Director of Community Development

Director of Community Development

  • November 15, 2022

Lee County, Florida is seeking a Director of Community Development.  This is a great opportunity for an experienced Director.  As the area’s third largest employer, Lee County provides a full complement of programs and services to its citizens through its 2,700 plus employees. A five-member Board of County Commissioners, elected by all voters representing districts in which they live, acts as the county’s chief policy-making and legislative body.  Southwest Florida’s Lee County is a growing region, ideally situated along Interstate 75, just two hours from both Tampa and Miami. Covering approximately 811 square miles, the county is home to nearly 800,000 residents in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers Metropolitan Statistical Area. Fort Myers is the county seat of Lee County, which also includes the communities of Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Sanibel, Estero, and Fort Myers Beach.

Lee County Community Development oversees planning, zoning, development, environmental review, inspections, and code enforcement for the unincorporated areas of Lee County. With an operating budget of approximately $22 million and 175employees.  The Director of Community Development focuses on planning, managing, and monitoring the function and  performance of all aspects of the department. This position formulates long-range goals for the organization and builds strategic partnerships with senior county management.  The Director of Community Development evaluates and recommends improvements to existing programs, and proposes new initiatives as needed for efficiency and compliance. A high level of service to Lee County customers is ensured through the leadership and support of the assigned management team and staff, business operations, and customer service.

The ideal candidate will be an innovative thinker who can articulate a clear vision and embrace a department culture that focuses on emerging trends and community development best practices while focusing on customer service.  The director must have a thorough understanding and knowledge of planning, zoning, code enforcement, land use principles, grants programs and contract oversight, including the interpretation and implementation of laws, code, rules, and regulations. In addition, the director should be skilled in providing positive, solutions-oriented, and effective recommendations for development and redevelopment to meet the needs of the community. The ability to identify and implement new and innovative approaches is an important qualification expected of the new director.

Find details about the position expectations by reviewing the recruitment brochure at

This position requires promoting a culture of teamwork by treating staff, stakeholders, and developers with respect and dignity and must have outstanding communication skills with the ability to engage with diverse groups. Candidates should possess highly developed interpersonal and active listening skills, as well as the ability to build trust with the City and County Elected Officials, City and County employees and the public. Must be comfortable presenting in a variety of settings and possess outstanding public speaking skills.


The ideal candidate will possess the following credentials and qualifications:

  • A combination of education and experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in Planning, Public Administration, Business Administration or a closely related field and five years of closely related and progressively responsible experience to include two years in a supervisor or management role.
  • Must possess community development experience with a governmental/municipal agency, similar in size and scope to Lee County Community Development, or in a community that has experienced large, sustained growth and substantial redevelopment initiatives.
  • Budgeting and fiscal management experience with and understanding of financials across multiple funding sources is expected.
  • American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification is preferred.


Lee County strives to be an employer of choice by offering a supportive and dynamic work environment.  Expected starting salary range for the right candidate is between $135,000 – $180,000 annually.  Lee County provides a comprehensive benefits & wellness package, including medical insurance with both HMO and PPO options.  Life Insurance, Long Term Disability, an Employee Assistance Program, and participation in the Florida Retirement System are provided at the full cost of the employer.  Lee County Board of County Commissioners employees participate in the Florida Retirement System (FRS) and employees may also contribute to a Deferred Compensation 457 plan. Within the FRS, employees contribute 3% and the employer contributes 7.67% (before FRS deductions).  Supplemental insurance coverage including Dental, Vision, Short Term Disability, additional Life Insurance for Employee and Dependents, and Flexible Spending Accounts are offered at incredibly affordable premiums.


Interested candidates must submit by email a cover letter, resume, at least five job related references with email and phone numbers, as well as salary history no later than November 27, 2022:  Lisa Ward, Senior Associate, Mercer Group Associates, at Any questions please call 706-983-9326.