Associate Planner

City of San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA

Experience Level: Mid-Level

Salary: $71,240.00 - $87,464.00 Annually

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To perform a variety of diverse professional planning assignments; to perform technical reviews and evaluations of land use and permit applications, environmental impact documents, and construction projects; to provide project management over moderate to large long-term City projects with high visibility. Incumbents in this class are assigned a broad range of planning assignments from short-term and moderately sized projects to the most difficult and complex planning projects with great latitude for initiative and independent judgment. Responsibility areas can include advanced planning activities, general plan amendments, project design, and complex as well as routine current planning projects.

This is the experienced, journey level of classification in the professional planning series.



Employees in this classification receive general supervision within a framework of standard policies and procedures.

Employees in this classification monitor and direct the work of technical, clerical, and professional planning personnel in the accomplishment of specific projects.



  • Coordinates and cooperates with other City departments and outside agencies; gathers land use data, addresses public input and concerns, prepares plan amendments/revisions and reviews development proposals consistent with local, federal and state laws and guidelines, and provides information on land use and zoning codes, laws, regulations, and ordinances affecting construction and other land use proposals.
  • Researches and interprets data, performs necessary field work, and prepares staff reports for various commissions concerning land divisions, site plans, architectural review, variances, use permits, etc.
  • Presents and prepares staff evaluations and recommendations for projects at public hearings and various commission meetings including the Planning Commission and Architectural Review Commission; prepares follow-up reports as necessary.
  • Conducts environmental analyses including the preparation of workscopes and requests or proposals for Environmental Impact Reports.
  • Develops and prepares revisions to the City's general plan and its elements as assigned.
  • Performs project management duties for short to long-term City projects of a small to large size with varying complexity and impact.
  • Plans, designs, and implements special City programs and/or long term capital improvement projects of a highly visible nature as assigned.
  • Conducts research and analysis of complex ecological problems and land use applications including reviews of environmental impact and other reports.
  • Performs administrative tasks including staffing of the public counter, building plan check review, business license review, ordinance enforcement, sign permit review, addressing, issuing of permits, and collecting fees.
  • Interviews and selects consultants; prepares and manages consultant contracts for E.I.R.s and other special projects; monitors work of consultants.
  • Conducts field inspections of construction and other land use projects to verify that the conditions of project approval are being met.
  • Processes planning development permits for timely action and acts as a liaison between the project applicant, the City, and the community.
  • Prepares applications for and administers state grants.
  • Prepares diagrams, charts, and other graphic exhibits to accompany staff reports and technical studies.
  • Builds and maintains positive working relationships with coworkers, other City employees, and the public using principles of good customer service.
  • Performs related duties similar to the above in scope and function as required.


Knowledge of:

  • Theory, principles, and practices of land use, transportation, housing, and revenue planning.
  • Purposes, policies, and procedures of the City Council, Planning Commission, and other agencies concerned with public planning and community development.
  • Current laws and trends in federal, state, regional, and local planning.
  • Statistical and research methods as applied to the collection and tabulation of data affecting public planning.
  • Laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations affecting general plans, zoning, development, environmental review, and land use, including but not limited to CEQA, planning and zoning laws, and the Subdivision Map Act.
  • Computer applications in land use planning.
  • Graphic illustration and presentation.

Ability to:

  • Collect, analyze, and compile technical, statistical, and related information pertaining to planning and zoning research.
  • Organize, conduct, coordinate, and present planning research studies.
  • Prepare both concise and comprehensive oral and written reports.
  • Provide project direction and training on major planning studies.
  • Effectively communicate in both oral and written forms.
  • Act as information source to others regarding professional planning practices to include specialty area as assigned.
  • Oversee the development/revision and preparation of maps, charts, and graphic illustrations.
  • Facilitate group discussions in a productive manner; expressing and summarizing differing viewpoints for clarity and objectivity.
  • Effectively make presentations to large and small groups in both formal meetings and group discussion environments.
  • Effectively prioritize and coordinate the work of self and others in a project oriented environment.
  • Deal tactfully, patiently, courteously, diplomatically and persuasively with the public.
  • Establish and maintain effective work relationships with those contacted in the performance of required duties.



Bachelor's degree in planning or a related field;


Three years of professional planning experience;


An equivalent combination of education and experience (a maximum of six months as a Planning Intern for the City of San Luis Obispo may be counted towards the planning experience requirement – the six months shall be counted as actual work hours, not duration of the internship, i.e., six months at full time or 12 months at half-time.)


  • A valid California class "C" driver's license.

Posted July 14, 2021, 2:27 PM PDT

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