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Assistant-Associate Planner

Town of Los Altos Hills
Los Altos Hills, CA
United States
AICP Certification: 
Assistant Planner-$68,023-$101,807 Associate Planner-$76,016-$118,066

Under supervision of the Planning Director, the Assistant and Associate Planner positions will perform a variety of professional work as a member of the Town Planning staff; independently conduct research and analysis in relation to the administration of the Town’s General Plan, Zoning Ordinance and other adopted plans and regulations; prepare reports and presentations to citizen committees, the Planning Commission, and/or City Council on projects of moderate to considerable complexity; staff the public planning counter and effectively communicate the Town’s planning and zoning rules, regulations and processes; and perform related duties as required.

Associate Planner Knowledge and Abilities Also Include:

  • Ability to analyze complex planning issues and problems in a clear and concise manner, to read and understand development plans, and to develop responses and solutions to planning issues.


  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university, with major course work in planning, urban design, landscape architecture, architecture, environmental studies and/or related field. A Master’s degree is desirable.
  • Assistant Planner: At least two (2) years of professional experience in urban or environmental planning. A Master’s degree can be substituted for one year of experience. Public sector experience is desirable.
  • Associate Planner: At least four (4) years of professional experience in urban or environmental planning. A Master’s degree can be substituted for one year of experience. Public sector experience is strongly preferred.
    Licenses or Certifications
  • Possession of a valid Class C California driver license.
  • American Institute of Certificated Planners (AICP) certification is desirable.

In addition, the Associate Planner will be able to perform professional work and manage their projects with a higher degree of independence; and provide training, technical assistance, and direction to interns, consultants and other personnel as needed.

The Assistant Planner position is considered the entry level in the professional planning series and performs a full range of entry level planning work and project management. The Associate Planner position is considered a middle level in the professional planning series and includes increased responsibility for project management, more independence of decision-making, more complex assignments, and ability to manage an increased volume of workload.

Examples of Duties:

  • Reviews and makes recommendations on development proposals of moderate to considerable complexity, including requests for site development permits, variances, conditional development permits, conditional use permits, lot-line adjustments, and subdivisions.
  • Prepares reports and recommendations regarding projects scheduled for Planning Commission, City Council or Site Development hearings, and attends meetings and makes presentations as necessary.
  • Conducts field investigations as necessary to assist with project evaluation.
  • Coordinates plan review with other departments (i.e. Building, Public Works), Town consultants and other public agencies.
  • Inspects projects for compliance with conditions of approval.
  • Conducts research and analysis on planning related topics, such as land use surveys, General Plan revisions, Census information and review, and participation in the Urban County Community Development Block Grant funding process.
  • Evaluates and approves administrative level development permits and checks building plans for compliance with approved plans and conditions of approval.
  • Answers questions and interprets planning and zoning regulations and land use planning principles to the general public, architects and builders.
  • Conducts site analysis meetings with design professionals and residents.
  • Evaluates projects for compliance with the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Subdivision Map Act and State planning and zoning laws.
  • Investigates code compliance complaints, with review and follow-up as needed.
  • Prepares informational handouts for the general public, regarding the Town’s codes and policies.

Associate Planner Duties Also Include:

  • Prepares findings for exemptions, Initial Studies, Negative Declarations, Mitigated Negative Declarations and/or coordinates preparation of Environmental Impact Reports per California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as necessary.
  • Provides training, technical assistance, and direction to interns and other personnel on an occasional basis.
  • Participates in coordinating projects with the Public Works Manager, City Engineer, Finance Director and Building Official.

Knowledge and Abilities:

  • General knowledge of the principles and practices of land use and planning, including the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the Subdivision Map Act, as well as the ability to quickly acquire an understanding of the physical, social and economic concepts underlying planning functions.
  • Ability to gather and analyze planning data and to read and understand development plans.
  • Ability to make sound decisions in a manner consistent with the essential job functions, including the ability to accurately interpret and administer applicable codes, policies and design guidelines.
  • Ability to conduct environmental assessments and prepare related documents for compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
  • Ability to prepare accurate and concise written reports, and to effectively present information at public meetings.
  • Ability to effectively interact and communicate with the general public, architects and contractors.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, Town officials, and the general public.



Published on:
October 4, 2019 - 3:43pm
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