The town of Ridgefield is searching for a new assistant planner, after Daniel Robinson announced he will be leaving the position in early September.

A cross between researcher, report-writer, and communications director, the role serves as a direct assistant between Planning and Zoning Director Richard Baldelli and the community — including developers who want to submit an application to build in town. It also entails ensuring that a particular development proposal fits within the town’s planning and zoning regulations, and explaining it to the members of the Planning and Zoning Commision during their biweekly meetings.

Robinson described the job as boiling down a complex zoning application “into a staff report that is digestible not just to the commissioners, but to the public as well,” when he was hired in October of last year.

Planning and Zoning Chairwoman Rebecca Mucchetti said she would be sad to see Robinson leave.

“He came in with great experience and just fit right in to the job and certainly raised the level of expectations for our next planner,” said Mucchetti.

Robinson said he is leaving to take a job in Hartford.

Mucchetti described Robinson as a thorough, multi-tasker who enjoyed meeting members of the public. On one instance, he and Baldelli “started walking up and down Main Street, going from business to business, in part to introduce [Robinson] to the town, and in part to just talk to people and find out what P&Z could do to help them,” she said.

Robinson, a New Jersey native, came to Ridgefield after working as a coastal program analyst and planner at the California Coastal Commission.

“He'll be hard to replace, but we told him if the commute to Hartford gets to be too much, he'd always be welcome back,” Mucchetti said.

Job listing

The Planning and Zoning Office has since posted a job listing for a new assistant planner to replace Robinson.

The town is looking to hire a candidate with two to four years of experience in land use planning and administration, with a bachelor's degree in planning, public administration, or a related field. A master’s degree in urban planning, or similar background is preferred, according to the job listing.

Drafting and graphic skills are “highly desirable,” and the candidate should have a knowledge and understanding of Connecticut laws pertaining to planning and zoning.

The position also requires the assistant planner to help Baldelli in his job as the town zoning enforcement officer, who investigates cases where there are suspected violations of the local zoning codes. In the past few years, violations reported in The Press have included the creation of a pond on private property, a contractor’s yard that was run without authorization from the commission, and a boat stored outdoors as part of a pond dredging operation.

Salary for the job will range from $51,000 to $73,500.

Those interested in applying should send a completed application and resume to personnel@ridgefieldct.org.