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Entitlement Permitting Specialist

Company: Vanasse Hangen Brustlin
Location: Boston
Posted on: June 12, 2021

Job Description:


VHB's Boston office is seeking an Entitlement Permitting Specialist to join our Urban Permitting Team (UPT), which focuses on complex high-profile development projects in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville, as well as across Massachusetts.

About Us

WE ARE VHB-a passionate team of engineers, scientists, planners, and designers tackling exciting challenges in the transportation, real estate, institutional, applied technology, and energy industries-serving a range of public- and private-sector clients. At VHB, we are dedicated to improving mobility, enhancing communities, and balancing development and infrastructure needs with environmental stewardship.

  • We are creative problem-solvers
  • We work hard, and we give back
  • We like our colleagues, and we love Mondays (really)
  • We are diverse, caring, welcoming, and fun!

VHB has consistently been rated one of the top AEC firms to work for across our 30+ offices on the East Coast. We're growing, and we hope you'll join us!

About the Position

Entitlement Permitting Specialist| Boston, MA

The entitlement permitting process involves securing approvals for real estate development projects based on their intended use, design, impacts, and compliance with relevant laws and regulations. Entitlements are issued by government agencies and include a public review process. VHB's UPT works with private sector, institutional and public sector clients to coordinate and perform required analyses of the potential project impacts. We then organize and present this information to government agencies and liaise between our clients and those agencies to refine project design, demonstrate regulatory compliance, and ultimately gain the approvals necessary to move the project forward to final design and technical permitting. This is a vital step in the real estate development process, and provides the UPT with the chance to positively influence projects and ultimately increase the livability of our communities.

This position provides opportunities for both a broader understanding of all aspects of real estate development and specialization in topics of professional interest and development. You will have the opportunity to develop relationships with real estate developers, architects, engineers, sustainability professionals, transportation designers, attorneys, and government staff. Working as part of the UPT provides a career development path, opportunities for learning and knowledge sharing, and support for professional interests and growth.

You'll have the opportunity to form relationships with:

  • Regulators who review development proposals in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and other cities and throughout the Commonwealth
  • Real Estate Developers
  • Professional Architects
  • Professional Engineers
  • Urban Planners
  • Real Estate, Land Use, and Environmental Attorneys
  • Environmental & Climate Advocacy Groups
  • Professional Real Estate Organizations


The candidate will work with and eventually lead multi-disciplinary project teams to assess potential project impacts related to urban design, transportation, wetlands/waterways, sustainability, climate change, wind and shadows, air quality, infrastructure, and historic resources, among other impacts. Problem solving, collaboration, and team leadership skills will be applied on a daily basis to complete a variety of tasks, including providing guidance on entitlement permitting strategies, developing work plans, drafting project narratives, coordinating project team member activities, and liaising with government agencies.

The successful hire will manage projects requiring compliance with various environmental/development impact review-related processes and regulations, including:

  • The Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA)
  • City of Boston Article 80 Review
  • City of Cambridge Article 19 Review
  • Massachusetts Chapter 91 Public Waterfront Act
  • Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • Other local, state, and federal approvals.

Skills & Abilities

The best candidates will thrive in a team environment and excel at managing high-profile complex projects with challenging timelines. Critical skills and abilities include:

  • Ability to be self-motivated and to motivate others
  • Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Interdisciplinary external and internal project team coordination
  • Superior ability in collaborative problem solving with stakeholders, clients, and teammates
  • Evaluation of project compliance with federal, state, and local regulations
  • Communication about development projects and their impacts through reports (narrative text and graphics) and presentations
  • Experience with presentations before regulatory and reviewing agencies, and/or community boards
  • Business development, including proposal writing
  • Project management skills, including project timeline and budget management/invoicing


  • Bachelors degree in Public Administration, Urban Planning, Business Administration/Management, Real Estate Studies, Environmental Science or related field (Masters a plus)
  • 3+ years of related professional planning/permitting experience
  • Experience with public presentations and community meetings
  • Experience in business development/proposal writing and preparing contracts a plus
  • MEPA and/or Article 80 review experience a plus
  • Experience with Chapter 91, wetlands permitting, climate change resiliency policy and compliance, and sustainable/green building design a plus
  • Relationship with regulators a plus

Please submit applications online.

New employees will be onboarded virtually and begin their employment from home. We are in the process of planning for a safe return to the workplace in alignment with government and CDC guidelines.

VHB is proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status, age or any other federally protected class.


Keywords: Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Boston , Entitlement Permitting Specialist, Other , Boston, Massachusetts

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