Principal Planner

  • City of Concord, CA
  • Concord, California
  • Jun 08, 2024
Full Time Planning and Development
  • Salary: $120,140.80 - $165,193.60 Annually USD

Job Description

Job Characteristics


The City of Concord is currently looking for an experienced planning professional to fill one Principal Planner vacancy in the Community Development Department. This position is open until filled and may close at any time. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

The salary listed above includes a 5% wage increase effective July 8, 2024. An additional 4% wage increase is scheduled for July 7, 2025.

The Community Development Department:
The City of Concord’s Community Development Department, or CDD , is home to several divisions, which work together to maintain and improve the quality of life for residents and visitors. From Planning and Housing to Building and Engineering, CDD focuses on enhancing the quality of life for Concord’s residents and businesses.

The Department's Planning Division implements and administers the policy direction of the City Council and the needs of the community with regard to the City’s built environment, including its development and growth. The Planning Division provides the public with information about property regulations and is responsible for developing long-range planning policies and plans, evaluating development projects, implementing housing programs, and assisting with the Concord Reuse Project.

What you will be doing:
The Principal Planner oversees current development projects as well as long range planning, and public policy development, implementation, and management. The Principal Planner reports to the Planning Manager and provides management-level supervision to assigned planning staff on current development and long range/policy projects.

More specifically, this position will be overseeing the implementation of Housing Element programs such as the exploration of the regulation of short-term rentals, implementation of local SB 9 regulations, and working with BART to help facilitate a housing project. In addition, other duties will include drafting regulations to address sidewalk vending as well as an analysis of the City’s compliance with ABAG/MTC’s Transit Oriented Communities policy and possible required code updates.

We are looking for someone who:
  • Possesses extensive experience in either current development projects, long range planning projects, or both. This includes experience managing complex development projects and creating and/or implementing policies for public agencies, particularly housing policy.
  • Has specific experience with General Plan amendments and rezoning. Experience in Specific Plan development/implementation and General Plan amendments/updates, including Housing Element updates and implementation is highly desired.
  • Has the ability to manage multiple projects while concurrently adhering to established budgets and timeframes.
  • Possesses exceptional oral and written communication skills, including active listening skills, clear articulation, and the ability to adapt communication style when engaging with the public, community stakeholders, developers, and elected officials.
  • Has some supervisory experience. Knowledge of and experience with Accela and GIS software is also highly desirable.
  • Embraces and is guided by the City’s Mission, Vision and Values .
What we offer:
The City of Concord offers the opportunity to take part in a collaborative and exciting work experience, where you can grow in your career while working alongside the community to make Concord a city of the highest quality. The City is an employer that invests in its employees’ professional and personal development, values work-life balance, is dedicated to employee wellness and provides numerous benefit and retirement options, to include the following:
  • Participation in CalPERS pension, tiered based on date of hire
  • A variety of health care plans or a cash-in-lieu benefit of $200 if waiving coverage
  • City-paid dental insurance; employee-paid vision insurance
  • Vacation accruals starting at 15 days per year, 12 days of sick leave per year, 11 paid holidays per year, plus 80 hours of administrative leave per year available upon completion of probation
  • Generous tuition reimbursement program
  • 401(k) and 457 deferred compensation plans, including an employer paid contribution of 3% plus $2000 annually
  • Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) for healthcare, dependent care and commuting costs
  • Life insurance in the amount of twice the annual salary (up to $400,000 max) and disability insurance
  • A wellness program that offers yoga and fitness classes, annual health expos, health and nutrition education, as well as a variety of mental health resources
  • Option for alternative work schedules, with department approval
*Salary is negotiable within the advertised range. Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice. Additional information can be found at

The Community:
Nestled in the foothills of Mt. Diablo, Concord is a major East Bay community located 29 miles east of San Francisco and 58 miles north of San Jose. With a population of almost 130,000 residents occupying an area of 31 square miles, Concord is the largest city in Contra Costa County. The City’s central location offers easy access to the entire Bay Area including Oakland, San Francisco, and the Silicon Valley. Concord has much to offer; its local lifestyle reflects a careful blending of the City’s early California heritage, along with modern planned development. It is a harmonious community of quiet neighborhoods, an excellent park system, convenient shopping centers, large preserves of open space, a state-of-the-art hospital, and a wide variety of restaurants. Additionally, diverse public and private educational opportunities for students of all ages are available in Concord. Concord residents enjoy a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and mild winters. The ideal weather and natural beauty of Concord make the area ideal for visitors and locals seeking active outdoor activities. In Concord, where “Families Come First,” one is never far from a park or an open green space for active play or just relaxing. Todos Santos Plaza, the heart of downtown Concord, features a year-round Farmer’s Market, several seasonal and community celebrations, as well as serving as a wonderful outdoor space for all to enjoy.


1. Submit a completed City of Concord application and the required supplemental question responses online at . A resume and cover letter are not required but highly encouraged.

2. All qualified applications and supplemental responses will be competitively evaluated, and those candidates demonstrating the strongest qualifications for the position will be invited to participate in a panel interview. If you are selected to participate in the panel interview and are unavailable, we regret that we will not be able to reschedule you.

Conviction History:
If you receive a conditional job offer, you will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints will be sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The resulting report of your conviction history (if any) will be used to determine whether the nature of your conviction conflicts with the specific duties and responsibilities of the job for which you have received a conditional job offer. If a conflict exists, you will be asked to present any evidence of rehabilitation that may mitigate the conflict, except when federal or state regulations bar employment in specific circumstances. Having a conviction history does not automatically preclude you from a job with the City of Concord.

Examples of duties include, but are not limited to

Coordinates the duties of assigned planning staff and performs activities pertaining to the processing of applications for consideration by the City Council, Planning Commission, Design Review Board, Zoning Administrator, and other bodies, as assigned.May act as Zoning Administrator and conduct hearings on applications as well as take action on applications under the jurisdiction of the Zoning Administrator which do not require hearings.Supervises professional Planners on assigned projects; coordinates and provides lead direction to consultants; coordinates and reviews the preparation of reports and correspondence; participates in the coordination of the Permit Center.Coordinates and participates in meetings to provide and receive information regarding applications and proposed plans and ordinances. Makes presentations before authoritative bodies such as the City Council, Planning Commission, Design Review Board, and other agencies, as assigned.Performs complex project management duties.Promotes the City's Mission to make Concord a city of the highest quality by providing responsive, cost-effective, and innovative government services; understands and subscribes to the Vision and Values statement adopted by the City. To view the full class specification for the position of Principal Planner , please visit .


Competencies, Knowledge and Abilities:

  • Public Planning - Knowledge of functions, principles, methods, and techniques of public sector planning including land use planning, urban design, planning and zoning law, and environmental impact analysis.
  • Planning and Evaluating - Determines objectives and strategies, coordinates with other parts of the organization to accomplish goals, monitors and evaluates the progress and outcomes of operational plans, and anticipates potential threats and/or opportunities.
  • Land Use and Development - Knowledge of the principles and tools relevant to land use planning, development, regulations, and permitting.
  • Reading - Understands and interprets written material including technical material, rules, regulations, instructions, reports, charts, graphs, or tables, and applies what is learned from written material to specific situations.
  • Writing - Recognizes and uses correct English grammar, punctuation, and spelling; communicates information in a succinct and organized manner, and produces written information which may include technical material that is appropriate for the intended audience.
  • Oral Communication - Expresses information to individuals or groups effectively taking into account the audience and nature of the information, makes clear and convincing oral presentations, listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.
  • Supervision - Knowledge of supervisory theories and methods sufficient to be able to perform a variety of lead work functions.
  • Process Development/Improvement - Uses experience and observation to map existing processes and identify improvements, or develops new processes and procedures to address existing gaps.
  • Technical Competence - Uses knowledge that is acquired through formal training and extensive on-the-job experience to perform one's job, works with, understands, and evaluates technical information related to the job, and advises others on technical issues.
  • Information Management - Identifies a need for and knows where or how to gather information and organizes and maintains information or information management systems.
  • Technology Application - Uses machines, tools, instruments, and/or equipment effectively and uses computer applications to analyze and communicate information in the appropriate format.
  • Self-Direction - Sets goals, takes initiative in implementing ideas, systems, or policies that affect a planning area, manages time efficiently, encourages feedback, and invests in self- development.
  • Vision - Understands where the organization is headed and how to make a contribution, takes a long-term view, and recognizes opportunities to help the organization accomplish its objectives or move toward the vision.
  • External Awareness - Identifies and understands economic, political, and social trends that affect the organization.
  • Interpersonal Skills - Shows understanding, courtesy, tact, empathy, and concern, develops and maintains relationships, may deal with people who are difficult, hostile, and/or distressed, relates well to people from varied backgrounds and situations, and is sensitive to individual differences.
  • Problem Solving - Identifies problems, determines accuracy and relevance of information, uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives and to make recommendations, and initiates actions aligned with the strategic objectives of the section, unit, or project.
  • Decisiveness - Commits to action, even in uncertain situations, by making sound and timely decisions necessary to carry out projects, ideas, systems, or policies that affect the planning area. Legal, public, and financial consequences are generally limited to related area(s).
  • Reasoning - Identifies rules, principles, or relationships that explain facts, data, or other information, analyzes information, and makes correct inferences or draws accurate conclusions.
  • Team Building - Encourages and facilitates cooperation and open communication, promotes team work at all levels, cooperates with staff, higher-level managers, peers, administrative staff from other organizations, internal and external customers, and local stakeholder groups to accomplish goals.
  • Diversity - Is sensitive to cultural diversity, race, gender, and other individual differences in the workforce.
  • Customer Service - Works with customers to assess needs, provide assistance, resolves problems, and satisfy expectations, knows products and services, and is committed to providing quality products and services.
  • Teaching Others - Helps others learn through formal or informal methods, identifies training needs, provides constructive feedback, coaches others on how to perform tasks, and acts as a mentor.
  • Creative Thinking - Uses imagination to develop new insights into situations, applies innovative solutions to problems, and designs new methods where established method and procedures are inapplicable or are unavailable.
  • Influencing/Negotiating - Persuades others to accept recommendations, cooperate, or change their behavior, works with others towards an agreement, and negotiates to find mutually acceptable solutions.
  • Leadership - Initiates and sustains action to accomplish the goals by guiding and motivating others and gaining the confidence and active support of subordinates, peers, administrative staff from other organizations, internal and external customers, and local stakeholder groups. Achieves voluntary commitment to shared values and goals and adapts leadership style to different situations.
  • Conflict Management - Manages and resolves conflicts, grievances, confrontations, or disagreements in a constructive manner to minimize negative personal impact.
  • Organizational Awareness - Knows the organization's mission and function and how its social, political, and technological systems work and operates effectively with them including the program, policies, procedures, rules and regulation of the organization.
  • Integrity/Honesty - Contributes to maintaining the integrity of the organization, displays high standards of ethical conduct, understands the impact of violating these standards on an organization, self, and others, and is trustworthy.
  • Attention to Detail - Is thorough when performing work and conscientious about attending to detail.
  • Flexibility - Is open to change and new information, adapts behavior or work methods in response to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles, and effectively deals with ambiguity.
Education: Completion of a Bachelor's Degree in City Planning or a closely related field is required . A Master's degree is preferred.

Experience: Eight years professional planning experience involving general plan, zoning or development services.


A California Driver's License and a satisfactory driving record are conditions of initial and continued employment.

The City of Concord is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant employer, committed to providing equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants.

If you have a disability and require accommodations in the testing process, please contact Human Resources at 925-671-3308 or prior to the final filing date.

The City of Concord takes pride in offering a generous benefits program that provides flexibility for the diverse and changing needs of our qualifying employees.

For a complete overview, click here .
Below is a brief listing of what the City offers:
  • Dental & Vision Insurance
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Health Insurance
  • Holidays
  • Life Insurance
  • Pre-tax Savings Benefits
  • Retiree Medical (3 levels based on date of hire)
  • Retirement Program
  • Short-term Disability*and Long-term Disability
  • Social Security/Medicare
  • Vacation & Sick Leave
*Not available for sworn personnel.

Closing Date/Time: Continuous

Job Address

Concord, California United States View Map