Senior Planner

NOVA Parks
Fairfax Station, Virginia, Virginia
Job Type


In order to be considered for this position, you must complete the external application process at or click here.


This posting may be closed prior to the end date listed.  


Opportunity Announcement:  21-09-31

Grade: 20

Hiring Salary Range:    $65,000 - $85,000  


The Senior Planner has responsibilities for the planning and implementation of bicycle, pedestrian, and multimodal park facilities and long-range park plans, with an emphasis on improvements to the Washington and Old Dominion Trail; reviewing planning and development documents from public and private entities; administering NOVA Parks properties, licenses, and easements; and assisting with Capital project planning, grants, and budgets. Work is performed under the general direction of the Planning Administrator with substantial latitude for independent judgment and action. Annual performance goals will be set for the Senior Planner.


ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS (with illustrative examples of work)


Plan and implement multimodal park facilities and W&OD Trail improvements:

  • Manage the analysis and planning of bicycle, pedestrian, and multimodal facilities throughout the park system.
  • Assist with the planning and development of Dual Trail improvements for multiple locations along the W&OD Trail, including 2 miles of trail in Arlington County supported by NVTA regional transportation funds.
  • Participate in regional planning initiatives to ensure the interests and goals of NOVA Parks are represented in a variety of long-range planning documents such as comprehensive plans, the Virginia Outdoors Plan, regional conservation plans, and regional bicycle and pedestrian transportation plans.

Review planning and development documents from public and private entities:

  • Review planning and land use documents such as comprehensive plan amendments, rezoning applications, and site plans; analyze impacts to park lands, formulate recommendations to senior park staff, and issue comments to local government case planners.
  • Establish and maintain contacts with local municipal land planning offices to keep abreast of changes/trends.
  • Coordinate and present developer and local jurisdiction rezoning and comprehensive plan applications to NOVA Parks Board.
  • Play key role in the development, implementation, and presentation of GIS mapping for parks, trails, facilities, and data management.
  • Prepare reports, statistics, and maintain accurate records and files.

Administer NOVA Parks properties, licenses, and easements:

  • Administer the NOVA Parks’ license program including the negotiation of terms and compensation, preparation of official documents, and administration of the long-term use of licensed areas including enforcement of the license conditions.
  • Enforce restrictions on grant funded lands to ensure licensees remain in compliance and coordinate with state and federal agencies regarding the administration and development of these properties.
  • Coordinate with entities that hold easements on park land to ensure their activities minimally disrupt park use and ensure the safety of park patrons.
  • Recommend and administer mitigation plans for impacts to park land resulting from non-park projects.
  • Coordinate with the state and local governments on major infrastructure improvements impacting park land such as the construction and maintenance of roadways, bridges, and sewers.
  • Coordinate and present license applications and various land use agreements to NOVA Parks Board.
  • Maintain license fees, staff time and billable project cost records, prepare annual license fee budget, and assist with accounting of permit fees and rental accounts receivable.
  • Administer NOVA Parks’ conservation and open space easements on non-park lands.

Assist with Capital project planning, grants, and budgets:

  • Assist with preparation of grant applications for park projects and grant administration.
  • Ensure the long-term goals of NOVA Parks are represented in the development of local and regional capital improvement plans.
  • Coordinate local planning and zoning land use approvals of park development projects, including compliance with state public facility review requirements.
  • Present park development plans and planning documents to local government boards, commissions, and the public.
  • Assist with the development and implementation of environmental resource management programs and mitigation banking throughout the park system.



Education:  Graduation from accredited university with a bachelor's degree in planning, public administration, engineering, or closely related field. AICP certification preferred.


Physical:  Non-manual work with strength and dexterity necessary to perform all required tasks, including lifting, stooping, bending, and working in tiring and uncomfortable positions in office and outdoor settings; must be able to maneuver through construction sites and other sites with rugged terrain.


Experience: Five years of relevant experience, or equivalent combination of education, experience, and training which provides:

  • Considerable knowledge of the fundamentals of land use planning, the land development process, natural and cultural resource planning, easements, land rights, and property management.
  • Ability to read, comprehend, and interpret documents relating to land use, zoning, construction, utilities, and cultural and natural resource planning.
  • Knowledge of real estate and contract law principles with ability to interpret and compose legal contracts.
  • Knowledge of real estate appraisal principles with ability to order, evaluate, and interpret appraisals.
  • Ability to negotiate contract conditions, compensation terms, and real estate transactions.
  • Knowledge of construction methods and practices.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with municipal officials, special interest groups, consultants, co-workers, and the public.
  • Ability to gain knowledge of regional, state, and federal grant requirements and restrictions.
  • Knowledge of non-motorized transportation principles and designs.
  • Knowledge or the ability to gain knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
  • Working knowledge of personal computers and associated software.
  • Ability to gain knowledge of park management principles, methods, and practices.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of office management.
  • Ability to conduct research, analyze and interpret data, and prepare reports.
  • Ability to gain a working knowledge of NOVA Parks, its development, traditions, and policies.
  • Ability to interpret and explain NOVA Parks policies and procedures to the public, special interest groups, and municipal officials.
  • Ability to prepare and maintain accurate and organized records.
  • Considerable ability to communicate clearly and effectively both verbally and in writing.
  • Possession of or ability to obtain and maintain a VA drivers’ license with safe driving record.
  • Availability to attend evening and/or weekend meetings.
  • Regular and predictable attendance is an essential function of the position.

Duties and responsibilities are designed to be the essential elements of the job.  They do not preclude the performance of related, or even unrelated, jobs which may be necessary to properly and efficiently complete all work assignments.  NOVA Parks reserves the right to amend job specifications to meet current needs.


Benefits:  This position is a benefit eligible position.  Benefits include medical and dental insurance, life insurance, long-term disability, retirement plan, and more.



It is the policy of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, veteran status, political affiliation, genetics, or disability in the recruitment, selection, and hiring of its workforce.


Reasonable accommodations are available to persons with disabilities during application and/or interview processes per the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Contact 703-352-5900 and ask for Human Resources for assistance.  

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