Regional Planner

Southeast Tennessee Development District

Chattanooga, TN United States

The Southeast Tennessee Development District is a regional council of governments located in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The opening is for the position of Regional Planner.  This entry-level position will work in advising local communities on matters related to land use planning primarily through zoning and subdivision regulations as well as through the development of short and long-range plans.  Other duties include assisting communities in a wide variety of activities including, but not limited to, grant writing, project administration, the National Flood Insurance Program, transportation planning, annexations, and urban growth.  Attendance at evening meetings is required.


The ideal candidate should have a bachelor’s degree in planning, public administration, political science, geography or a closely related field.  A master’s degree in one of the aforementioned areas are preferred, and some professional experience in land use planning is also preferred. 


Benefits include: State of Tennessee Health Insurance Plan, Vision, Dental, employer paid contribution to the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (employees are vested in 5 years), and employer matching contributions to a 401(k).   Employees earn 1 annual leave day each month and a ½ day of sick leave each month. 


Applications will be accepted through Friday, June 16, 2023, but interviews may be scheduled sooner with qualified candidates submitting early applications. 


A resume & cover letter should be sent to:


Don Kellerman, Chief of Staff


P.O. Box 4757

Chattanooga, TN 37405

ATTN: Don Kellerman or Chad Reese


Position Overview – Regional Planner

The Regional Planner position is responsible for professional community and regional planning work of routine difficulty and other duties as assigned. An employee in this class is responsible for applying the principles of planning in a consultative role to local governments and other agencies.  SETD contracts with 28 communities throughout a 10-county region in Southeast Tennessee to provide professional planning services to Planning Commissions, Boards of Zoning Appeals, and local Legislative Bodies. 

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assists in defining planning goals for a community: researches land use, infrastructure, economic base, and other factors to identify current community conditions; recommends solutions to community problems and discusses opportunities which might be mitigated through planning; and defines the importance and feasibility of implementing specific planning goals.
  • Assists in developing long range comprehensive community plans concerning development of communities and identifies strategies which promote economic and community development or efficient land use consistent with community goals.
  • Assists in writing a variety of ordinances and regulations relating to land use and development controls (e.g., zoning, subdivision regulations, floodplain management); assists community leaders in explaining specific technical/legal information (e.g., legal procedures, responsibility of local officials, impact of ordinances on individuals); Review plats, site plans, and development proposals and ensures they meet all applicable regulations (e.g., environmental, zoning, or subdivision regulations).
  • Answers questions from the public or local officials on a variety of fundamental planning issues in order to provide technical assistance to a community; explains the impact of State or Federal programs.
  • Develop maps to illustrate planning concepts; examines existing maps to instruct the GIS staff in the preparation of maps illustrating specialized planning concepts; proofs map to ensure the content, form, and function of the map accurately display pertinent information.
  • Assists in developing projects; completing and submitting grant applications; Administering and successfully completing state and federally funded projects.
  • As assigned, serve as staff liaison to state and federal programs to complete the program of work in compliance with all applicable state and federal rules and regulations.
  • Participates in the searching of sources for appropriate funding to local governments and in developing proposals for grants; participates in developing requests for grant funding.
  • Conducts on-site audits, analyses grant projects and otherwise monitors projects to determine compliance to pertinent federal, state, and other regulations and provisions of contracts; makes recommendations on improvements which recipients should make to more properly execute provisions of grant contracts; assists in the revision of grant contracts as indicated.
  • Prepares and maintains a variety of standard reports relative to project development and administration.
  • Assistance with the administration of the following programs: Southeast Tennessee Rural Transportation Planning Organization (RPO), annual reporting to the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR), Solid Waste Management reporting to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, updating the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDs) report, Community Development Block Grants (C.D.B.G), and many other state and federally funded programs. 

Education Requirements & Experience

Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a bachelor's degree in one of the following: (1) community development studies, including urban and regional planning, urban design, or land use management and reclamation; (2) political science studies, including public administration, public affairs, or public policy; (3) civil or architectural engineering; (4) architectural studies, including landscape architecture or environmental design; (5) environmental or natural science; or (6) related social science studies limited to economics, geography, sociology, or urban studies.


A Master’s Degree in one of the above-mentioned fields of study.


Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a bachelor's degree and experience equivalent to one year of full-time paraprofessional or professional comprehensive community plan development work (i.e., planning for land use and transportation development, economic and population analysis, public improvements, and community facilities; and providing technical consultation to community members) or professional work in one or more of the following areas: (1) administering comprehensive community development plans; (2) developing plans for land use, transportation, conservation, or economic factors including economic and population analysis; (3) analyzing the geography and demography of territories; (4) designing infrastructures (e.g., roads, water systems) or facilities; or (5) researching the development and organization of social groups in communities.

Experience Level
Entry (0-1 year)
AICP Level
Land Use and Development Regulation and Zoning
Salary Range
$43,000 Starting or DOQ

Contact Information

Resource URL