Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

Deputy Director- Planning

County of San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo, CA
United States
Professional Areas: 
Budgeting and Operations
Community Development
Infrastructure Planning
Land-Use Management
Public Policy
Experience Level: 
$120,744.00 - $146,764.80 Annually

The Department of Planning and Building oversees dynamic projects involving land use and building in the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County. With over 100 staff, the Planning and Building team performs all land use planning and construction permitting functions including policies, programs, permitting, environmental review and zoning enforcement.  

The Team
Our leadership team is committed to providing vital services to the community.
Current Planning Projects and Initiatives:

  • Avila Community Plan
  • Los Osos Community Plan
  • Diablo Canyon Power Plant Decommissioning
  • Airport Land Use 
  • Cannabis Land Use 
  • Countywide Water Conservation Program 
  • Los Osos Community Plan 
  • Los Osos Habitat Conservation
  • Mining Combining Designation Amendment

The Role
Under direction, the Planning Deputy Director will plan, organize and direct Planning operations and activities, which is a major organizational segment of the Planning and Building Department. They will use their leadership experience to coordinate and direct personnel, resources, projects and communications to meet community and department needs.
Typical Tasks

  • Can plan, organize, control, and direct the operations, activities, and services of the Planning Division, such as administration, permitting or policy and program services.
  • Supervise and evaluate the performance of assigned personnel; interview and select employees; recommend transfers, reassignment, termination, and disciplinary actions; coordinate subordinate work assignments and review work to assure compliance with established standards, requirements and procedures; assure employee understanding of established requirements.
  • Maintain current knowledge of laws, codes, ordinances, regulations, and pending legislation related to assigned functions and activities; modifies programs, functions, and procedures to assure compliance with local, state, and federal requirements as appropriate.
  • Monitor and analyze services, programs, activities and functions for financial effectiveness and operational efficiency; respond to administrative input concerning organizational needs; 
  • Participate in the development, preparation, and presentation of annual budgets for assigned functions; analyze and review budgetary and financial data; control and authorize expenditures in accordance with established limitations; provide recommendations concerning fees, taxes, and assessments as requested.
  • Communicate with administrators, personnel, outside organizations, and advisory committees to exchange information, coordinate activities and programs, and resolve issues or concerns; meet with elected officials, individually or as a governing board, to review and discuss issues and recommendations in a clear and organized manner; communicate with news media concerning division issues; attend and conduct a variety of meetings that may include evening events and out-of-county locations as assigned.
  • May act for the Director in their absence or as directed.

For a full job description, click here.


The Successful Candidate 

  • Has demonstrated strong organizational leadership skills
  • Is driven and motivated by complex projects 
  • Is a confident verbal and written communicator
  • Has exceptional problem-solving skills and can analyze situations accurately while adopting an effective course of action
  • Can establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships 
  • Is experienced in California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
  • Is familiar with Federal, State, and local land use and environmental laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards
  • Is passionate about working with the community and is excited about contributing to projects with far reaching public interest
  • Can monitor, analyze and modify policies, procedures and programs to enhance the financial effectiveness and operational efficiency of services, programs, activities and functions
  • Can provide consultation and technical expertise concerning the operations, activities, and services of the Planning Division
  • Can Interpret, apply and explain laws, codes, ordinances, regulations, policies and procedures
  • Can direct the maintenance of a variety of reports, records and files related to assigned activities

Education and Experience
Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a bachelor's degree.  A bachelor's degree in urban and regional planning, architecture, landscape architecture, geography, natural resources management, environmental, physical or life science, engineering, architecture, construction management or a closely related field is preferred.

In addition, six years of increasingly responsible experience in the development and implementation of planning programs, projects and services, two of which need to be in a supervisory position.  
Licenses and Certificates 
A valid driver license is required at the time of application.  A valid CALIFORNIA driver license is required at the time of appointment and must be maintained throughout employment.


Applications, including answers to supplemental questions, must be submitted online by the final filing date.  To apply for this position, visit our website HEREMost County recruitments require you to respond to supplemental questions as part of the application process. We recommend that you review these questions prior to beginning your application.

An initial application review will be conducted. Candidates who meet the minimum qualifications and are best qualified will be invited to participate in selection activities which may include online assessments, performance exams, written exams, and interviews.

Final candidates will be required to have an in-depth background review performed before proceeding in the process. Please note that references will not be contacted until the end of the process.

If you have questions or would like to discuss the opportunity further, please contact Human Resources at [email protected]. Confidential inquiries are welcomed.

For further information regarding the County of San Luis Obispo, visit our website at


Reasonable Accommodation Notice:

Federal law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. Please tell us if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for a job or to perform your job. Examples of reasonable accommodation include making a change to the application process or work procedures, providing documents in an alternate format, using a sign language interpreter, or using specialized equipment. Please call 805-781-5959 for assistance or e-mail [email protected] for more information.

Published on:
June 4, 2021 - 5:12pm
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email View All Jobs