Thursday, February 18, 2016

Principal Planner position in Menlo Park

Great planning position in Menlo Park.  From my friend Thomas Rogers:


My employer (City of Menlo Park) is hiring for a new Principal Planner position. This is a good opportunity for someone who's been working in a Senior Planner-type role and is interested in more responsibility, including management responsibility. I'm happy to discuss it in more detail if anyone has any questions. Please note: applications need to be made through the CalOpps system:
Close Date: Mar 9, 2016
Salary: $105,950.29 - $127,766.65 Annually


Under the general direction of the Community Development Director, performs work necessary to maintain professional planning functions, process development projects, and provide for effective administrative operations to ensure a sustainable, safe and vibrant community; and any other related duties as required. 


This is a professional planning supervisory classification. Work consists of continuing responsibility for implementing the city’s planning functions by personally performing work and providing direction to others in one or more of the following areas. 

Focus on single-family residential development, small multiple-family residential development and neighborhood commercial development within the context of current planning activities.  Responsible for the City’s ordinances, regulations and processing systems in these same focus areas as well as implementation and updating of the City’s Housing Element.

Direction and Supervision

Provides direct supervision of Planning staff; Participates in the selection, training and evaluation of staff; Assists in preparing the annual goals and objectives for the Planning functions; Assists in preparing and managing the budget for the Planning functions. 

Long-Range Planning

Conducts and supervises professional planning work connected with the development, monitoring and updating of City policy and regulatory land use documents, including the General Plan, Zoning Ordinance, specific plans and other land use studies; Provides guidance to and coordination of the professional planning team, including consultants, to ensure work is progressing toward established goals; Effectively represents the City at public meetings and to Commissions and the City Council; Provides guidance on appropriate community engagement and outreach tools and approaches; Provides guidance on necessary data collection, analysis and management; Evaluates long-range planning documents on an on-going basis and recommends to the Director timely revisions of the documents. 

Current Planning

Conducts and supervises the professional review and processing of proposed development projects to ensure that applications for land use entitlements are complete and in conformance with City policies and regulations, as well as regional, state and federal requirements; Determines appropriate legal and regulatory procedures; Provides professional planning advice to and assistance to project applicants, members of the community, Commission and Council members; Coordinates the technical processing of development proposals, including compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act; Monitors general operating policies and procedures for the efficient and cohesive review of development proposals and recommends changes to the Director; Interprets development regulations and resolves inconsistencies in requirements. 

California Environmental Quality Act

Personally prepares or supervises the preparation of documents required to ensure compliance with state and federal environmental requirements.  If needed, arranges for obtaining consultant services for preparation of environmental documents including the development of requests for proposals, selecting the consultant, processing an agreement and supervising the consultant’s work. 

Inter-agency Coordination

Coordinates with other City departments, other local jurisdictions and agencies, and regional, state and federal agencies during the development review process for individual projects.   


Serves as Secretary and/or staff for Planning matters on behalf of the Community Development Department to various Boards, Committees and Commissions; Prepares reports on planning and administrative operations necessary for effective monitoring of the development review process; Conducts special studies and prepares related reports as needed to evaluate specific issues; Provides information to members of the public and other persons on Planning policies and regulations; Receives, investigates and responds to complaints connected with planning operations and personnel; Performs other work assigned by the Director which is consistent with the scope of responsibilities of the position.


    • Assist in developing department goals and objectives and assist in the development of and implementation of policies and procedures;
    • Coordinate development review activities;
    • Supervise and participate in the implementation of the City's General Plan;
    • Conceive and implement programs and activities to improve the efficiency of the development review process;
    • Recommend the appointment of staff, provide or coordinate staff training, conduct performance evaluations, and implement discipline procedures as required;
    • Research and prepare technical and administrative reports and written correspondence;
    • Establish and maintain positive working relationships with co-workers, other City employees, public and private officials, and the general public using principles of good customer service;
    • Perform related duties as assigned.
Ideal Candidate:


Knowledge of

Principles and practices of governmental development review including planning, engineering and building inspection; State, County and City laws and regulations applicable to development review; principles of management, personnel administration, and public relations; principles and practices of policy development and implementation; principles and practices of leadership, motivation, team building and conflict resolution; principles and practices of business correspondence and report writing; pertinent local, State and Federal rules, regulations and laws; budgeting procedures and techniques; and modern office procedures, methods and computer equipment.  

Ability to:

Prepare, review and interpret a sound development review program for the City; collect and analyze data, and recommend revisions in municipal land use regulations consistent with local needs; analyze budget and technical reports; interpret and evaluate staff reports; know laws, regulations and codes; observe performance and evaluate staff; problem solve department related issues; interpret and explain policy, rules and procedures; prepare ordinances and formulate recommendations for land use policies; analyze problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions and implement recommendations in support of goals; gain cooperation through discussion and persuasion; mediate problems and resolve conflicts within the Department and with other City Departments; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; prepare oral and written reports and provide staff direction; train, supervise and evaluate assigned staff; establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.



Equivalent to graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with major work in a closely related field.


This position may require at least five (5) years of full time, increasingly responsible experience in municipal development review work.



Possession of a valid California Class C driver’s license and a satisfactory driving record as a condition of initial and continued employment.


Working Conditions:

May sit for long periods of time; May attend night meetings; operates general office equipment.

Supervision Received and Exercised: 

Receives direction from the Director of Community Development; Exercises direct supervision over professional planning staff; May be asked to serve as Director of Community Development in Director's absence; This classification may also perform any and all functions of Senior Planner, Associate Planner and Assistant Planner.


 The City offers an excellent benefit package consisting of:

  • Vacation: 11 days per year to start out and will gain more with time and tenure.
  • Sick Leave: 8 hours per month earned.
  • Health Insurance: City contribution towards medical coverage.
  • Holidays:11 official holidays and 30 float hours off per year.
  • Dental: Delta Dental Plan
  • Vision - City sponsored 
  • Retirement: CalPERS: For classic members 2.0% @60 formula. For all others, 2%@62 formula. For more information on how CalPERS retirement reform (PEPRA) affect you, please contact CalPERS at 1-888-225-7377
  • Deferred Compensation: Voluntary participation in City Plans.
  • Life Insurance: 1-1/2 times regular annual wage.
  • Long Term Disability: Subject to a 45 day waiting period.

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