Planner 2 – Natural Resources Planner: Trees

  • Full Time
  • Anywhere

Metro Nashville/Davidson County Planning Department

The Metro Nashville/Davidson County Planning Department is seeking an experienced individual to help promote preservation of existing trees, improve tree, landscaping and hillside development standards, and implement standards via the development review process.


Metro Nashville/Davidson County is situated in a rolling landscape of forested hillsides and is seeking to improve policies and standards for hillside development to protect these character defining features. The Planning Department is comprised of planners and designers with expertise in planning, land use, architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design. Staff provide analysis and recommendations throughout Metro Nashville on current planning, community planning, and urban design and landscape issues in a wide variety contexts. The Department leads the preparation and update of various planning studies, develops and recommends innovative zoning tools and regulations, and assists in their implementation.


Job Description

This Natural Resources Planner will focus primarily on tree planning within Davidson County. The role includes working closely with partners in the department to advance Nashville’s goals and policies pertaining to the tree canopy, natural landscape, and urban environment.

The position will perform and coordinate professional level work focused on:

·         developing and implementing tree preservation, installation, and long term health in natural, rural, suburban, and urban environments;

·         provide technical expertise and review of development proposals on hillsides or slopes or in forested areas;

·         streamlining review processes, and coordinating policy and initiatives with other Metro departments.


A successful candidate will have a background in landscape architecture, planning, civil engineering, forestry, or a similar professional field with experience in the technical evaluation of development in forested areas or on steep slopes, hillsides, or ridgetops. A successful candidate will be comfortable researching best practices for conservation and development, assisting in making recommendations to tailor those practices to the Metro Nashville context and organizational structure, and assisting in developing strategies to implement policies and regulations effectively during the development review process.


The ability to participate in complex planning efforts and effectively communicate planning, landscape, preservation/conservation, or design ideas verbally and graphically to a variety of stakeholders including other Metro Departments, development professionals, citizens, and elected officials is required. The candidate may also contribute to compliance review functions for tree preservation, conservation, or hillside development issues, including review of subdivision, site, or landscape plans in coordination with staff from other Metro departments.



Knowledge of and familiarity with principles, best practices and trends in landscape architecture, community and urban planning, forestry, and hillside protection and development, including grading and engineering standards.
Knowledge of the basic legal principles of land development and zoning, including familiarity with federal, state and local regulations pertaining to community development and improvements.
Ability to collaborate and communicate effectively in a team setting and communicate complex interdisciplinary issues to a variety of stakeholders.
Experience working in a government setting and implementing standards and processes that require coordination across multiple governmental departments or agencies.
Ability to collect, analyze and present data and utilize findings to inform development of policies and regulations.
Ability to clearly write, prepare, and present concise and accurate staff reports and presentations.

Research and evaluate tree planning and tree planting policies and legislative models from peer cities, identify best practices, and make recommendations to tailor those practices into standards appropriate to the Nashville context.
Assess standards of Metro departments and work closely with peers to propose changes. Propose realignment of resources, if necessary, to implement the new standards.
Test or evaluate proposed regulations using a data-based approach, and present findings and recommendations to the appropriate parties.
Engage with stakeholders, including development professionals and the general public, regarding tree and hillside/steep slope development policies and regulations and to build support and consensus around goals.
Collaborate and facilitate coordination regarding tree, slope and hillside initiatives among key agencies, project staff and relevant non-governmental partners.
Lead or participate in compliance review functions for tree preservation, conservation, and hillside development issues, including review of subdivision, site or landscape plans.
Required Skills

MS Office suite: required
GIS – ArcMap: required
Adobe suite – Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign: preferred
Key Attributes

Must have the ability to work with fellow staff to research, evaluate, develop and recommend policies and regulations for tree preservation and hillside development in Metro Nashville, and to vet the effectiveness of those policies or standards against multiple, sometimes competing, goals. Must be able to communicate with other Metro Departments, development professionals and technical experts, elected officials, and citizens. Attention to detail; compliance with time-sensitive deadlines; clear and timely communication with a variety of stakeholders; strong prioritization and negotiation skills. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships; support peers in collaborative work; support a friendly and productive work environment.


Education & Experience Requirements:

Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture, Engineering, Planning, Forestry, or a related field, from an accredited college or university and six (6) years of related experience; or

Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture, Engineering, Planning, Forestry, or related field from an accredited college or university and four (4) years of related experience.

Experience working for or with a local government is desired.


Salary and Benefits

This Planner 2 position will be filled as a contract position (non-civil service) with an annual salary of $66,911.55 along with excellent health, dental and retirement benefits, and competitive paid vacation time, paid sick leave, and paid holidays. The Planning Department currently works a 3/2 hybrid work-week, with two additional weeks of remote-work available annually.


How to Apply

Applications will be reviewed as received.

Qualified applicants should send (preferably via email) a letter of interest and resume to:

(No phone calls, please.)



We are an equal opportunity employer that values diversity at all levels. All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply.

Metro Nashville Government respects the religious beliefs and practices of all employees and will make, on request, an accommodation for such observances when a reasonable accommodation is available that does not create an undue hardship on business operations.

Requests for ADA accommodation for the recruitment process should be directed to Human Resources at 615-862-6640.

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