Placer Employment Opportunities

Planner - Assistant

Recruitment #2023-14221-01


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


This classification is scheduled to received general wage increases of 4.0% in July 2023 and 4.0% in July 2024.

Placer County is accepting applications for Assistant Planner and Associate Planner. To participate at the Assistant level, the Associate level, or both levels, you must complete and submit separate applications and supplemental questionnaires for each recruitment: 

Assistant Planner #2023-14221-01
Associate Planner     #2023-14222-01 

There are currently two permanent/full-time vacancies in the Community Development Resource Agency.

Community Development Resource Agency - Planning Services: Planners within this division have a number of responsibilities related to both Current (new development) and Advance (long-range) Planning. Both functions lead implementation of the Placer County General Plan, fourteen community plan areas, and five approved specific plans. Current Planning activities ensure the timely and accurate processing of applications for proposed residential, commercial, industrial, and open space land uses in accordance with policies of the Countywide General Plan, applicable plans and guidelines, Zoning Ordinance, and CEQA requirements. Advance Planning takes a broader and long-term perspective on growth and the implications of growth. Advance Planning encompasses updates of the zoning code, general plan, and community plans to incorporate smart growth urban infill and resource conservation programs to meet the needs of current and future Placer County communities in accordance with principles of efficient land utilization and resource conservation. To learn more about this division, please click here.

Additional Details:

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. Planners working within Placer County have a wide variety of career paths and opportunities across multiple county departments and divisions, including:

Community Development Resource Agency - Placer County Conservation Program Administration: Planners within this division are responsible for implementation of the Placer County Conservation Program and ensuring compliance with its state and federal endangered species and wetland permits; implementing its immediate and long-term conservation goals; advising the Placer Conservation Authority, City of Lincoln, Placer County Water Agency, and South Placer Regional Transportation Authority on their covered projects; managing grants and the development fee program; and managing the Western Placer County In Lieu Fee Program (a state and federal compensatory wetland mitigation program). To learn more about this division, please click here.

Community Development Resource Agency - Environmental Coordination Services: Planners within this division are responsible for the efficient coordination, tracking, and maintenance of the public record for development projects in Placer County. This division serves as the liaison between County subject matter expert staff, various state, federal, and local service agencies, and project applicants to ensure development proposals are well-coordinated, meet County requirements, and comply with the statutory requirements of CEQA and NEPA. This work group manages environmental consultant contracts and is responsible for ensuring that all CEQA documents, whether prepared by consultant or internal staff, are adequate and defensible. This division also serves as the liaison to all Native American Tribes with geographic and cultural affiliation with Placer County. To learn more about this division, please click here.

Community Development Resource Agency - Tahoe Administration and Planning Services: Planners within this division are responsible for the preparation, development, review, and processing of land use, housing, economic and environmental programs, projects, and activities for the eastern slope of Placer County. This division manages the processing of land use entitlement permits, including TRPA permits, and is also responsible for assisting the public in understanding and complying with adopted plans and regulations; coordinating with partner agencies and stakeholders on land use, housing, economic, and environmental policy, programs, projects, and activities; and overseeing compliance with CEQA, NEPA, and other state and federal regulations. To learn more about this division, please click here.

Community Development Resource Agency - Auburn Administration and Fiscal Support: Planners within this division are responsible for developing and executing housing policies, regulations, and programs that implement the County’s Housing Element and related strategies and plans. This division is responsible for complex, high-profile, and sometimes controversial housing related planning initiatives, programs, and projects, including but not limited to General Plan amendments, zoning updates, and environmental studies, as well as for advising County leadership on regulatory and programmatic housing initiatives and innovative/collaborative approaches to meeting the County’s housing goals. To learn more about this division, please click here.

Air Pollution Control District - Planning and Monitoring: Planners within this special district are responsible for developing state/federal air quality plans, managing incentive programs, monitoring network operation, inventorying emissions, and supervising the burn program. This district also reviews land development projects for potential air quality impacts, applies appropriate air pollution control and compliance strategies from state and federal regulations and CEQA, and develops a long-range plan that guides and tracks emission reduction efforts from all local activities to improve air quality within Placer County and move toward attaining or maintaining ambient air quality standards to protect public health. To learn more about this district, please click here.

Department of Public Works - Transit: Planners within this division are responsible for preparing, reviewing, and maintaining records, databases, and reports related to operations and program performance measures, including ridership, revenue hours and miles, scheduled hours and miles, operator exceptions, and farebox activities. Additionally, planners within this division compile and analyze data sets and performance measures, assist with data visualization to make large and/or complex data understandable, and maintain the county's GTFS feed for transit routes. To learn more about this division, please click here.

Department of Public Works - Environmental Utilities: Planners within this division are responsible for ensuring solid waste, wastewater, and water programs and facilities comply with local and state environmental regulations, laws, and policies, as well as for representing the division on the Environmental Review Committee. Planners also are responsible for planning, developing, and implementing regional environmental compliance plans and programs and for supervising Environmental Resources Specialists responsible for environmental compliance, regulatory compliance, and public outreach and education. To learn more about this division, please click here.

Department of Parks and Open Space: Planners within this department are responsible for the review and conditioning of private land development projects; conducting improvement plan reviews and site inspections; assisting with preparation of advance planning documents; performing environmental review and permitting responsibilities; assisting with the development and administration of funding programs; preparing grant proposals; presenting information to Boards, Commissions, and community councils; and performing a variety of other planning functions related to the development of parks, trails, landscaping, and open space. To learn more about this department, please click here.


Placer County offers a comprehensive benefits package to employees, including:

  • Holidays: 14 paid holidays per year, 2 of which are floating holidays*
  • Vacation leave: 10 days/year with ability to accrue 25 days/year
  • Sick leave: 12 days/year*
  • Cafeteria plan: 6% of employee’s salary will be contributed towards employee to use towards 401(k), dependent care, medical co-insurance, or cash
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance available for employees and dependents
  • $50,000 life insurance policy at no cost to employee
  • CalPERS retirement plans
  • Retiree medical insurance
  • Deferred compensation
  • Education allowance: up to $1,200 per year
  • Bilingual incentive: incumbents may be eligible for bilingual incentive pay depending upon operational needs and certification of proficiency.

*Amounts will be prorated for part-time employees and employees hired after the first of the year.

The information above represents benefits currently available to permanent Placer County employees and may be subject to change. Applicants should inquire about the most current benefit package during hiring interviews or by contacting the Human Resources Department. For a detailed listing of benefits, please 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 entry level class in the Planner series.  This class is distinguished from the journey by the performance of the more routine tasks and duties assigned to positions within this series.  Employees at this level are not expected to perform with the same independence of direction and judgement on matters allocated to the journey level.  Since this class is typically used as a training class, employees may have only limited or no directly related work experience.  Employees work under immediate supervision while learning job tasks.


As assigned, receives general supervision from higher level management staff   May receive technical and 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: One year of experience involving public contact is desirable.

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

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.

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.

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.


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), reproductive health decision making, 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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