Planning Director

Career Purpose

Performs a variety of supervisory, administrative, technical and professional work in the current and long-range land use and transportation planning programs of the City; assists other city departments in the preparation of special studies; provides leadership and vision with regards to personnel, policy, and customer service matters; assists in ensuring and maintaining technical competence and compliance with all current codes, criteria and state and federal grant compliance; develops policies concerning planning related issues; provides support to the Lawton Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The Director position is classified as an Exempt position and therefore not eligible for overtime. The Director will be paid a salary on a bi-weekly pay period.

Salary: $70,720.00 - $100,000.00 Annually (Depending on Qualifications)


  • Manages and supervises planning operations to achieve goals within available resources; plans and organizes workloads and staff assignments; trains, motivates and evaluates assigned staff; reviews progress and directs changes as needed.
  • Provides leadership and direction in the development of short- and long-range plans; gathers, interprets, and prepares data for studies, reports and recommendations; coordinates department activities with other departments and agencies as needed.
  • Provides professional planning and land use advice to City Manager and other officials; makes private and public presentations to City Council, the City Planning Commission, boards, commissions, civic groups and the general public.
  • Communicates official plans, policies and procedures to staff and the general public.
  • Assures that assigned areas of responsibility are performed within budget; performs cost control activities; monitors revenues and expenditures in assigned area to assure sound fiscal control; prepares annual department budget requests; assures effective and efficient use of budgeted funds, personnel, materials, facilities and time.
  • Determines work procedures, prepares work schedules, and expedites workflow, studies and standardizes procedures to improve efficiency and effectiveness of operations.
  • Issues written and oral instructions; assigns duties and examines work for exactness, neatness, and conformance to policies and procedures.
  • Maintains harmony among workers and resolves grievances; performs or assists subordinates in performing duties; adjusts errors and complaints.
  • Prepares a variety of studies, reports and related information for decision-making purposes.
  • Supervises the development and implementation of growth management, land use, land use, economic development, utility, housing, transportation, park and open space, facilities, solid waste or other plans and codes to meet the City's needs and any inter-governmental agreements or requirements.
  • Supervises the evaluation of land use proposals for conformity to established plans and ordinances; evaluates proposals' development impact as they relate to the adopted plans of the City and make recommendations.
  • Evaluates land use proposals to ensure compliance with applicable City, State or Federal laws.
  • Prepares and administers annual departmental operating budget.
  • Ensures the maintenance of accurate and complete records of departmental activities and of records relating to licenses, permits, maps, electronic documents, overlay, and sketches pertinent to urban planning and development programs and projects.
  • Provides staff support to the Planning Commission as needed and assigned; serves as the Secretary of the Planning Commission.
  • Evaluates environment information and recommends mitigation measures to reduce adverse impacts of development.
  • Serves when needed as a member of a planning task force composed of City, County or State groups.
  • Prepares and writes grant application components relating to geographies, maps, plats, site plans, etc.
  • Develops and maintains a database of information for planning purposes.
  • Responds to local citizens inquiring about city planning and ordinances; resolves complex disputes between planners and applicants, as required.
  • Negotiates, coordinates and manages planning consultant contracts.
  • Serves as a member of various committees as assigned.
  • Attends professional development workshops and conferences to keep abreast of trends and developments in the field of municipal planning.
  • Assists other city staff in the enforcement of local ordinances and in interpreting city codes and master plans.
  • Assists in designs for parks, streetscapes, landscapes and other municipal projects.
  • Coordinates the daily planning functions associated with plan review, permitting, and construction inspections.
  • Responsible for the development of staff recommendations reviewed by the Planning Department.
  • May act as the principal planner for all community development activities that cover CDBG, Housing Authority, and other non-profit entities or grant programs.
  • Services as the Director of the Lawton Urban Renewal Authority and the Lawton Metropolitan Planning Organization and may direct or assist with other city trusts and authorities as directed.
  • Performs other duties and functions as assigned by the Deputy City Manager.


  • Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a degree in land-use planning, urban planning, landscape architecture or a closely related field (advanced degree preferred) and four years prior experience in municipal planning; or and equivalent combination of education and experience with additional education substituting on a year for year basis for the required experience.
  • Thorough knowledge of zoning laws and comprehensive plans including their formation, process of adoption, and enforcement; extensive knowledge of planning programs and processes; working knowledge of personal computers and GIS applications.
  • Skill in the operation of the following tools and equipment: personal computer, including word processing; motor vehicle; calculator; phone; scanner and copy machine.
  • Ability to communicate effectively orally and writing with architects, contractors, developers, owners, supervisors, employees and the general public; ability to establish effective working relationships.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Regularly:       Required to sit at a desk utilizing a computer and other office equipment.  This requires close and accurate hand eye coordination.

Frequently:     Required to talk or hear.

Occasionally: Required to walk; use hands to finger, handle or feel objects, tools or controls and reach with hands and arms.

Rarely:            Lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and the ability to adjust focus.

Work is performed mostly in office settings. Some outdoor work is required in the inspection of various land use developments, constructions sites, or public facilities. Hand-eye coordination is necessary to operate computers and various pieces of office equipment.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Regularly:       Works in a controlled environment in an office setting.

Occasionally: Exposed to wet and/or humid conditions, fumes, toxic or caustic chemicals. The noise level in the work environment is moderate which requires no protection.

Rarely:            Works near moving mechanical parts or in outside weather conditions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee occasionally works in outside weather conditions. The employee occasionally works near moving mechanical parts and in high, precarious places and is occasionally exposed to wet and/or humid conditions, fumes or airborne particles, toxic or caustic chemicals, risk of electrical shock and vibration.

The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet to moderate.


The personal contacts are typically with key officials and representatives of organizations which could have an unusually significant impact on the programs and policies involved in the work such as members of the City Council, Federal or State officials who determine standards of compliance for Federal or State programs, grants, etc.  The purpose of the contacts is to justify, defend, negotiate, or settle matters involving problems or issues of considerable consequence.


Supervises:  All Planning Department personnel

Supervision Received:  The employee is under the supervision of the Deputy City Manager who provides long range managerial direction. The employee generally proceeds independently in accordance with general plans, policies and purpose of the department. Work products are considered technically authoritative and are normally accepted without significant change. Decisions and recommendations are viewed for accomplishment of objectives and compliance with departmental and City policy.


First Application Review:

The first application review date will commence on August 2, 2021.  All application submitted after that date will be placed in a separate folder awaiting the outcome of the initial review.  Should none of the original applicants be selected, the second set will be available for review.



The duties listed in this description 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 position. The job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee and is subject to change by the employer as the needs of the employer and requirements of the job change.  


As an employee with the City of Lawton, you will receive various benefits in addition to your base salary.  Some of those benefits are:

  • Paid Vacation Yearly (after 6 months of employment)
  • 12 or 13 Paid Holidays (7 or 8 hard holidays and 5 flex days)
  • 96 hours of sick leave per year
  • Partial premium payment for Health Insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma
  • Health Saving Account (HSA) is available
  • Medical Flexible Spending Accounts available
  • Dental Insurance coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma is available
  • Vision Insurance coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield utilizing the EYEMED network is available
  • Life Insurance and Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance provided
  • Many other Employee paid optional supplemental benefits
  • Retirement through Oklahoma Municipal Retirement Fund (OkMRF)
    • 3.5% Employee Defined Contribution Plan - 3.5% City match
    • 7 years 100% vested
  • Voluntary 457 Plans available through ICMA Retirement Corporation or Nationwide

Equal Opportunity Employer

The City of Lawton affords equal employment opportunity to all individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability status or genetic information. Persons selected for employment into any position must pass a drug test. Some positions may require passing an alcohol test. Previous employment and any additional experience will be subject to verification prior to employment processing. A driver’s license and driving record check will be conducted if driving is a job requirement. A post offer employment medical examination may be conducted prior to job placement.

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How To Apply ?

Application Instructions

Note: You need to have Adobe Reader installed on your device to complete the application. Download and complete the attached application in Adobe Reader. Instructions to submit application is mentioned in the application form.