Location: Charleston, SC

Director of Preservation & Urban Design/City Architect

Salary: $90,000.00 - $100,000.00 Annually

Closing: 8/31/2022

The City of Charleston is looking for a Director of Preservation and Urban Design to join our team!

The Director of Preservation and Urban Design plays a key role in shaping the built environment throughout the city. Their duties include ensuring the historic preservation within the City and managing processes that regulate architectural design, site design, signage, and requests for demolition.

The Director of Preservation and Urban Design serves as the Preservation Officer and City Architect and manages the operations of the Preservation and Urban Design Division within the Department of Planning, Preservation and Sustainability. The Director supervises a workgroup of six (6) staff members that reviews applications for new construction on the City’s peninsula and suburban corridors and administers historic preservation review within locally adopted historic districts. The Director performs these tasks by interpreting and enforcing adopted zoning ordinances, design principles, policy statements, and Secretary of Interior Standards.

Examples of Duties

  • Serve as the Preservation Officer and liaison for Section 106 local, state and federal project reviews and for departmental and city preservation and design issues.
  • Oversee the management of three (3) review boards including the Board of Architectural Review – Large (BAR-L), Board of Architectural Review – Small (BAR-S), and the Design Review Board (DRB).
  • Serve as the primary staff administrator for the Board of Architectural Review – Large, which reviews applications for projects over 10,000 square feet and provide staff recommendations to the board in public meetings.
  • Meet with applicants to review proposals for new structures, modifications to existing structures, demolition requests, and signage within various zoning districts.
  • Provides advice to applicants to facilitate code and policy compliance of proposed work by reviewing requirements and advising appropriate plan modifications.
  • Reviews plans and construction documents in detail for conformance with approved development proposals.
  • Perform site inspections of projects that are under construction and completed.
  • Prepares Certified Local Government Report for SHPO and other annual and quarterly reports.
  • Manage personnel, board membership and applicants by:
    • Administering preservation and design review provisions of the City of Charleston Zoning Ordinance
    • Organizing and managing the workflow of applications
    • Empowering staff by educating, motivating, and inspiring them to achieve excellent architecture and design that embodies the principles, policies and goals of the City and the Department
    • Fostering a collaborative environment among staff, boards and applicants
    • Establishing a trusted working relationship with board members, helping to bring board processes into conformity with adopted ordinances while empowering board members to make good decisions in keeping with legal standards for quasi-judicial boards
    • Providing excellent customer service by clearly and proactively communicating with applicants
    • Providing regular briefings to department leadership and Mayor regarding operations and projects
    • Developing an annual work plan for the division
    • Developing workshops, webinars, and publications for staff, board members, applicants and the general public regarding historic preservation and design.
  • Improve the division's process, practices and policies by:
    • Working with division and department staff to evaluate all aspects of the division’s operations to streamline processes, improve workflow and increase transparency
    • Fully applying and implementing the BAR Principles and ordinances as adopted by City Council
    • Aligning division operations with the mission of the department specifically assisting with meeting goals for the production of housing and City-sponsored capital projects
    • Implementing other process improvements as identified in collaboration with staff and department leadership
    • Administering design and preservation policies with an understanding of broader issues related to housing affordability, equity, climate change, and economic development
  • Perform other duties as assigned. May require evenings, weekends, and holidays as scheduled.

Basic Qualifications

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in Historic Preservation, Architecture, Urban Design, Planning, or related field; and 10 years of related experience.
  • State-issued driver’s license.
  • Knowledge of the Secretary of Interior Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, architectural preservation measures, construction methods and techniques, design sensibility, and the ability to critique architectural design proposals of varying scale.
  • Thorough knowledge of Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Possess a keen eye for design and the ability to clearly convey design concepts, working with others to improve architectural and site design proposals at varying scales
  • Be an effective communicator with exceptional skill with written, verbal, and graphic communication, as well as in public speaking
  • Demonstrate an understanding of architectural history, typology, style and the urban assembly of architectural types into coherent streets, blocks, neighborhoods, districts and cities
  • Show expertise in the materials, details and construction methods of traditional architecture and have knowledge of architectural preservation techniques and methods
  • Submit a portfolio of work
  • Have experience working with architectural regulation and/or with municipal review boards
  • Demonstrate an understanding of interrelated issues and potential solutions related to design, preservation, sustainability, and equity
  • Have hand drawing and digital drawing abilities
  • Have experience leading/facilitating public meetings
  • Be licensed as an Architect by the South Carolina Board of Architectural Examiners or have an NCARB Certification and obtain state licensure within 3 months of hire

How to Apply
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