Senior Planner / Principal Planner

  • City of Palmdale, CA
  • Palmdale, California
  • Mar 23, 2021
Full Time Planning and Development
  • Salary: $82,264.00 - $121,555.20 Annually USD

Job Description


We are recruiting for a Senior Planner / Principal Planner. The successful candidate will be hired at the level based on meeting the minimum qualifications for the position.
The Senior Planner performs professional level work in the field of current or advanced planning; conducts special projects and research as assigned; and prepares reports and recommendations relative to assigned area of responsibility. This is the advanced journey level classification in the professional planning series. Positions at this level perform more complex duties and possess specialized professional, technical or functional expertise and are regarded as seasoned and experiences professionals. They typically are assigned significant responsibilities above the journey level; possess specialized knowledge, abilities, skills and experience; and exercise independent judgment in the performance of their duties. Receives direction from higher level professional or management staff. This position may exercise technical and/or functional supervision over subordinate planning staff.
The Principal Planner plans, supervises, coordinates, assigns, and participates in complex and difficult planning services related to advanced and current planning activities; oversees and manages contract service in these areas; performs the most complex planning work; performs a variety of professional duties relative to assigned area of responsibility. This is the supervisory level in the professional planning class series. Positions in this classification perform the most complex professional planning work and supervise lower level professional and technical planning staff. Appointment to this level requires considerable knowledge of the development process and advanced planning. The Principal Planner receives direction from the Planning Manager. This position exercises direct supervision over professional, technical, and clerical staff.


Senior Planner
Essential and other important responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Perform the most complex professional level work in the field of current or advanced planning.
Gather and maintain demographic data and other related statistics.
Research, analyze, and interpret complex social, economic, population and land use data and trends.
Compile information and make recommendations on special studies; prepare technical and complex reports.
Make presentations to the Planning Commission, developers, community groups and outside agencies.
Review development proposals and other requests made to the Planning Department for conformance with appropriate regulations; prepare reports of recommendations.
Check commercial, industrial and residential development plans for issuance of zone clearance; process permit applications.
Act as project or program leader for general plan elements, environmental impact reports, comprehensive plans and other special planning studies involving utilization of planning disciplines such as transportation, urban design, capital facilities, environmental analysis, growth management, zoning and land use regulation.
Interpret and apply environmental quality laws and regulations to ensure that development proposals, City projects and municipal code amendments are in compliance with State and Federal laws.
Prepare general plan elements and amendments; make recommendations concerning long-range planning projects, including annexations, specific plans, specific plan amendments, precise plans or complex subdivisions.
Perform extensive research regarding implementation of policies established by the general plan, zoning ordinance, or other land use and development ordinances.
Confer with and advise architects, builders, attorneys, contractors, engineers, and the general public regarding City development policies and standards.
Prepare staff reports and graphic displays.
Research and draft ordinances for review.
Perform related duties as assigned.
Principal Planner
Essential and other important responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Coordinate, supervise, and perform responsible planning work in the review of development proposals and long-range planning studies.
Recommend and implement section goals and objectives; establish performance standards and methods for planning activities including preparation of a variety of planning reports and special studies including environmental impact reports and traffic studies.
Serve as Chair of the City's Development Advisory Board. Attend meetings and facilitate the resolution of differences with developers.
Prepare complex reports on a wide range of planning issues; make presentations to the City Council, Planning Commission, developers, community groups, and outside agencies.
Supervise and participate in the review of complex development proposals for conformance to City standards; resolve disputes between the City and developers/property owners.
Participate in budget preparation and administration; prepare cost estimates for budget recommendations; submit justifications for staffing, equipment, materials, and supplies; monitor and control expenditures.
Participate in the selection of staff; coordinate staff training; conduct performance evaluations; recommend discipline; implement discipline as directed.
Interpret and apply environmental quality laws and regulations to ensure that development, City projects, and Municipal Code amendments are in compliance.
Oversee the preparation of comprehensive plans, master plans, specific plans, and related plan components including utility plans, finance plans, environmental documents, annexations, and related activities.
Review and analyze development plans for compliance with the General Plan and zoning and City regulations and policies; direct the review of use permits, subdivision, rezoning requests, variance, and other land use entitlements.
Develop and recommend changes regarding zoning and the General Plan; write and present reports; advise the City Council and Planning Commission on zoning and planning matters; supervise the preparation of amendments to the text of the Zoning Code.
Perform related duties assigned.


Any combination of experience and training that would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the required knowledge and abilities would be:
Senior Planner
Two years of responsible planning experience comparable to that of an Assistant Planner II.
A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in urban planning or a closely related field. A Master's degree in related fields is preferred.
Principal Planner
Five years of progressively responsible experience in urban planning/design including one year in a responsible lead or supervisory capacity.
Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in urban planning or a closely related field.
Senior Planner / Principal Planner
Possession of, or ability to obtain, a valid California driver's license and legally required vehicle insurance. Must also be able to meet driving record standards set by the city's driving policy.
Principal Planner
Possession of Certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) is desirable.


Senior Planner
Knowledge of:
Land use, general planning and code enforcement.
Research and investigation procedures.
Advanced drafting and graphic presentations.
Business English, spelling and grammar.
Advanced principles and practices of urban planning.
Statistical and research methods as applied to the collection, analysis and presentation of planning data.
Applicable Federal, State and local laws and regulations.
Current literature, information sources, and research techniques in the field of urban planning.
Ability to:
Speak publicly and explain/interpret City practices and objectives.
Demonstrate tact and diplomacy with the public.
Prepare reports and graphic presentations.
Perform technical research and give reliable advice on planning problems.
Interpret planning and zoning programs to the general public.
Prepare accurate maps, plans, charts and tables.
Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.
Interpret or explain statistical analysis applied to land use, transportation, communications and public utility systems.
Understand laws underlying general plans, zoning and land divisions.
Understand applicable environmental laws and regulations.
Analyze and compile technical and statistical information and prepare reports.
Lay out work and guide subordinate personnel.
Supervise and train personnel.
Principal Planner
Knowledge of:
Practical planning methodology, urban development and operations, urban design, and basic land economics.
Current land use and urban design implementation.
Principles and techniques of project management and supervision.
Principles and practices of personnel administration.
Techniques of management and administration.
Development process, economics, practices, and procedures.
California development law, City planning and zoning codes, and other applicable federal, state, and local legislation.
Budgeting techniques.
Techniques of negotiation.
Ability to:
Assume responsibility for planning activities on multiple, diverse, and complex projects.
Supervise, evaluate, and train staff.
Demonstrate community relations skills; speak publicly and explain/interpret City practices and objectives to diverse public and private agencies, organizations, and individuals as required.
Prepare reports, proposals, and written materials of an analytical, budgetary, financial, technical, and evaluative nature.
Engage in complex planning design work.
Establish and maintain effective work relationships with those contacted in the performance of required duties.
Meet the physical requirements necessary to safely and effectively perform assigned duties.

Mobility: frequent use of keyboard; frequent sitting for long periods of time; occasional climbing, bending, and squatting. Lifting: frequently up to 10 pounds; occasionally up to 40 pounds. Vision: constant use of overall vision; frequent reading and close-up work; occasional color and depth vision. Dexterity: frequent repetitive motion; frequent writing; frequent grasping, holding, and reaching. Hearing/Talking: frequent hearing and talking, in person and on the phone. Emotional/Psychological: frequent decision-making and concentration; frequent public and/or coworker contact; occasional working alone. Environmental: frequent exposure to noise.


Work is performed in a typical temperature controlled office environment subject to typical office noise and environment. Positions may require occasional overtime; weekend work and travel is rare.
Closing Date/Time:

Job Address

Palmdale, California United States View Map