Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

Principal Planner

City of Palo Alto
Palo Alto, CA
United States
$98,342.40 - $147,492.80

Exciting Opportunity!
The City of Palo Alto is recruiting for an enthusiastic and passionate individual to fill the Principal Planner position that supports the City's long range policy planning program. The Long Range Planning team is responsible for advancing City Council land use policy initiatives, managing the City's below market housing program, engaging in regional planning efforts, and taking the lead role in creating neighborhood area plans. Following a recent reorganization, the Long Range division has five full-time and one part-time staff dedicated to the program.

The Position
The Principal Planner is a transitional position between the Senior Planner and Planning Manager and can include both supervisory and non-supervisory responsibilities, as needed. The Principal Planner, under the direction of the Planning Manager, may be assigned lead roles in implementing and advancing specific programs within the Long Range division. The position will be involved in a full range of tasks and projects and will assist the Planning Manager as necessary with operational functions.

The Principal Planner serves as a leader within the Long Range Planning team and is expected to adaptable, flexible, and resilient. This position requires strong project management skills, effective communications skills, excellent organization and prioritization habits, and a collaborative and team-oriented mindset.

The candidate must be willing to work outside of normal working hours, evenings and weekends, to attend and participate in community meetings or to staff decision-maker meetings (City Council, Planning & Transportation Commission, etc.). The candidate must have a customer service focus and strong interpersonal skills with the ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with co-workers, management, elected officials, community members, and representatives of public and regulatory agencies.

Ideal Candidate
Ideal candidate would have the following attributes or experiences:

  • Superior business writing skills to support efficient and effective communication
  • Successful experience preparing for and facilitating community engagement
  • Completion of a specific area plan from initial draft to adoption
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills for both internal and public exchanges; enjoys creating and sustaining strong partnerships with the local community
  • Works independently to prioritize and complete a broad range of assignments with competing deadlines
  • Well-developed project management skills to move projects forward and meet timelines
  • Ability to quickly adapt to changing priorities and assignments
  • Experience with the planning entitlement process and CEQA review
  • Familiar with current urban design principals
  • Zoning ordinance updates and implementing state-mandated legislation
  • Awareness of state laws affecting planning policy, specifically housing development



Minimum Qualifications

Sufficient education, training and/or work experience to demonstrate possession of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities which would typically be acquired through:

  • Possession of a Bachelor's degree in a field relevant to the program or function being managed
  • For all areas, five years of progressively responsible experience in municipal government planning functions including complex project management; or, an equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job such as those listed above.
  • Supervisory experience is preferred.
  • Master's degree is preferred.


Published on:
November 6, 2020 - 3:03pm
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email View All Jobs