Planner (Principal) (#355010)
$60.68-$73.76 Hourly / $10,518.46-$12,785.25 Monthly / $126,221.48-$153,423.00 Yearly
Apply as a Transfer to Comparable Class applicant


Supervises the work of subordinate personnel involved with the preparation of long range and/or current planning; manages a major unit in either the Department of Environmental Management; serves as a member of the department's management/supervisory team.


This class describes the line supervisor in the Planner series.  Positions in this class may have either a land use or transportation planning emphasis.  Incumbents work within policies and directions established by the department and are responsible for supervising the daily operations of an assigned work unit.

Supervision Received and Exercised

Receives general direction from the Program Planning Manager.

Exercises supervision over professional, technical and support staff.

Examples of Duties

  • Plans, directs and assigns the work of subordinate personnel in the work unit; interprets and implements policies, regulations, procedures and programs for the work unit; makes recommendations regarding hiring, promotion and disciplinary actions; assists in formulation of operational policies, programs and procedures; identifies operational problems and recommends corrective action.
  • Confers with assigned staff members and reviews staff reports to ascertain status of ongoing work or special projects; indicates probable conclusions and projected completion dates; trains and evaluates performance of subordinate personnel.
  • Prepares, recommends and implements policies and procedures to ensure compliance with appropriate ordinances, codes and/or policies; coordinates activities of work unit with other departmental or agency staff, boards or commissions.
  • Depending on assignment, supervises and participates in complex planning projects including the development and maintenance of the County General Plan and/or other land use plans; reviews and analyzes the Capital Improvements Program for General Plan consistency.
  • Prepares a variety of reports, documentation, notifications and correspondence; prepares draft amendments to plans, programs, ordinances and regulations; prepares and presents reports and recommendations to the Airport Land Use Commission, Planning Commission, Board of Supervisors, and other boards and commissions; processes land use and land development applications; prepares specific and area plans; prepares County ordinance amendments; processes and reviews use permit, variance, marsh development permit, subdivision, lot line adjustment and certificate of compliance applications; prepares professional services agreements and contracts; administers grants; prepares and/or oversees the preparation of environmental impact studies and other special studies and reports.
  • Manages special projects. Selects, manages and administers the services of contract providers; reviews invoices for payments.
  • Acts as liaison; investigates and responds to inquiries from the public and other project stakeholders; provides technical support to the department director, other departments and agencies; serves on boards and committees; attends a variety of meetings.
  • Maintains professional knowledge in applicable areas and keeps abreast of changes in job-related rules, statutes, laws and new business trends; makes recommendations for the implementation of changes; reads and interprets professional literature; attends training programs, workshops and seminars as appropriate. 

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

Knowledge of:

  • Public planning, related policies and procedures and land use planning.
  • Design review, resource management and environmental planning.
  • The general plan and its elements, zoning, subdivision and environmental regulations and policies.
  • Principles and practices of modern planning in the public sector.
  • Thorough knowledge of 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.
  • Methods and procedures of public hearings; staff role to public bodies.
  • Office computer applications.

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 land development, land use, and 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.
  • Determine the appropriate course of action in emergency or stressful situations.
  • Understand program objectives in relation to departmental goals and procedures.
  • Collect and analyze data to establish/identify needs or evaluate program effectiveness.
  • Draw logical conclusions and make appropriate recommendations.
  • Develop goals and objectives.
  • Comply with laws, regulations and professional practices governing Environmental Management services and operations.
  • Supervise the work of others engaged in planning activity; secure cooperation and teamwork among professional and/or support staff; determine and evaluate levels of achievement and performance; effectively delegate responsibility and authority to others.
  • Formulate, promote and implement a variety of planning programs.
  • Interview people to process transactions and investigate and evaluate violations.
  • Interview people to process land use proposals.
  • Formulate, promote and implement a variety of planning programs.
  • Maintain accurate records and document actions taken.
  • Organize and prioritize work assignments.
  • Research regulations, procedures and/or technical reference materials relating to planning.
  • Interpret political and administrative direction and incorporate it into operational policy and procedure.
  • Maintain confidentiality of information. 

Education and Experience



Five years of progressively responsible public planning experience which 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, in City or Regional Planning, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Civil Engineering, Public Administration, Economics, or Geography 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: 355010; EST: 4/1/1991; REV: 11/1/2002;