Senior Planner

  • Buena Park, California
  • Jul 07, 2022
Full Time Planning and Development
  • Salary: $85,945.60 - $109,158.40 Annually USD

Job Description


Applications will be accepted on a CONTINUOUS BASIS with a first review date of August 1, 2022 Apply early. This position may close at any time without notice.

An experienced Senior Planner is needed to join our dynamic, professional planning team in our Community Development Department. Be a part of the small, effective team that guides the City of Buena Park through its long-range development plan for a well-planned, balanced city of residential, commercial, industrial, public and semi-public uses with an emphasis on tourism. It's an exciting time for our Planning Division as the team works on several long range initiatives such as Active Transportation Plan, and Zoning Code update. Department priorities also include continued work on large-scale entertainment and hotel developments along our Entertainment Corridor, as well as opportunities for large-scale mixed use development at the old Sears site.

The position requires an adaptable, highly motivated, energetic, and experienced Senior Planner for current and long-range planning work. Exceptional project management skills with the ability to manage large complex projects are a must. The ideal candidate will have excellent written and oral communication skills, the ability to juggle competing priorities, thrive in a team environment and enjoy working on a wide range of projects. Candidates must be comfortable with technology and ready to contribute to the modernization of the division. If you are well-rounded in all aspects of municipal planning and ready to contribute to this team, APPLY NOW!

Under administrative direction, administers, coordinates, and conducts complex and varied current and advanced planning projects, studies, and assignments; represents the city in meetings with planning agencies, bodies, and public and private representatives; and does related work as required.

The Senior Planner administers and conducts a range of advanced and current planning assignments under the broad guidance of the Planning Manager. The Senior Planner is distinguished from lower professional and technical planning classifications by its larger project management responsibilities, specialized knowledge, and complexity of decision-making. The Senior Planner has lesser supervisory and budgetary accountability, and policy setting authority than the Planning Manager.


The duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the class.

Coordinates major elements of the city’s current or advance planning programs, including special planning, zoning and environmental elements; coordinates consultants and assists planning staff in decision making, environmental review and evaluation. Researches, writes, and evaluates elements of the city General Plan and Zoning Code, including proposed amendments to the city General Plan, specific plans, and zoning ordinances; prepares supplements to the Housing Element. Organizes, researches, prepares, and presents complex studies, reports, and findings, addressing major and comprehensive development problems and issues.
Plans, evaluates and manages various development projects, including major subdivisions, residential developments, and commercial and industrial complexes.
Conducts preliminary project site inspections to evaluate field conditions and impacts upon immediate and adjacent properties as well as the need to set operating conditions; visits similar project sites to evaluate potential approaches to site design elements. Confers with developers, architects, builders, engineers, contractors, and the general public concerning development codes, standards, policies, and procedures, and conditions imposed on approved applications through plan review, field inspection, and counter support.
Conducts progress inspections and final site inspections to ensure conformance with construction requirements, address questions, and resolve problems.
Analyzes, interprets, and explains project requirements, city goals, environmental standards, and regulatory issues.
Interfaces with planning staff, consultants, other departmental personnel, and regional planning representatives in reviewing and coordinating current and proposed projects, design issues, work schedules, and code requirements.
Makes oral presentations to the Planning Commission and City Council regarding recommendations on development permits, special use permits, variances, tentative tract maps, residential development permits, planned development permits, and other zoning applications.
Provides technical direction to planning staff in data collection, analyses, plan formulation, and implementation of a wide variety of planning and zoning activities.

Knowledge of: California planning laws and regulations; related federal, state and local laws, regulations and codes, including Subdivision Map Act, California Environment Quality Act, Local Government Reorganization Act and National Environmental Policy Act; principles, standards, practices, information sources, and trends in the fields of current and advance planning; land use, physical design, demographic, environmental, and social/economic concepts, and statistical analysis methods as applied to municipal planning; application, modification, and interrelationships between ordinances, policies, standards, procedures and practices associated with architectural and environmental design standards; project organization and management practices; effective customer service techniques.

Ability to: Plan, organize, assign, coordinate, manage, and complete planning projects and assignments; engage in more complex current and advance planning, such as the collection, analysis, and preparation of reports and recommendations pertaining to complex planning and design issues; interpret and explain laws, codes, standards, regulations, policies, maps, specifications, census data, site and building plans, graphs and other statistical data; establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, management, developers, architects, consultants, commissioners, community groups, and the general public; write clear, concise and complete staff reports and correspondence; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; operate computer equipment and use word processing, spreadsheet, and graphics software programs.


The physical and mental demands described here are representative of those that must be met by employees to successfully perform the essential functions of this class. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Physical Demands: While performing the duties of this class, the employee is constantly required to sit, and occasionally to stand and walk. The employee must be able to talk, hear, and uses hands to finger, handle, feel and operate computer hardware and standard office equipment; reach above and below shoulder level with hands and arms. The employee occasionally lifts and carries records and documents weighing more than 20 pounds.

Specific vision abilities required by this class include close vision and the ability to adjust focus.

Mental Demands: While performing the duties of this class, the employee is regularly required to use written and oral communication skills; read and interpret data, information and documents; analyze and solve problems; observe and interpret situations; learn and apply new information or skills; perform highly detailed work on multiple, concurrent tasks; work under intensive deadlines; interact with staff, managers, developers, contractors, architects, officials, the general public, and others encountered in the course of work.


The employee constantly works in controlled office conditions. The noise level is usually moderate, at or below 85 decibels. Occasional driving is required to attend meetings at various city and off-site facilities, conduct field inspections, and public and private events.

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university in Urban Planning, Environmental Studies, Public Administration, or a related field is required. Four years of professional public sector planning experience is required.

Valid Class C California driver license, acceptable driving records, and evidence of insurance are required.

American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) designation as a certified planner is preferred.

Ability to work extended hours in order to complete projects, attend meetings, and accommodate city needs.

Applicants must file a concise and complete City application regarding their qualifications for the position online through the Human Resources Department webpage at as soon as possible. Applications may be accompanied by a resume describing experience, education and training in relation to the requirements of the position, however resumes will not be accepted in lieu of a City employment application.

All applications will be reviewed and only those candidates determined to be most qualified on the basis of experience and education, as submitted, will be invited to participate in the selection process. The selection process may include, but is not limited to oral interview and/or written exams and oral presentations. Successful candidates will be placed on the employment eligible list from which hires may be made. The list is valid for up to one year, unless exhausted sooner.

The City of Buena Park is an Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, ancestry, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, age, veteran status or disability.

The City of Buena Park Alcohol and Drug Abuse Policy requires that all applicants undergo drug and alcohol testing prior to employment.

Below is a list of key benefits offered to employees of the City of Buena Park and is only a summary of benefits. They are not intended to replace or modify the legal plan documents on file in the Human Resources Department.

SALARY RANGE: Composed of six (6) steps - Entry step through E step (Except management positions). Each step represents an increase of approximately five (5) percent.

RETIREMENT: Provided through California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS). Employee pays member contribution.

VACATION: Earned at the rate of ten (10) working days per year for the first five (5) years of service. Public safety employees receive a different but equivalent benefit. Additional vacation may be earned by employees after five (5) years of service.

SICK LEAVE: Accumulated on the basis of eight (8) hours per month with no maximum accumulation.

HOLIDAYS: An average of ten (10) holidays per year, plus one (1) floating holiday for certain bargaining groups.

MEDICAL INSURANCE: Several plans (indemnity and HMO's) are available. The City pays a flat rate portion of the premium according to the bargaining unit agreement.

DENTAL INSURANCE: Three (3) plans are available. The City pays a flat rate portion of the premium. The Employee may pay a portion of the insurance premium according at bargaining unit agreement and this benefit is voluntary.

VISION INSURANCE: One plan is available. The Employee pays the insurance premium and this benefit is voluntary.

LIFE INSURANCE: Amount of coverage is based on the employee bargaining unit. Premiums are fully paid by the City.

LONG TERM DISABILITY: Fully paid by the City. Police sworn personnel are not eligible.

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM: Available to all City employees and their immediate families.

DEFERRED COMPENSATION PLAN: The City offers one (1) plan administered by Nationwide Retirement Solutions. This is a voluntary benefit with no City contribution.

WORK SCHEDULE: 9/80, 4/10 or 3/12 alternative work schedule depending upon the work location.

OC CREDIT UNION: Available to all City employees and their families.

Closing Date/Time: Continuous

Job Address

Buena Park, California United States View Map