Planner (Senior) (#353020)
$50.18-$60.99 Hourly / $8,697.95-$10,572.41 Monthly / $104,375.39-$126,868.94 Yearly
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Oversees, assigns, reviews, and perform a full range of complex, professional planning duties in land use and environmental planning; researches, coordinates and implements special projects or programs.


This is the advanced level in the professional Planner series. It is characterized by the responsibility for managing land use and/or policy planning projects that have significant political, economic and environmental implications. Incumbents work on the more complex assignments and may work independently or lead a team working on complex project.  Employees plan and manage programs in compliance with federal, state and local laws, goals, policies and procedures. Judgment is required both in interpreting established policies, goals, and objectives, and in applying concepts, plans, and strategies. This class is distinguished from the Planner (Principal) in that the latter is a first line supervisor, responsible for managing a major unit.

Supervision Received and Exercised

Receives general direction from the Program Planning Manager or Planner (Principal).

Provides technical and functional guidance over professional, technical and support staff.

Examples of Duties

  • Receives and reviews complex land use permit and general plan amendment applications for conformance with the general plan, zoning codes and other requirements and prepares staff reports recommending appropriate action; acts as project leader in coordinating multi-disciplinary review of land use and land development proposals and permit applications.
  • Performs a variety of professional planning duties including research, design, and related work in the development and operation of the land use planning program of the County; reviews and makes recommendations regarding proposed land use and land development proposals.
  • Prepares initial studies and negative declarations for projects and reviews consultant prepared environmental documents; prepares requests for proposals, prepares and administers consultant contracts for the preparation of environmental impact reports and related environmental documents.
  • Confers with staff members and reviews staff reports to ascertain status of ongoing work or special projects; indicates probable conclusions and projected completion dates.
  • Prepares initial studies and negative declarations for projects and reviews consultant prepared environmental documents; may oversee consultants’ work and monitor quality and quantity of work performed; prepares requests for proposals, writes and manages grants; prepares and administers consultant contracts for the preparation of environmental impact reports and related environmental documents.
  • Prepares General Plan elements and other related planning documents including preparation of work programs and prepares and administers related consultant contracts.
  • Recommends and implements policies and procedures to ensure compliance with appropriate laws, ordinances, codes and/or policies; conducts audits.
  • Prepares a variety of reports, documentation, notifications and correspondence; prepares program budgets; prepares draft amendments to plans; prepares specific and area plans; prepares County ordinance amendments; processes and reviews subdivision, lot line adjustment and certificate of compliance applications; prepares professional services agreements and contracts.
  • Prepares and presents information on planning and zoning theory, history, methodology, legal requirements and current issues for the Planning Commission, Board of Supervisors, other governmental agencies and the community; plans events and provides public education.
  • Manages special projects; selects, manages and administers the services of contract providers; reviews invoices for payments.
  • Prepares, implements, and assesses special projects that may be assigned to the Department that affect land use planning and decisions.
  • Responds to public counter and phone inquires from the public by providing information regarding the General Plan, the zoning code, the subdivision ordinance, California Environmental Quality Act, and other regulations.
  • Maintains professional knowledge in applicable areas and keeps abreast of changes in job-related rules, statutes, laws and new trends in the field; makes recommendations for the implementation of changes; reads and interprets professional literature; attends training programs, workshops and seminars as appropriate.
  • Represents the County at inter-agency meetings and conferences related to planning and environmental management; works cooperatively with local, regional, state, and federal agencies.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

Knowledge of:

  • Principles and practices of land use planning and zoning, habitat management, solid waste management, hazardous waste management and mitigation, and/or agricultural business depending on assignment.
  • Local, state and federal laws relating to planning and environmental management.
  • Current trends in local, state, federal and regional planning.
  • Computer programs including MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and GIS applications.
  • Public planning, related policies and procedures and land use planning.
  • Transportation planning, design review, resource management and environmental planning.
  • The general plan and its elements, zoning, subdivision and environmental development related regulations and policies.
  • Principles and practices of modern planning in the public sector.
  • County Government and other governmental agencies involved in the planning process.
  • Principles, practices and techniques of drafting and graphic arts.
  • Public administration including program planning/evaluation and supervision.

Skill to:

  • Operate office equipment including a personal computer, copy and fax machines and printers.
  • Drive a motor vehicle.

Ability to:

  • Plan, organize and direct policy planning programs and services.
  • Understand, interpret and explain laws, regulations and policies governing Environmental Management.
  • Develop and implement operational and administrative procedures relating to assigned division.
  • Identify and analyze administrative problems and implement operational changes.
  • Communicate effectively both verbally and in writing with people of diverse socio-economic backgrounds and temperaments; demonstrate tact and diplomacy.
  • Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships.
  • Understand program objectives in relation to departmental goals and procedures.
  • Write and manage grants; collect and analyze data to establish/identify needs or evaluate program effectiveness.
  • Comply with laws, regulations and professional practices governing Environmental Management services and operations.
  • Oversee the work of others engaged in planning activity; secure cooperation and teamwork among project teams.
  • Investigate and evaluate violations or land use proposals.
  • Maintain accurate records and document actions taken.
  • Research regulations, procedures and/or technical reference materials relating to planning.
  • Interpret political and administrative direction and incorporate it into operational policy and procedure.

Education and Experience



Four years of progressively responsible public planning experience that includes extensive public contact associated with long range planning and/or current planning and policy development.




            A Bachelor’s degree is required from an accredited college or university, preferably in planning or a related field.  A Master’s degree in urban planning can be substituted for one year of experience.


Possession of or ability to obtain a valid California Class C driver's license is required.


Physical Ability:  Tasks involve the ability to exert light physical effort in sedentary to light work, but which may involve some lifting, carrying, pushing and/or pulling of objects and materials of light weight (5-10 pounds).  Tasks may involve extended periods of time at a keyboard or workstation.


Sensory Requirements: Requires the ability to recognize and identify similarities and differences between shade, degree or value of colors, shapes, sounds, forms, textures or physical appearance associated with job-related objects, materials, tasks or people.


Environmental Factors: Requires the ability to work under conditions where exposure to environmental factors poses a limited risk of minor injury or illness.


Independent travel is required.

Incumbents may be required to work outside normal business hours.

Incumbents must as a condition of employment comply with Section 81000 et seq the California Government Code relating to conflict of interest reporting.

CLASS: 353020; EST: 4/1/1991; REV: 11/1/2002;