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Community Development Director

City of Torrance
Torrance, CA
United States
Professional Areas: 
Community Development
Economic Development
Infrastructure Planning
Land-Use Management
Public Policy
Regional Planning
Sustainability Planning
Urban Design
Zoning Administration
Experience Level: 
$15,478 - $21,360 Monthly

The City
Torrance California, the eighth largest city in Los Angeles County, is situated in a region of southern California known as the South Bay. This City of nearly 150,000 residents, with a peak day-time population that grows to 250,000 or more, spans an area of almost 22 square miles including 1 mile of beach.

Torrance features world-class medical and research facilities, vibrant shopping, four-star dining, as well as an intricate mix of burgeoning industrial and commercial facilities. Torrance is one of the few cities in the South Bay to feature its own municipal airport and support facilities. It is also considered to be a "headquarters" city, with major corporations such as Sunrider International, Alpinestars USA, Health-Ade Kombucha, Pelican Products, L3 Technologies, RapiScan Systems, American Honda Motor Company, and Robinson Helicopter Company all calling Torrance home.

The Department
The Community Development Department oversees and initiates plans for: economic growth; commercial, industrial, and residential development and re-development; zoning; code enforcement; permitting; and building inspections.  The Department has 69.5 employees over 10 different divisions: Administration, Development Services, Environmental & Noise Abatement, Downtown, Housing, GIS, Plan Check, Building Inspection, Public Works Records & Inspections, and Permit Center.

The Position
A tremendous opportunity exists for an experienced, dedicated planning professional to positively influence Torrance's future. Major responsibilities of the Community Development Director include redevelopment, comprehensive planning, zoning, housing programs, project planning, permitting, environmental stewardship, building and code enforcement.

The Community Development Director is a department head, executive position charged with administrative, managerial, supervisory, and professional duties in directing the City's planning and engineering development.

For a full a job description, click here.

The Ideal Candidate
As a vibrant community committed to redevelopment and economic growth, Torrance needs a strategic and self-motivated leader committed to building trust, creating a shared vision and strategy, executing their vision and strategy all the way through completion, and developing the leadership potential in others by improving performance through consistent feedback and coaching. The City also seeks to hire someone who understands and is responsive to the business community's needs. The successful candidate will have a proven track record of building and maintaining effective working relationships with coworkers (peers and subordinates), elected officials, citizens, and contractors. As a member of the Executive Management Team, the Community Development Director will collaborate with team members to achieve the City's long-term goals.

The City will evaluate the position's success based on building a department poised to support existing development and redevelopment opportunities, large and small. The candidate will also demonstrate the leadership to independently implement programs, projects, and policies in a manner that maximizes results.

Key Community Development Director Responsibilities include:

  • Managing all Community Development Department services and activities, which include: planning, directing, coordinating, and evaluating the City's long-term redevelopment, development, and environmental needs.
  • Leadership in the area of land use, large-scale transportation planning, and development financing to further the City's long-term vision.
  • Overseeing, managing, and promoting sustainable environmental programs and practices.
  • Evaluating efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery; identifying improvement opportunities and implementing changes; establishing fiscally-prudent staffing levels.
  • Developing and recommending plans and policies for Tax Increment Financing (TIF), Special Service Districts, and use of Community Development Block Grant Funds.

Major Initiatives & Opportunities
The City Council has placed a high emphasis on redevelopment, and has established values that are progressive, innovative, proactive, and inclusive.  Initiatives that require immediate focus include:

  • 6th Cycle General Plan Housing Element Update;
  • Citywide Seismic Structure Assessment and possible adoption of a vulnerable buildings seismic retrofit ordinance and program;
  • Implementation of City Council approved Downtown Revitalization Initiatives;
  • Implementation of multiple Land Use Study initiatives including Housing Corridors Analysis, ADU and ‘Parklet Dining’ Advancement initiatives, Zoning Code, and Parking Standards modernizations and assessing the potential of Community Finance District ordinance;
  • Housing legislation monitoring and City Council assessments on potential positions and advocacy;
  • Complete Permit Records Scanning and Systems Integrations; and
  • Collaboration with the City’s I.T. Department on a city-wide GIS Strategic Survey.


Education and Experience
Any combination of education and experience that provides the required knowledge and skills is qualifying. A typical way of obtaining the necessary knowledge and abilities would be:

Graduation from a college or university with a Bachelor's degree in City or regional planning, building and development services administration, public administration, engineering or a related field; and six years of increasingly responsible professional planning experience, at least three years of a supervisory experience, one year of which included management responsibility for a major function in Community Development (e.g., general plan development, redevelopment, zoning, transportation planning, code enforcement, building, engineering etc.).

Master's degree in planning, business, or public administration preferred.

License and/or Certificates
Possession of an appropriate, valid California driver’s license. 



Interested candidates are required to complete an online application and a resume that clearly demonstrates that qualifications have been met.  Resumes must include start and end dates reported by month and year for each position held.

Key Dates
The application filing period begins Thursday, May 27, 2021 and closes Thursday, June 17, 2021. Only those candidates who best meet the Department's and City's requirements will be invited to participate in the examination process.

The examination will consist of a qualifying application review and an oral interview (weighted 100%). Interviews are tentatively scheduled for Thursday, July 1, 2021.

Published on:
May 28, 2021 - 4:51pm
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