Community Development Director

City of Gunnison, CO - Gunnison, CO

30+ days ago


Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in central western Colorado, the City of Gunnison is known for its stunningly beautiful landscapes and some of the most amazing outdoor recreational opportunities you

The economic base is primarily tourism, followed by education, ranching, and natural resource ex traction. Gunnison is rich with mineral deposits and grazing lands and ranching still plays a prominent role in the economy, lifestyle and character of Gunnison County.

The Elk Mountains dominate the area, topping out at 14,000 feet with the peaks that form the Continental Divide. Crested Butte Ski Area opened in can find. Gunnison boasts that the sun shines almost every day and that the Taylor and Gunnison Rivers have some of the best trout fishing waters in the Rockies.

Gunnison is poised for exciting change with a significant new plan for an annexation, new investment in Western State Colorado University, in- creased vibrancy in Main Street, new entrepreneurs, while still maintaining its western heritage. A progressive leader in planning who can respect the community’s values is needed to fully leverage these new opportunities to the full benefit of the community. The successful candidate will be asked to lead a major update to the City’s Comprehensive Plan in 2019.

The community prides itself on its vibrant energy, natural beauty, and many parks. The City of Gunnison offers the right candidate an outstanding opportunity to work with an excellent staff in a dynamic organization. If you possess strong interpersonal and leadership skills and enjoy challenges, this is the right position for you!


Located within Gunnison County, the “unspoiled heart of Colorado", the City of Gunnison is surrounded by the 1.6 million-acre Gunnison National Forest. The area encompasses some of the wildest and most beautiful terrain in the world, including Colorado’s largest body of water, Blue Mesa Reservoir, as well as Black Canyon National Park, Curecanti National Recreation Area, and 2,000 miles of trout streams.

The City of Gunnison has a population of about 6,300 residents and covers just under 5 square miles. Located in the Rocky Mountains at 7,700 feet above sea level, Gunnison enjoys warm summers and cold winters with moderate snowfall.

1963, making Gunnison a destination for snow- boarders and downhill skiers looking for a world- class ski experience and challenging slopes. The area offers some of the best cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling in the winter, and epic mountain biking, horseback riding, boating, fishing, hunting, rafting, kayaking, hiking and camping the rest of the year.

Additionally, the City owns a 465-acre working ranch with developed trails and operates a 45,000 square foot Community Center facility with an in- door aquatics area and climbing wall along with other recreation facilities. The City also runs Jorgensen Park, a multi-use complex with an indoor ice rink, numerous ball field, and skate-board facility.

Gunnison is home to Western State Colorado University, one of the state’s top four-year fully- accredited undergraduate institutions. Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport serves the valley with both commercial airline and general aviation flights. Gunnison Valley Rural Transportation Authority operates bus service between Gunnison and Crested Butte serving Western State Colorado University and Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Bus service to Denver from the Gunnison Valley is also available.


The City of Gunnison is organized under the Council-Manager form of government. The five-member City Council is responsible for the legislative function of the municipality such as establishing policy, passing ordinances, appropriating funds, and developing an overall vision. The Manager’s role is to implement the policies and course that has been established by the Council. The City is also a Colorado home rule municipality and has adopted a home rule charter that acts as the City's basic governing document over local issues, though State law continues to prevail over statewide concerns.

The 2018 projected budget for the City is $24,551,567 and there are 108.86 FTEs. City departments include: Administration, City Clerk/Municipal Court, Community Development, Police/Dispatch, Finance/Human Resources, Information Technology, Parks & Recreation, and Public Works. The City also provides water, sewer, trash removal and electrical services which are operated as an enterprise fund in the Public Work Department. The city electrical utility has the lowest residential and commercial rates in the state, and water and sewer service rates are very reasonable. Additionally, the city holds abundant senior water rights to support anticipated future development demands.


The City of Gunnison's Community Development Department is made up of three divisions including planning, building and fire, who together administer the Land Development Code, Municipal Code and the International Building and Fire Codes. The planning division is responsible for working with the City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission, and the Zoning Board of Adjustments and Appeals in reviewing applications for development projects including annexations, conditional use, vacation, variance, subdivisions, and text and zoning amendments. The building division reviews plans for construction and remodeling of structures within the City limits and issues building permits. The fire division conducts fire and mechanical inspections of all new commercial and residential construction within the City and County, reviews construction plans for compliance with fire and mechanical code, conducts fire investigations, and prepares and presents public education seminars.

The staff of the Community Development Department, particularly planning, work closely with the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council in the interpretation and enforcement of City policies.

The Community Development Department operates on a 2018 total budget of $861,017 and is comprised of 5 FTE's including the Director, a Planner, a Planning Technician, a Building Official, and a Fire Marshal. An Assistant Fire Marshal works in the office and is part of the Fire District. The City of Gunnison is at an exciting time in its history with the opportunity to significantly lever- age its assets including a 4-year university, western heritage, high-quality natural amenities, strong partnership with other stakeholders, significant opportunities for smart growth in the City’s municipal boundary, a growing entrepreneurial and arts community and a vibrant downtown. The City aims to do this while respecting its values including the unique western heritage, a love for the natural surroundings, connection to neighbors, economic sustainability, and life-long learning.


Working under the general direction of the City Manager, Gunnison's Community Development Director performs supervisory and professional level administration for current and long-range planning activities for the City and oversees the declaration of building and fire codes adopted by the City. The Community Development Director is also on the senior leadership team for the City.

Responsibilities include:

  • Oversees the processing of municipal land development.
  • Researches, analyzes, and prepares reports.
  • Makes presentations to and advises the Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Adjustment and Appeals, and the City Council on development applications.
  • Leads special projects (plan updates, down- town/main street projects, strategic initiatives, housing programs and projects) and facilitated public engagement with special projects.
  • Facilitates land development applications and facilitates agreements with contractors, developers, and property owners. Monitors the progress of various land development projects throughout the City.
  • Develops and administers a variety of regulatory codes including building, fire, and land development. Revises and updates zoning, subdivision, and other land use procedures and regulations.
  • Researches, recommends, and implements, with approvals, policies relating to land use planning, building code and fire prevention.
  • Maintains, interprets, and updates the department’s long-range planning documents including the City’s Master Plan and Three Mile Plan. Evaluates land use proposals for consistency with long-range planning documents. Coordinates and supervises projects involving new additions or changes to the Master Plan.
  • Acts as an economic development liaison for the Responds to inquiries for business assistance information. Maintains demographic database and functions as liaison to the U.S. Bureau of Census.
  • Researches, prepares, and monitors State, Federal, and private foundation grants related to the Community Development Department.
  • Acts as a liaison for the City to various community-based organizations related to planning and community development.
  • Serves as Zoning Administrator for the City and enforces zoning and other municipal
  • Supervises contractors and consultants to the City related to Community Development projects.


Education and Experience:

A Bachelor’s degree in community development, urban planning, or a closely related field, and three (3) to five (5) years of experience in planning, community development, or a closely related field in a public-sector environment is required. Certification from the American Institute of Certified Planning (AICP), and a master’s degree in a related field is preferred.

Necessary Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Proven leadership skills with planning and land use development teams.
  • Strong technical skills in long range and current planning, building/life safety codes, public engagement, urban design, affordable housing creation, and creating vibrant main
  • Excellent communication and listening skills, and experience presenting information effectively to decision
  • Open to change and willing to experiment with new The ability to look toward the future, and continually evaluate whether land use policy is achieving results.
  • Ability to provide progressive planning ideas while respecting the community’s
  • Ability to develop and execute complex public engagement campaigns.
  • Proven experience supporting continuous learning and professional
  • The ideal candidate will be approachable and able to develop effective working relationships with both employees and co-workers as well as external stakeholders.
  • Ability to be visionary, yet able and willing to support day to day tasks in a small office.
  • Experience as an active facilitator for applicants, and the ability to successfully guide them through the City’s development review process.

Candidates may possess any combination of relevant education and experience that demonstrates their ability to perform the essential duties and responsibilities.


$97,400 - $117,350 DOQ

  • 75% Employer / 25% Employee Medical, dental, and vision coverage
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Mandatory 401 Plan with 5% Employer match
  • 457 Plan through CCOERA and ICMA
  • Vacation and Sick Leave accrued based on length of service
  • 12 paid holidays
  • Supplemental Life and AD&D Insurance
  • Other additional Voluntary Insurance programs
  • Wellness Program including free employee membership to the Community Center


The City of Gunnison is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified candidates are strongly encouraged to apply by September 9, 2018 (first review, open until filled). Applications, supplemental questions, resumes and cover letters will only be accepted electronically. To apply online, go to and click on "submit your application" and follow the directions provided. Resumes, cover letters and supplemental questions can be uploaded once you have logged in.

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: $97,400.00 to $117,350.00 /year


  • planning or community development: 3 years (Required)


  • Bachelor's (Required)


  • AICP (Preferred)