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Planner – Urban Forest Services

Victoria is a vibrant, diverse and sustainably-focused city, renowned as a global tourist destination, hosting over 3.5 million visitors annually, and a place with excellent quality of life. Located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island and the capital of British Columbia, the City of Victoria is home to 92,000 people and is the economic and cultural hub for the region’s 350,000 residents.

The City of Victoria is recruiting for the position of Planner- Urban Forest Services, a new role that will lead a small team of staff responsible for planning and analysis work in support of the management and enhancement of the urban forest.

Reporting to the Manager, Urban Forest Services, our ideal candidate will bring exceptional communication skills, innovative ideas and strong leadership to the urban forest team, responsible for long-term planning, stakeholder engagement, and oversight of practices, policies, and plans including the Tree Preservation Bylaw.

This is an exciting opportunity for a skilled and motivated professional, who enjoys tackling complex challenges, and understands how to acquire and utilize relevant data in decision-making, to effectively meet strategic objectives.


This position requires working in a deadline-focused environment, balancing multiple projects and addressing changing priorities, while providing guidance to a diverse team.



Provide strategic advice and lead initiatives, including research and analysis, relating to the management and enhancement of the urban forest. The Planner will lead a team of urban forest professionals responsible for ensuring high-quality decision making and effective long-term tree preservation.



Responsible for the development, administration, and implementation of tree preservation programs. Develop and manage annual operating and capital budgets for section.

In coordination with the Manager, lead the Urban Forest Services planning initiatives; develop and implement tactical plans, strategies and programs to preserve and enhance tree canopy and the health of the urban forest.

Recruit and manage approximately 6 staff involved in decisions regarding the trees on private lands. Ensure schedules, procedures and performance and safety standards are met. Lead a team in establishing targets, and conducting primary and secondary research to track changes to the local forest and environment, as well as monitor improvements in urban forest practices. Participate in the development of policies and plans. Coordinate and deliver reports, presentations, and workshops relating to the Urban Forest Master Plan.

Review development and utility construction applications and make recommendations regarding tree management on private and public property. Review construction plans, specification for compliance with codes, bylaws, zoning, etc related to trees. Conduct site inspections to review activities of City crews, contractors and outside agencies to ensure compliance with specifications.

Oversee the application of the Tree Preservation Bylaw and related stakeholder communication and dispute resolution.

Respond to inquiries and complaints from the public, stakeholders and the media as required. Coordinate activities with other divisions/departments, public agencies and private entities.

Prepare reports for Crown Counsel regarding violations of the Tree Preservation Bylaw (i.e. illegal tree removals) and attend court as required.

Perform related duties where qualified.



Work is guided by Urban Forest Master plan, Parks and Open Spaces Master Plan, City Strategic Plan, construction, development, rezoning applications and public requests.

Work is reviewed by the manager; however, the Planner exercises considerable independence.

Complex issues regarding policy development and development applications are discussed and reviewed with Manager.



Physical Effort:


Mental Effort:

Deal with conflicts and negative people (occasional)

Deal with difficult situations and problems that are hard to resolve (often)

Visual/Auditory Effort:

Focus on a variety of source data and detailed drawings for short periods (often)

Work Environment:

Office and in the field.

Conduct site inspections (occasional)



Organize and prioritize the work of a section; supervise and direct section staff.

Understand and apply the principles of dendrology, arboriculture and plant physiology.

Knowledge of Tree Protection Bylaw, park and boulevard tree policies.

Knowledge of research and analysis methodologies to track changes in the urban forest

Read, interpret and make recommendations on plans, blueprints, working drawings.

Maintain accurate records and prepare reports for council and the community.

Working level operation of Office Suite applications; word processing, excel, powerpoint, GIS, database and related specialty software.

Establish and maintain effective working relationships.

Deal effectively with the public and outside agencies.

Supervise a safety program.


Work schedule: Monday – Friday, 35 hrs/week

$49.08 per hour, Pay Grade 17

Job Code: TBD

This is a CUPE Local 50 Position

City of Victoria
1 Centennial Square
Victoria, BC V8W 1P6

Undergraduate degree in Urban Forestry or related field (4 years)

Current and valid International Society of Arboriculture Arborist certification

Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ) (24 hours)

Current and valid Class 5 BC Drivers Licence.


4 years of experience in urban forestry, including minimum of 2 years supervisory and administration experience.

Or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Megan Griffin, Talent Specialist - Human Resources
(250) 361-0268
Click to view background photo & credits
Project: Westminster Pier Park
Landscape Architect / Firm: PWL Partnership Landscape Architects Inc.
Location: New Westminster, British Columbia
Photo Credit: PWL Partnership Landscape Architects Inc.