arts and culture, sports, great restaurants, excellent school systems and diverse housing options. The residents of Louisville rate its services as exceptional. In the most recent 2012 citizen survey, 98% of survey respondents rated Louisville as an excellent or good place to live and 97% rated its quality of life as excellent or good.

Historic Downtown Louisville is five square blocks and features 100-year-old wooden buildings lining Main, Front, and Pine Streets. It surrounds an area with over 100 businesses and a thriving art scene with galleries, studios, and live music. Residents and visitors can find The Museum, City Hall, and the Public Library in Downtown Louisville. There are also a host of events, from the Street Faire in the summer to the First Friday Art Walk and a Parade of Lights in the winter. The City owns, either alone or in conjunction with other governmental entities, approximately 1,700 acres of designated open space, providing ample opportunities for recreation.

There are 25 colleges, universities, and professional schools and 18 junior college or technical institutes within 30 miles of Louisville. More than 37% of Louisville’s residents have a bachelor’s degree; about 22% have a master’s degree or higher. Louisville and Boulder County offer open enrollment to area students. The median household income is $69,945.

According to the 2010 Census, the age of Louisville’s population and race and ethnicity are as follows:

Age Percentage
Age under 18 29%
Age 18-24 6%
Age 25-44 36%
Age 45-64 23%
Age 65 or older 6%
Race/Ethnicity Percentage
White 91.17%
African American .93%
Native American .54%
Asian 3.55%
Pacific Islander 6%
Other races .08%
Two or more races 1.9%
Hispanic or Latino 5.02%

Comprehensive Plan Vision Statement

Established in 1878, the City of Louisville is an inclusive, family-friendly community that manages its continued growth by blending a forward-thinking outlook with a small-town atmosphere that engages its citizenry and provides a walkable community that enables social interaction. The City strives to preserve and enhance the high quality of life it offers to those who live, work, and spend time in the community. Louisville retains connections to the City’s modest mining and agricultural beginnings while continuing to transform into one of the most livable, innovative, and economically diverse communities in the United States. The structure and operations of the City will ensure an open and responsive government which integrates regional cooperation and citizen volunteerism with a broad range of high-quality and cost-effective services.


The expected hiring range is $91,728—121,326. Residency is encouraged but not required.

How to Apply

This position has been filled and is no longer available.

Thank you for your interest.

Apply Online

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group. Apply online at and include a single document with cover letter, resume with salary history, and list of 3-5 professional references (submit one Word or PDF document please). Applicant information will be kept confidential. Open until filled with first review of applications February 15, 2016. Just click the button to get started.


Questions should be directed to Catherine Tuck Parrish at or 240-832-1778.

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