Planning & Community Service Director

Modoc County Planning Department
Professional Area: 
Other topics not covered above
5-7 years
Contact person: 
Chester Robertson
Alturas, CA

Modoc County

Announces an Employment

Opportunity for

Planning Director
The Region

Modoc County is located in the Northeastern corner of California, bordering Nevada and Oregon.  The population density in Modoc is only two people per square mile.  Congestion and over population are extremely unlikely.  Clean air, crystal streams, and lack of automobile traffic are virtually assured.  Wildlife is abundant in Modoc County.

Modoc County was incorporated in 1874.  The name Modoc was named after an Native American tribe that formerly ranged in the northeastern part of California.  The county seat of Modoc is the City of Alturas, which carries the motto, “Where the West Still Lives.”

The Modoc County Planning Department is located in a new stand-alone building in Alturas.  The annual budget for two full time staff and one part-time administrative assistant is approximately $240,000.

The Position

The Planning Director is a key position reporting to Modoc County’s five-member Board of Supervisors.  Modoc County is seeking a creative and highly motivated individual to assume the Planning Director position.  This position will receive policy direction from the Board of Supervisors and Administrative direction from the Office of Administrative Services.  The ideal candidate will have strong leadership capability, a public service and ethical commitment, and demonstrated planning management skills.

Essential Functions

  • Develops and directs the implementation of goals, objectives, policies, procedures and work standards for the department; directs the preparation and administration of the department budget.
  • Plans, organizes, administers, reviews and evaluates the activities of County and contract staff performing planning, zoning, plan review, subdivision review and related professional and technical work.
  • Contributes to the overall quality of the department’s service provision by developing, reviewing, recommending and implementing improved policies and procedures.
  • Confers with and represents the county with members of the County Board of Supervisors, the Planning Commission, other boards and commissions, various governmental agencies, architects, engineers, developers, contractors, business and industrial groups and the public regarding difficult planning and zoning issues; interprets codes and regulations and resolves complex problems within the required codes, regulations and policies.
  • Provides staff assistance and coordinates the activities of the Planning Commission; provides for the preparation of meeting agendas and recordation of action; attends meetings and provides technical assistance to the Commission and Board of Supervisors.
  • Prioritizes and allocates available resources; reviews and evaluates program and service delivery.  Makes recommendations for improvements and ensures maximum effective service provision.
  • Procures and negotiates contracts for professional services; reviews the performance of contract professionals.
  • Directs the selection of staff and provides for their training and professional development; interprets regulations and county policies and procedures to employees; ensures effective morale, productivity and discipline of departmental staff.
  • Directs the conduct of analytical studies; develops and reviews reports of findings, alternatives and recommendations; directs the maintenance of accurate record and files.
  • Prepares and directs the preparation of a variety of written correspondence, reports, procedures and other written materials pertaining to rezoning, subdivisions, land development, variances, use permits, annexations and other matters.  Makes recommendations and follows through on Commission findings.
  • Monitors and interprets changes in laws and regulations related to Land Use Planning, Subdivision Map Act, California Environmental Quality Act, Surface Mining and Reclamation Act; evaluates the impact of any changes upon county activities, and develops and implements policy and procedural changes to ordinances, regulations and procedures.

Knowledge of:

  • Principles and practices and procedures related to the development and implementation of a comprehensive planning, zoning code compliance program.
  • Administrative principals and practices, including goal setting, program development, implementation and evaluation, and supervision of employees.
  • Geographic, socio-economic, political and other elements related to planning process.
  • Analytical and report preparation techniques related to the planning process.
  • Applicable laws, codes and regulations pertaining to land use planning.
  • Computer applications related to planning work.
  • Record keeping principles and practices.
  • Techniques for representing the department and the county in meetings and negotiations with a wide variety of individuals and groups.
  • Techniques for making effective public presentations.

Skill In:

  • Planning, organizing and administering planning, zoning and code compliance programs.
  • Overseeing and performing complex problem definition and resolution activities.
  • Planning, supervising, reviewing and evaluating the work of staff.
  • Developing and implementing goals, objectives, policies, procedures and work standards.
  • Providing for the training and professional development of staff.
  • Interpreting, applying and explaining complex federal, state and local laws related to the areas of responsibility.
  • Preparing clean and concise reports, correspondence and other written materials.
  • Using initiative and independent judgment within general policy guidelines.
  • Using tact, discretion and prudence in dealing with those contacted in the course of the work.
  • Making effective public presentations.

Education, Training, Experience and  Licensing

Any combination of education and experience that provides the required knowledge and skills is acceptable; a typical way of gaining the knowledge and skills is outlined below:    

            Equivalent to graduation from a four-year college or university with major course work in community and regional planning and development, engineering, architecture, environmental studies, geography, geology, earth sciences or a field related to the work of land use planning and zoning and four years of professional experience in planning, zoning and related community development activities.  Prior supervisory experience and possession of an advanced degree are desirable.

American Institute of Certified Planner (AICP) certification is desirable but not required.

Possession, or ability to possess, a valid California Class C driver’s license.

This class specification lists the major duties and requirements of the job and is not al-inclusive.  Incumbent(s) may be expected to perform job-related duties other than those contained in this document and may be required to have specific job-related knowledge and skills.

Salary and Benefits:

The salary and benefits for the Planning Director include:

      Annual Salary:  From $75,376.20

  • Retirement:  CalPERS 2% at 62 (coordinated with Social Security) with employee paying 11.50% employee share
  • Health:  County pays for employee and dependent premium up to $1,304.13 per month through PERS for health, dental and vision.
  • Vacation:  Accrual of 10 days during years one through four of employment; 15 days after four years; 20 days after 12 years; and 25 days after 19 years of service.
  • Holiday Pay:  14 scheduled days annually.
  • Sick Leave:  Accrual at the rate of 12 days per year with unlimited maximum accrual.
  • Life Insurance:  A $10,000 term life insurance policy paid by the county.
  • Deferred Compensation:  County has plans available for employee participation through Aflac, Valic and Nationwide 457(b) plan(s), however the county has no match or contribution plan.
Application Process:

To be considered for this career opportunity, please forward a letter of interest and your resume with current salary and five work-related references (who will not be contacted until mutual interest is established) to:

Modoc County Office of Administration

Human Resources

204 South Court Street, Room 100

Alturas, CA  96101

Open Until Filled

Following the first review date, application materials will be screened against the criteria in this brochure and preliminary interviews will be scheduled with candidates having the most relevant qualifications.  Preliminary reference checks will then be conducted and qualified candidates will be reported to the County Administrative Officer.  The County Administrative Officer will determine which candidates to invite to participate in the formal interview process.  Selection of the Planning Director will follow shortly thereafter.