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Regional Planner I: Resiliency and Environmental Planner

General Definition

The Regional Planner I will work with designated project leaders for environmental and community development projects in performing responsible professional work in the areas of environmental planning and community development. This position is supervised by the Director of Community Development.

View PDF of Job Description Here.

Salary Range
  • The salary range for this position is $40,000 to $45,000 based on education and experience
Why Work for the Regional Commission?

The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission serves one of the best areas for outdoor amenities and natural beauty in Virginia, if not the country. The most photographed spot on the Appalachian Trail, McAfee’s Knob, lies within our borders. Carvin’s Cove, the second-largest municipal park in the nation, contains over 60 miles of biking, hiking, and horseback riding trails within its 12,000 acres, and is part of one of our largest member governments, the City of Roanoke. Smith Mountain Lake, with over 500 miles of shoreline and boasting some of the fastest economic growth in the state, is part of our region. The Roanoke Valley Greenway Network contains over 400 miles of paved and unpaved trails within Roanoke’s urban footprint of Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Salem, and Vinton, including almost 26 uninterrupted paved miles along the Roanoke River. The James River in Botetourt and Alleghany Counties provides access to boating, tubing, camping, and more. Almost half of member government Craig County is part of the Jefferson National Forest. We have the Blue Ridge Parkway, and a mountain in the middle of our urban center with the largest, free-standing, man-made, illuminated star in the world, the Mill Mountain Star, on top.

The City of Roanoke is a League of American Bicyclists recognized Bicycle Friendly Community, and the Regional Commission was recently designated a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Business.

If you want to hike, ride, boat, camp, climb, or stargaze, working for the Regional Commission puts you in a place where you can access any of this in a short drive, and sometimes even right from your front porch.

Have a specific interest and want to know if there’s something here that meets it? Contact Get2KnowNoke at or us at and we’ll help you out.


In addition to market-competitive salary, the Regional Commission offers several additional quality-of-life benefits:

  • Flexible schedule, including up to two designated telework days a week, and flexible telework options to meet day-to-day family, professional development, and other needs.
  • Professional development and certification opportunities. The Commission covers the cost of achieving and maintaining appropriate certifications such as AICP and GISP. Attendance at one major industry conference a year is encouraged, and regular web-based or in-person training and skills-building opportunities are available.
  • As a public agency, employment at the Regional Commission may qualify you for student loan forgiveness through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
  • For active transportation aficionados, as a Bicycle Friendly Business the Regional Commission provides on-site indoor bicycle parking and an e-bike is available for all staff.
  • Competitive health insurance through Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.
  • Matching contributions to a 459 retirement plan that increases with your time at the Commission.
Typical Work Tasks
  • Provides support in water quality and stormwater activities both within and outside of the Chesapeake Bay watershed;
  • Serves as the program manager for the Roanoke County Septic System Education and Pump-out Program;
  • Coordinates workshop events for rain barrel construction, septic system education, or other activities;
  • Participates in environmental education field days with partner organizations;
  • Coordinates the Roanoke River Blueway Advisory Committee and the regional MS4 meetings;
  • Communicates with surrounding PDCs about water quality improvement projects and potential collaborations;
  • Attend public and technical advisory committee meetings associated with local TMDL plan developments;
  • Work with partner organizations and localities to identify potential green infrastructure project areas and funding sources;
  • Serves as staff liaison with regional environmental planning organizations, agencies, and nonprofits;
  • Supports other community development projects and initiatives as assigned;
  • Generates maps and analyzes spatial data using GIS software;
  • Researches and collects data as necessary to prepare assigned reports;
  • Conducts surveys, data collection and analysis;
  • Provides technical assistance and advice to local government officials and other interested parties;
  • Consults with staff of local, state, and federal governments and regulatory authorities concerning regional plans and projects;
  • Coordinates with other Commission staff to ensure that all meetings, as well as public involvement activities, are well-prepared and well-documented;
  • Represents the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission at various meetings in a professional manner in presentations, meetings, and interactions with the public and elected and appointed officials;
  • Performs other duties as assigned;
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

The ideal candidate will be able to:

  • Independently complete planning tasks,
  • Establish and maintain effective and cordial working relationships,
  • Effectively communicate verbally before public groups,
  • Prepare clear, concise, and well-organized technical reports,
  • Plan, organize, and complete projects in a timely manner,
  • Work with minimal supervision and execute multiple tasks simultaneously,
  • Work flexible hours, including evenings or weekends, as needed,
  • Utilize personal computers and common software application packages such as Microsoft Office and ESRI ArcGIS.
  • A willingness to learn more specific planning or analysis tools and software.
Preferred Education and Experience

At a minimum, graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree in environmental planning, geography, or a closely related field with 1-3 years of experience working in the aforementioned fields; or a master’s degree in one of the aforementioned fields.

Continuing Education

This position is a mid-level of a professional development track. Dedication and willingness to continue education through attendance of conferences, participation in professional associations; and/or completion of courses, certificates, seminars, or distance learning modules is encouraged for advancement to subsequent positions of responsibility.

Physical Effort, Dexterity, Visual Acuity, Hearing, and Speaking

The physical exertion requirements of this job are classified as sedentary work. In general, lifting or carrying tasks are not more than 10 pounds. A certain amount of walking and standing is often necessary to carry out job duties. The job requires normal visual acuity, depth perception and field of vision. Individuals must be able to speak clearly in person and over the phone.

Equal Opportunity Employer

RVARC is proud to be an equal employment opportunity employer and to provide a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment. Employment decisions at RVARC are based on agency needs, job requirements, and individual qualifications without regard to any status protected by law. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may come from a less traditional background. RVARC may consider an equivalent combination of knowledge, skills, education, and experience to meet minimum qualifications. If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to think broadly about your background and skill set for the role.

Submitting your Application

Send a resume and cover letter expressing your interest to Sherry Dean, Finance Director, at, or visit our employment portal at for this and other open positions.

Regional Planner I: Resiliency and Environmental Planner

Cover letter and resume should be submitted to Sherry Dean, Director of Finance, at

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