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To supply technical advice on behalf of Grey County with respect to natural heritage planning for development inquiries and applications. To aid other County functions by providing ecological advice in support of the Countys goals and strategies.
Specific Responsibilities Related to Planning and Development
- Evaluates and provides thorough comments on planning applications and development inquiries for consistency and conformity to legislation, Provincial Policy, County and Municipal policies related to natural heritage.
- Provides technical support and comments to the County and member municipalities on applications including; consents, minor variances, zoning by-laws or amendments, official plan amendments, plans of subdivision or condominium, and site plans, with respect to official plan conformity, provincial policy consistency, and compliance with legislation.
- Provides detailed technical analysis and advice on confidential pre-submission development inquiries from the public or the development industry, to determine if an environmental impact study (EIS) is required or if an EIS can be waived.
- Determines the appropriate scoping and co-develops the terms of reference for required EIS reports.
- Evaluates and provides technical comments on EIS reports and liaises with County/municipal staff, developers, and consultants to ensure completeness and accuracy of EISs and environmental recommendations, while negotiating appropriate investigative methodologies and appropriate solutions on complex ecological issues.
- Evaluates other studies and reports prepared in support of development applications (i.e., Vegetation Retention/Planting Plans, Stormwater Management Studies, etc.).
- Represents the County and/or gives planning evidence at various judicial/quasi-judicial tribunals.
- Liaises with County solicitor regarding emerging environmental planning matters, including any official plan updates or development applications that have been appealed to tribunals.
- Meets with landowners, consultants, agencies, County and municipal staff to discuss and determine development impacts on natural features.
- Attends off-site meetings.
- Conducts site evaluations to gain a general understanding of features, functions, and layout of properties.
- Researches and provides advice on environmental planning policy matters or proposed legislative or regulatory updates.
- Supports planning policy exercises, such as official plan reviews, comprehensive zoning by-law updates, and special studies e.g., natural heritage systems studies.
- Provides recommendations for official plan and zoning by-law policies and mapping relating to natural heritage.
- Engages the public on natural heritage planning matters, both related to development applications, but also furthering public knowledge and understanding of the natural environment.
- Presents on natural heritage at workshops and special events upon request.
- Attends and make planning presentations respecting natural heritage matters to local Councils, Committees, and/or public meetings/open houses.
- Represents the County by sitting on special interest and advisory committees.
- Performs other related duties as assigned by the Senior Planner or the Director of Planning and Development.
- Supports other departmental and corporate roles with technical environmental advice, including but not limited to, forestry, trails, agriculture, climate change, transportation services, and housing.
- Provides recommendations regarding funding applications and reporting for stewardship projects which further the Countys strategic goals.
- Maintains skills at a high level through courses, seminars and selected reading, to remain current with industry standards and expectations.
- Responsible, as an employee, for occupational health and safety.
- Usual hours of work are thirty-five (35) per week, Monday to Friday. Overtime can be expected to deal with the demands of the position, such as occasional evening meetings that are convened for the public and committees convenience, plus normal and peak periods. Field work may also result in occasional unusual working hours.
- There is risk to the prospects of some emotionally loaded situations that arise from recommendations on development applications or proposals, which must be confronted tactfully and professionally.
- Site visits to proposed development sites are required. Must have a personal automobile available for travel and a valid Ontario drivers license.
Internal Working Relationships
Discusses plans, priorities and receives general policy direction from Planners and the Director. Works with staff in other County Departments (Transportation Services, Clerks, Climate Change, Communications, Information Technology, Economic Development, Tourism, and Culture, Finance/Purchasing, Legal Services, etc.).
External Working Relationships
Staff from provincial ministries, conservation authorities, the Niagara Escarpment Commission, local municipalities, neighbouring counties/municipalities, quasi-judicial boards, solicitors, consultants, developers, contractors, special interest or user groups, and the general public.
Knowledge and Skill
- A university degree or diploma in biology, ecology, environmental science, or a related field.
- Three to five years progressive municipal, public agency, or private experience.
- Thorough knowledge of relevant federal or provincial legislation, as well as County and municipal policies, and processes related to natural heritage systems planning.
- Knowledge of development application evaluation, planning policies, and/or municipal land use planning.
- Strong working knowledge of current biological/ecological protocols or industry standards (i.e., Ontario Wetland Evaluation System and
- Ecological Land Classification), as well as the natural resources of watersheds, ecological principles, terrestrial assessment techniques.
- Knowledge of fish, wildlife, and natural habitat monitoring and inventory techniques including equipment and tools.
- Identification skills of native and invasive species in Ontario, including knowledge of federal and provincial species at risk.
- Ability to interpret airphoto / orthophotography.
- Ability to negotiate acceptable changes and mitigation measures to development plans.
- Experience evaluating and/or conducting environmental impact studies.
- Excellent communication skills (oral and written) with a broad range of stakeholders, including the public, agencies, and consultants, as well as the ability to build, foster, and sustain a positive public image.
- Working knowledge of agriculture, forestry principles, trails management, karst topography, and climate change are assets.
- Strong problem-solving, analytical, negotiation, conflict resolution, organizational, and collaboration skills.
- Ability to work effectively in independent and team environments.
- Demonstrated relationship building and customer service skills.
- Organizational skills to gather data, select pertinent information, develop programs or reports, utilize time effectively, set priorities, follow through on important tasks and pull information together to advise others as to the proper direction to follow.
- General knowledge of public policy, practices and current issues affecting local government with a broad understanding of two-tier municipal governments.
- Ability to respect confidentiality, and to communicate effectively and courteously with staff, external government agencies/authorities, elected officials, the development community, special interest or user groups and the public.
- Experience with working in a multi-departmental environment where work is often collaborative and integrated, is an asset.
- Time management and organization skills to identify priorities and re-arrange work if required, based on issues that may arise.
- Ability to adapt to the daily challenges associated with a busy work environment.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office products, particularly Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint.
- Working knowledge of Geographic Information Systems software or web applications is an asset.
- Data management and tracking skills are an asset.
Impact of Error
Judgement errors could cause potential harm to the public image through failure to exercise diplomacy when dealing with the public or government officials. Errors in judgement, miscommunication and breach of confidentiality would result in unfavourable relations between staff, council, the development industry, and the public and a loss of trust in the County’s planning approval system. A misinterpretation of County policies or guidelines could directly impact the natural environment.
Technical errors could lead to higher legal and administration costs, including litigation and tribunal costs. Liability, safety, or environmental issues could result from errors relating to the County’s environmental features, if proper risk management and environmental protocols are not followed.
How to Apply
To apply for this opportunity, please visit the following link: https://www.careers-page.com/county-of-grey/job/L8394Y43
Grey County is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and promotes a culture of respect where all team members are valued for their unique talents, knowledge and lived experiences.
Accommodations are available for all parts of the recruitment process. Applicants are encouraged to outline accommodation needs when submitting their application. If alternate methods of application are required, candidates can email email@example.com.
While we thank all candidates for their interest, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.
Any personal information submitted will be managed in accordance with the requirements of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and will be used only to determine eligibility for employment.
Based on the nature of the position, pre-employment screening may be required including but not limited to; Criminal Record Searches, Financial Credit Inquiries; Educational and Credential Verification; Drivers Abstracts; Drug/Alcohol Testing; Pre-Medical Testing and Investigative Employment References.
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