Placer Employment Opportunities

Planner - Associate

Recruitment #2022-14222-02


Placer County is comprised of over 1,400 square miles of beautiful and diverse geography, ranging from the residential and commercial areas of South Placer, through the historic foothill areas of Auburn, Foresthill, and Colfax, and to the County's jewel of the North Lake Tahoe basin. Placer is a great place to live, work, play, and learn! For more information about Placer County, please visit


Placer County's Community Development Resource Agency is currently accepting applications to fill one Associate Planner vacancy in the Tahoe office. Given that a significant portion of the land development projects reviewed by the Tahoe office occurs within the Tahoe Basin, the Tahoe office has a unique work program that includes a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA). This MOU allows the County to issue certain TRPA permit types on their behalf.

This position is responsible for the coordination, review, and issuance of TRPA verifications and project permits, the annual TRPA audit, and may also serve as the TRPA liaison. In addition, this position may coordinate and review land use entitlement applications for consistency with the Placer County Zoning Ordinance, the TRPA Code of Ordinances, and all applicable Area Plans, Community Plans, and Specific Plans for those areas in Eastern Placer County. Applications types range from residential permits, design site reviews, and sign permits, to variances, use permits and CEQA environmental review, up to and including environmental impact reports.

The ideal candidate will posses the equivalent to a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in urban or regional planning, environmental science, or a related field, and will demonstrate excellent customer service and collaboration/teamwork skills. A working knowledge or familiarity with TRPA is beneficial as well.

The eligible list established as a result of this recruitment may be used to fill additional vacancies as they arise, subject to position-specific requirements.

This classification is scheduled to receive general wage increases of 4% in July 2023 and 4% in July 2024.
*Salary plus up to an additional $1,000 per month Tahoe Branch Assignment Premium for employees who are permanently assigned to a position located in the North Lake Tahoe Area.


Placer County offers a comprehensive benefits package to employees. The following information represents benefits currently available to permanent Placer County employees and may be subject to change. Applicants should inquire as to the most current benefit package during hiring interviews or by contacting the Human Resources Department. Click here to view General benefits.

For more information regarding the benefits Placer County has to offer, please visit Placer County's Human Resources website.


To perform professional planning duties in the preparation and review of plans and other documents relating to land use, environmental protection, economic development, environmental compliance and related topics; to administer applicable local ordinances and State and Federal statutes; and to assist the public in understanding and complying with adopted plans and regulations.


This is the full journey level class within the Planner series.  This class is distinguished from the Assistant Planner by the assignment of the full range of duties.  Employees at this level receive only occasional instruction or assistance as new or unusual situations arise and are fully aware of the operating procedures and policies within the work unit.  Positions in this class are flexibly staffed and are normally filled by advancement from the entry level.

This class is distinguished from the Senior Planner in that the latter exercises technical and functional supervision over less experienced professional planning, technical and clerical staff and performs the full range of duties as assigned including oversight of a variety of complex planning projects.


As assigned, receives direction from higher level management staff.  May receive functional supervision from other professional or management personnel.


Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • When assigned, evaluate public and private development project applications for variances, conditional use permits, subdivision approval, design review, lot line adjustments, etc. for conformance to zoning, environmental and other legal requirements; process applications from submittal through construction, making recommendations regarding conditions, approval or denial; conduct field review as necessary to assure compliance with approval conditions; and review and approve building and sign permits and business licenses. 
  • Participate in the production of major planning documents such as the County General Plan, community plans, environmental documents and specialized plans such as area specific plans, air and water quality plans, environmental compliance and related topics.  
  • Conduct environmental assessment of public and private projects; make recommendations regarding mitigation measures or negative declarations; and review environmental impact reports. 
  • Assist the public with information at the public counter and by email and telephone regarding applicable county codes, ordinance, regulations and procedures.
  • Coordinate with other County Departments and public agencies; meet with applicants as necessary and correspond with applicants and/or their representatives regarding project status; and write staff reports and make presentations of findings and recommendations at public hearings and to public bodies.  
  • Build and maintain positive working relationships with co-workers, other County employees and the public using principles of good customer service. 
  • Perform related duties as assigned.

When assigned to the Air Pollution Control District:

  • Review and prepare comments on land use environmental documents forwarded from federal, state and local agencies.
  • Monitor the performance of land use development mitigation measures.
  • Develop air quality plans required by the federal and state ambient air quality standards.
  • Update and maintain emission inventories.
  • Prepare research and technological analyses for air quality rules and regulations.
  • Coordinate research, administrative and technological activities to support District environmental review, incentive grant, air quality planning, and regulatory development programs.


It is the responsibility of applicants to identify in their application materials how they meet the minimum qualifications listed below.

Experience: Two years of planning experience performing duties similar to those of an Assistant Planner in Placer County. 

Training: Equivalent to a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in urban or regional planning, or a related field.

Note: Relevant, equivalent experience (performing the same or similar job requiring similar knowledge, skills, and abilities) may be substituted for the required education as determined by the Human Resources Department. Applicants receiving their degree outside the United States must submit proof of accreditation by a recognized evaluation agency.

Required License or Certificate:
May need to possess a valid driver's license as required by the position.  Proof of adequate vehicle insurance and medical clearance may also be required.


Knowledge of:

  • Principles and practices of land use planning and development.
  • Principles and practices of environmental planning and administration of environmental policies.
  • Modern office procedures, methods and computer equipment.
  • English usage, spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • Arithmetic, basic statistics and mathematical calculations.
  • All applicable local ordinances and State and Federal statutes.
  • Operation, policies and procedures of the County Planning Department and/or Air Pollution Control District.

In addition to the above, when assigned to the Air Pollution Control District:

  • Principles and practices of computer models to quantify air quality impacts from land use projects.
  • Principles and practices of governmental air quality planning development.
  • State and federal air quality statutes and legislation, and air district rules and regulations.
  • Point and area emission source inventory determinations and reporting procedures.
  • Operation, policies, and procedures of the District’s CEQA review program.
    Operation, policies, and procedures of the District’s incentive programs.
    Principles and practices of emission inventory development.
    Principles and practices of air monitoring data analysis for planning purposes.
    Principles and practices of air pollution dispersion modeling technologies and applications.

Ability to:

  • On a continuous basis sit at desk for long periods of time; intermittently stand at counter for long periods of time; twist and reach office equipment; write and use keyboard to communicate through written means; and occasionally lift moderate weight.
  • On a continuous basis, know and understand all aspects of the job.  Intermittently analyze work papers, reports and special projects; identify and interpret technical and numerical information; observe planning activities and problem solve when appropriate; understand, interpret and explain applicable ordinances and statutes and Department policies and procedures.
  • Compile, analyze and evaluate technical, statistical and economic information; read and interpret maps and legal property descriptions.
  • Work with various cultural and ethnic groups in a tactful and effective manner.
  • Obtain information through interviews and dialogue; work fairly and courteously with the public; work effectively with interruption.
  • Analyze situations quickly and objectively and determine proper course of action.
  • Use a computer, calculator, typewriter, telephone, dictation machine, facsimile machine, photocopy machine and microfilm reader printer.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.
  • Independently compile, analyze and evaluate technical, statistical and economic information; read and interpret maps and legal property descriptions; read and interpret applicable laws and regulations.

In addition to the above, when assigned to the Air Pollution Control District:

  • Conduct modeling analysis to estimate land use project’s related air pollution emissions.
  • Collect, analyze and interpret air quality data pertaining to air quality planning.
  • Review land use permit applications and identify potential emission sources and environmental review requirements.
  • Prepare comments/recommendations in the review of air quality analysis prepared for land use projects.
  • Oversee the CEQA review program.
    Oversee the incentive grant program.
    Update and maintain the District’s emission inventory.
    Coordinate research, technological, and administrative activities necessary for air quality planning programs.


Training & Experience Rating (100%)

Based upon responses to the supplemental questionnaire, the applicant’s education, training, and experience will be evaluated using a pre-determined formula. Scores from this evaluation will determine applicant ranking and placement on the eligible list.


Prior to the date of hire, applicants must undergo a fingerprint test by the Department of Justice, pass a medical examination (which may include a drug screening and possibly a psychological evaluation), sign a constitutional oath, and submit proof of U.S. citizenship or legal right to remain and work in the U.S.  For some positions, applicants may also be required to submit proof of age, undergo a background investigation (which may include a voice stress analysis and/or a polygraph), and/or be bonded. Additionally, positions in law enforcement classifications and those supporting law enforcement functions will be required to complete a conviction history questionnaire prior to or during the interview process. Applicants for positions with access to Medi-Cal billing software or who are licensed providers must clear the Federal Exclusion List, credentialing, and social security verification. Failure to clear these requirements may result in an employment offer being withdrawn.


The eligible list resulting from this recruitment may be certified as a substitute list for a substantially similar classification. For this purpose, a substantially similar classification is one at a lower level in the same classification (example: entry level vs. journey level) and/or a similar classification (similar work performed, similar training and experience qualifications required). If you are contacted for an interview by a County department, you will be informed of the classification and other relevant information. If you choose not to interview for a substantially similar classification, you will remain on the eligible list for which you originally applied.


Placer County offers an expedited process for qualifying certain applicants for interviews. Candidates currently employed, or employed within the last year, by a public agency operating under a personnel civil service or merit system may be eligible to be placed on a Public Agency Eligible List and certified as eligible for appointment to a similar job assignment without going through the examination process. For more information on the Public Agency Eligible List, to download forms, or to apply, please click here.


Thank you for your interest in employment with Placer County. Placer County is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to an active nondiscrimination program. It is the stated policy of Placer County that harassment, discrimination, and retaliation are prohibited and that all employees, applicants, agents, contractors, and interns/volunteers shall receive equal consideration and treatment. All terms and conditions of employment, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, transfer, and promotion will be based on the qualifications of the individual for the positions being filled regardless of gender (including gender identity and expression), sexual orientation, race (including traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists), color, ancestry, religion (including creed and belief), national origin, citizenship, physical disability (including HIV and AIDS), mental disability, medical condition (including cancer or genetic characteristics/information), age (40 or over),  marital status, military and/or veteran status, sex (including parental status, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and related medical conditions), political orientation, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law. Please contact the Human Resources Department at least 5 working days before a scheduled examination if you require accommodation in the examination process. Medical disability verification may be required prior to accommodation.

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