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Human Resources
FLSA Designation: Exempt
May, 2005


Class specifications are intended to present a descriptive list of the range of duties performed by employees in the class. Specifications are not intended to reflect all duties performed within the job.

Under direction of the Planning Manager, performs a full range of complex, responsible, and varied professional, programmatic, administrative, and technical work in support of various City current and long range planning programs and projects and in the implementation of the City’s general plan as well as related policies and regulations; serves as project manager over assigned projects related to the development and implementation of land use and related City plans and policies including inter-departmental coordination, organizing and reviewing the work of professional, paraprofessional and technical staff in development or advanced planning projects, and performing complex planning functions within the area of assignment; and provides information and assistance to applicants, developers, consultants, the general public, and outside agencies and organizations regarding City codes, policies, standards, and processes related to planning related matters.

This is the advanced class in the professional Planner series. Incumbents at this level independently perform the most difficult and responsible professional, analytical, programmatic, administrative and technical work. Incumbents serve as project manager for assigned major projects, which includes responsibility for conceiving planning projects, developing analysis and work methods, and may include reviewing the daily work of subordinate professional and technical staff. Assignments are typically received in broad, outline form, and incumbents are expected to act independently in developing applicable resources and information. The Senior Planner class is distinguished from Associate Planner class in that incumbents in the Senior Planner class exercise a higher degree of independent judgment on diverse and specialized assignments and often have supervisory responsibilities. Incumbents in the Senior Planner class are assigned and expected to independently complete the most complex and difficult professional planning assignments.

The following duties are typical for this classification. Incumbents may not perform all of the listed duties and/or may be required to perform additional or different duties from those set forth below to address business needs and changing business practices.

  1. Plans, coordinates, directs, and prepares complex projects and research studies including phases of the General Plan, Zoning Ordinance, and special studies; prepares reports and analysis regarding land use, zoning, urban design, population trends, transportation, community needs, and industrial needs.
  2. Recommends the use of land for residential, commercial, industrial, and community uses; oversees and participates in the review, development, revision, and maintenance of general plan elements, plans, zoning ordinances, and other policies and procedures.
  3. Coordinates the development review process; schedules and attends Development Review Committee meetings regarding newly submitted development applications in order to provide preliminary comments to project applicants; schedules and attends Economic Development and Housing Committee meetings in order to receive feedback from decision makers; communicates and coordinates with other City departments, developers, and outside agencies throughout the development process to create the best possible development; meets with representatives of community organizations and other groups to encourage cooperative action or to resolve problems.
  4. Coordinates and participates in the review and processing of various plans and applications for subdivision and commercial developments; collects and evaluates information related to the application process and determines conformity with laws, regulations, policies, and procedures; recommends approval or alternative approaches; conducts project site checks and field inspections.
  5. Coordinates and participates in preparing, evaluating, and analyzing environmental documents; prepares Mitigated Negative Declarations (MND’s) as necessary; reviews MND’s and Environmental Impact Reports (EIR’s) prepared by professional consultants to ensure accuracy and provide appropriate feedback; prepares notices.
  6. Reviews ministerial permits, plans, and applications for conformance with the Municipal Code and approved projects.
  7. Conducts plan checks and reviews; reviews plans and provides comments to determine conformity with City laws, regulations, and policies.
  8. Prepares final resolutions, ordinances, environmental notices, plan approvals, and file cleanup after project completion; monitors conditions of approval after project completion for compliance.
  9. Provides front counter and phone support; provides information and assistance to developers, property owners, the public, other departments, and outside agencies regarding laws, regulations, standards, policies and procedures related to the submission of plans, processing of applications, and implementation requirements; investigates and answers the more complex questions from the public regarding planning and zoning; responds to complaints of zoning code violations.
  10. Performs a wide range of duties in support of the Planning Commission as well as the City Council and other boards and commissions; oversees and coordinates preparation of meeting agendas for various commissions, boards, and community groups including reviewing draft materials and preparing comments; organizes meetings and work sessions; prepares public hearing notices ensuring timely notification of appropriate parties; prepares and presents staff reports and other presentations for the City Council, Planning Commission, and other commissions, boards, and community groups.
  11. Serves as technical advisor to City staff and officials, public agencies, and members of the public.
  12. Provides work coordination and project direction for other planning personnel and contract consultants; provides lead direction and work assignment to assigned professional, technical, and office support staff; instructs staff in work procedures and reviews and evaluates work performed; prepares and manages consultant agreements and supervises consultant teams performing work for the City.
  13. May act in the absence of the division manager.
  14. Performs related duties as required.
The following generally describes the knowledge and ability required to enter the job and/or be learned within a short period of time in order to successfully perform the assigned duties.

Knowledge of:
Operations, services, and activities of a community planning and development program. Local government organization and the functions and practices of a municipal planning unit and relationships among various local and governmental entities. Negotiation and presentation principles and practices. Supervisory principles and practices may be required for some positions. Modern principles, practices, and techniques of current and advanced planning including land use, environmental policy analysis, natural resource management, municipal service deliver, physical design, landscape architecture, demographics, and economic and social concepts as applied to municipal planning. Development review procedures and requirements. Site planning and architectural design principles. Pertinent federal, state, and local laws, codes, and regulations including laws underlying general plans, zoning and land divisions, and applicable environmental laws and regulations. Recent developments, current literature, research methods, and sources of information related to municipal planning, urban growth, and development. Methods and techniques of effective technical report preparation and presentation. Statistical methods and research techniques applicable to the preparation of municipal planning studies. Methods and techniques of eliciting community participation in planning and development issues. Modern office procedures, methods, and equipment including computers and supporting software applications.

Ability to:
Plan, organize, direct, coordinate, and evaluate significant current and/or advanced planning programs, projects, events, and/or technical area. Perform a full range of complex and difficult professional analytical, programmatic and administrative duties involving the use of independent judgment and personal initiative. Organize and prioritize timelines and project schedules in an effective and timely manner. Plan, schedule, and review the work and performance of subordinates in a manner conducive to proficient performance and high morale may be required for some positions. Analyze complex problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions and implement recommendations in support of goals. Understand the organization and operation of the City, assigned program, and of outside agencies as necessary to assume assigned responsibilities. Apply policies, procedures and standards pertaining to the municipal planning process. Interpret maps, site and building plans and specifications, graphs and statistical data. Interpret, analyze, apply, implement, and explain pertinent federal, state, and local laws, codes, and regulations including City codes and departmental policies and administrative directives. Interpret planning and zoning programs to the general public. Analyze and compile statistical and technical information Develop recommendations regarding the use of property. Identify and respond to community and organizational issues, concerns, and needs. Process the full range of development applications and coordinate necessary communication between staff, developer, and other agencies. Analyze projects and potential projects for consistency with planning regulations, general planning principles, and architectural quality. Prepare and analyze technical and administrative reports, statements, and correspondence. Present technical data in verbal, written, graphic, and map form to City management staff and variety of boards and commissions. Represent the City effectively in meetings with commissions, community groups, governmental bodies, the media and the public. Exercise sound independent judgment within established guidelines. Establish and maintain various data collection, record keeping, tracking, filing, and reporting systems. Work under steady pressure with frequent interruptions and a high degree of public contact by phone or in person. Operate modern office equipment and computers including specialized computer applications. Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing. Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.

Education and Experience Guidelines - Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:

A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in urban or regional planning, architecture or a related field. A Master’s degree is desirable and may substitute for two years of experience.

Six years of increasingly responsible experience in urban or regional planning.

License or Certificate:
Possession of an appropriate driver’s license. Certification by the American Institute of Certified Planners is desirable.

The conditions herein are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions. Environment: Work is performed primarily in a standard office environment with some travel to different sites; occasionally works in outside weather conditions; incumbents may be required to work extended hours including evenings and weekends and may be required to travel outside City boundaries to attend meetings.

Physical: Primary functions require sufficient physical ability and mobility to work in an office setting; to stand or sit for prolonged periods of time; to occasionally stoop, bend, kneel, crouch, reach, and twist; to lift, carry, push, and/or pull light to moderate amounts of weight; to operate office equipment requiring repetitive hand movement and fine coordination including use of a computer keyboard; to travel to other locations using various modes of private and commercial transportation; and to verbally communicate to exchange information.

Vision: See in the normal visual range with or without correction.

Hearing: Hear in the normal audio range with or without correction.

Human Resources Division   
   (925) 516-5191
150 City Park Way   
   (925) 516-5409
Brentwood, CA 94513  
  (925) 516-5446