Planning & Building Director

City of St. Helena
St. Helena, CA
United States
Professional Areas: 
Budgeting and Operations
Code Enforcement
Community Development
Community Engagement
Land-Use Management
Planning Law
Public/Nonprofit Administration
Regional Planning
Urban Design
Zoning Administration
Experience Level: 
Salary Range: $137,166—$166,727* annually ($11,430.50—$13,893.92 monthly). *Note salary is under review with a Classification & Compensation Study.

The City of St. Helena is seeking a highly motivated professional to join a team of similarly committed and very effective department heads as the next Planning & Building Director.  This is a unique opportunity to work with a City Manager who is dedicated to helping high performers continue to develop their leadership potential, take over a self-sufficient rebuilt planning and building department, anchored by an experienced, knowledgeable and forward thinking staff of 3 full-time employees, and 1 part-time employee. This position presents the opportunity to make a difference in both the organization and the general community, impacting how residents, council and city staff work together to achieve a city with high livability and an engaged citizenry. The Planning & Building Director is a position of high internal and external visibility requiring advanced interpersonal, leadership, and verbal and written communication skills. The candidate must have the skills and diplomacy to communicate a sense of vision, prepare complex reports, and contribute to strategic planning processes. As a member of the Executive Team, the candidate must interact professionally with various levels of elected and appointed officials, management representatives, special interest groups, the general public and City employees. Qualified applicants must demonstrate the ability to analyze problems, recommend solutions and make difficult decisions.


St. Helena, in the heart of the Napa Valley, is a beautiful historical community located 65 miles north of San Francisco.  With 6,000 residents, St. Helena is a full service city  that encompasses an area of four square miles. The City hosts some of Napa Valley’s oldest wineries, finest shops, and art galleries.

Neighborhoods with tree-lined streets offer Victorian style homes as well as bungalows and more contemporary housing.  The City’s principal goals include maintaining a small town rural atmosphere, sound fiscal planning, providing quality services, and having a sound infrastructure. 

St. Helena is a General Law City operating under the Council/Manager form of government with four council members elected at large and a directly elected mayor.  The City Manager is responsible for the efficient execution of Council adopted municipal policies through the City’s various departments, including:  Finance, Fire, Library, Planning, Police, Public Works and Recreation. St. Helena has 81.68 full time employees and an overall operating budget of $30.5 million, including a $14.3 million General Fund.


Under general administrative direction, performs a variety of supervisory, administrative and technical work in the development, implementation, maintenance and review of advance and current planning, building, and housing policy; interprets and implements the General Plan and Zoning Ordinance; plans, organizes, supervises, reviews and participates in the work of professional, technical and office support staff of the Planning and Building Department; coordinates activities with other City departments and divisions and outside agencies and organizations; develops and implements programs and procedures within the Planning and Building Departments; makes project presentations and recommendations to the City Council and Planning Commission; and performs related duties as assigned.

Coordinates the selection of consultants; prepares and administers contracts. Provides technical and professional advice; schedules items for Planning Commission review and action; prepares and coordinates reports and presentations on current planning issues for City Council, Planning Commission, community groups and regulatory agencies; ensures timely action on City Council and Planning Commission directives and initiatives; develops and maintains records, statistics and reports on planning related activities.


Any combination of education and experience that has provided the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for a Planning & Building Director. A typical way of obtaining the required qualifications is to possess the equivalent of five years of increasingly responsible experience in urban or regional planning, including three years of project management and supervision, and a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in urban planning, regional planning or a related field. A Master's degree in urban planning, regional planning or a related field is desirable.


The City is seeking a planning professional who embraces the challenges of a dynamic and demanding small town community that is unique to the North Bay and heart of the Napa Valley. He/she will be a     hands-on leader that will thrive in the challenge of independently directing, supervising and participating in the day-to-day operations including current and advanced planning, environmental review, land use code enforcement, zoning and subdivision administration, and administration of affordable housing programs. St. Helena seeks a professional that can transform challenges faced by a small community and a small staff into opportunities that advance the goals of the decision-makers. The ideal candidate will have a list of accomplishments that showcase the ability to manage multiple priorities and a track-record of success in seeing projects through to completion. The individual selected will be a forward-thinking leader known for embracing new ideas and suggestions from both internal and external stakeholders that can lead to increased efficiency, enhanced customer experiences and maximizing the talents of a resourceful staff.

This is an exciting career opportunity for an exceptional planning desiring to continue their city management career and to make a lasting impact on the St. Helena community as the City’s Planning & Building Director The City Manager seeks a well-seasoned communicator who is approachable and personable executive, he/she will appreciate the value of community engagement and have the demonstrated ability to rally stakeholders around a shared vision while drawing upon the creativity from reliable as well as traditionally untapped sources and possesses the following traits and characteristics:

  • A leader who imparts a service orientation to staff, inspires teamwork, builds relationships, and maintains a positive and productive work environment; utilizes a participative management style, and has a can-do attitude, yet can be decisive and take effective action when appropriate.
  • An individual who delegates out, instills accountability, demands excellence and provides feedback on      performance, and motivates others to achieve their potential.
  • An individual with a high degree of integrity who serves as a positive role model.
  • A “team player” with exceptional people skills who is committed to developing cooperative working       relationships.
  • A personable, open and flexible individual with good communications skills who can quickly earn the   respect and trust of the executive management team, other staff and community residents.
  • A professional with the ability to take complex information and convey it into non-technical and understandable terms.
  • Someone willing to listen to community input.
  • A leader with a vision for the City Manager’s Office within the context of the City’s established values and policies; works well within and understands the Council / City Manager form of government.


  • Medical (Kaiser & Anthem ), dental (Delta Dental) and vision (VSP) for employee and dependents. City currently pays all premiums for full family coverage)
  • PERS Retirement.
  • Tier 2 Classic: 2% @ 60 (hired on or after July 1, 2013 and before December 31, 2012 or a reciprocal classic member), highest annual average compensation earned during 36 consecutive months;
  • Tier 3 PEPRA: 2% @ 62 (hired after January 1), final compensation based on highest annual average compensation earned during 36 consecutive months
  • ALL members participate in cost-share and pay their perspective share of the employee PERS member share.
  • The City participates in Social Security and are coordinated with Medicare and PERS.
  • ICMA Deferred Compensation Plan membership available. City matches up to $200 per month.
  • Automobile Allowance: $200 per month.
  • 15 days vacation per year for the first five years, increase to 20 days based upon years of service.
  • 80 hours Executive (Administrative) leave annually (40 hours awarded January 1, additional 40 hours on July 1, prorated based on hire date).
  • 12 days sick leave per year, unlimited accumulation.
  • 12 days holiday.
  • 2 floating holidays (5 days after 5 years).
  • $50,000 life insurance coverage.
  • City-paid Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and short-term disability in the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program.
  • Up to $750 reimbursement for St. Helena based charitable events.


To apply for this challenging career opportunity, please apply online at Be prepared to upload a cover letter and resume.

Application Deadline: June 24, 2019, 12:00 AM.


  • Preliminary screening, may include telephone interviews—week of June 24
  • First Round Oral Board Interviews— July 8     Note: plan for at least two hours for the interview to allow for back-to-back panel interviews with a staff panel and a community panel
  • Second Round Oral Board Interviews (if necessary)—July 12
  • Background Check:  week of July 15
  • Appointment— August 13 or 27
Published on:
May 20, 2019 - 4:18pm
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