Location: Charleston, SC

Director of Preservation & Urban Design/City Architect

Salary: $101,999.00 - $115,354.00 Annually

Closing: 9/2/2023

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 historic preservation and new construction within the City's locally adopted historic districts, peninsula, and suburban corridors. The Director performs these tasks by interpreting and enforcing adopted zoning ordinances, design principles, policy statements, and Secretary of Interior Standards.

Examples of Duties

  • Administers, interprets, and enforces adopted zoning ordinances, design principles, policy statements, and Secretary of Interior Standards related to historic preservation and urban design. o Serve as the Preservation Officer and liaison for Section 106 local, state and federal project reviews.
  • 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). This includes managing a robust but tight schedule of deadlines, reviews, and meetings.
  • Serve as the 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.
  • Provide advice to applicants to facilitate code and policy compliance of proposed work by reviewing requirements and advising appropriate plan modifications.
  • Review plans and construction documents in detail for conformance with approved development proposals.
  • Perform site inspections of projects that are under construction and completed.
  • Prepare the Certified Local Government Report for the SC State Historic Preservation Office and other annual and quarterly reports.
  • Serve on the Mayor's Design Review Committee for projects within the public realm.
  • Provide regular briefings to department leadership and Mayor regarding operations and projects
  • Collaborate with other divisions, departments, and organizations that may present alternate perspectives.
  • Manage personnel, board membership and applicants by:
    • Organizing and managing the workflow and review of approximately 2,200+ applications and a year and six board meetings a month.
    • 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.
    • Developing an annual work plan for the division.
    • Developing workshops, webinars, and publications for staff, board members, applicants and the public regarding historic preservation and design.
    • Organizing and leading training sessions for board members.
    • Investigating complaints and inquiries related from the public.
  • 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 and utilizing these as a basis for design review.
    • Aligning division operations with the mission of the department to support 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.
  • Develop and revise preservation and design policies through collaboration with staff, board members, citizens, and others.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Basic Qualifications

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

Preferred Qualifications

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Demonstrate an interest in attainable and equitable housing, mobility, the public realm, planning, public processes, policy- making, governmental transparency, and working with members of the public and development community
  • 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.

How to Apply
Apply online at: