Assistant Planner (Current Planning)

City of San Carlos

San Carlos, CA

Experience Level: Entry Level

AICP Certification: AICP Not required

Salary: $45.88-$55.77 per hour

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Are you looking for an engaging and meaningful career opportunity in city planning? If so, the City of San Carlos invites you to apply for the Assistant Planner position in our Community Development Department.

This is a dynamic, pivotal role in the City’s Current Planning Division. The Assistant Planner will play a vital role in working with the community, other City staff, Commissioners, and elected officials. You will be responsible for reviewing planning applications and will be involved in larger Division initiatives that are rethinking the way we do planning. The Assistant Planner will have an incredible opportunity to be involved with new development, both big and small. This role offers you an opportunity to work in a progressive, supportive, innovative environment where fresh ideas and perspectives are welcome.

Located within walking distance to Caltrain and a fantastic downtown with lively restaurants and shops, working for the “City of Good Living” will give you unique opportunities. We are proud of our collaborative team of staff, where each member is a valued contributor to the success of the City. As the Assistant Planner, your work here matters, and you can make a real impact.

We are looking for a candidate with organizational skills, knowledge of municipal planning and its application, and the ability to work as part of collaborative team.  Check out the job description to learn more about this great opportunity.

The following dates are tentative and subject to change based on the needs of the City.

Applications Due: Before 5:00pm, Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Tentative 1st Interview Date: Week of June 12, 2023

Appointment to this position is contingent upon:

*Reference check

*Employment and education verification

*Department of Justice fingerprinting criminal history records check

About the Position

Under general direction, performs professional tasks related to municipal planning, zoning, housing, economic development and environmental analysis; researches and analyzes a variety of planning data; prepares various studies and recommendations; prepares and reviews environmental documents; reviews development and subdivision proposals, building plans, permits, and parcel maps; works with developers, architects, attorneys, and the public regarding City standards and policies; may serve as staff to various Commissions and/or committees; and does related work as required.

This classification is the entry level class in the professional planning series.  With the requisite experience, the incumbent can independently assume responsibility for more complex projects and specialized assignments. The Assistant Planner classification is distinguished from higher level positions by the nature of the work as entry level, of lesser scope, and/or moderately difficult and complex assignments.  The incumbent may work independently with supervision or as part of a team.

General direction is received from the Principal Planner and other Planners. Direct supervision and supervision through secondary managers may be provided with specific project assignments in the Community Development Department.

Essential Duties

  • Assists members of the public both over the phone and in person with inquiries and research.
  • Conducts assigned planning projects involving land use, populations, structures, economic activities, housing, transportation, environmental and related subjects; conducts research, and confers with applicants, interested parties, and agency representatives to identify problems and opportunities.
  • Analyzes data with respect to relevant laws, ordinances, regulations, and policies; determines methods to reconcile project conflicts with local and state law.
  • Prepares professional staff reports of summarized data, conclusions and recommendations; makes oral presentations to the public and elected and appointed decision makers.
  • Receives and reviews planning applications; coordinates review with various City and outside agencies; responds to inquiries both orally and in writing; interprets planning policies, state laws and local ordinances, within established parameters; explains City procedures in person, over the phone and in writing.
  • Drafts resolutions, findings, ordinances and amendments to them, and California Environmental Quality Act documents.
  • Prepares and oversees the preparation of graphs, charts and other displays.
  • Provides information on city, regional and state environmental, zoning, and subdivision requirements to consultants, developers, property owners and the general public.
  • Works extensively on the computer to manage current planning case-loads, produce written documents, prepare maps and graphics, analyze data, create graphics, research on the Internet, and communicate with others through e-mail.
  • May administer contracts and oversee the work of consultants.
  • May provide staff support to city agencies, commissions or ad-hoc advisory groups.
  • Performs duties consistent with the City’s commitment to exceptional customer service.

Job-Related and Essential Qualifications

Knowledge of:  Principles, practices, and purpose of municipal planning; site and project design review; nomenclature, symbols, methods, practices, techniques and instruments used in planning, drafting and mapping; statistics and statistical analysis as applied to land use, transportation, zoning and master plan studies; principles and techniques of developing and maintaining a master plan; site planning and architectural design; laws and other regulations relating to municipal planning; knowledge of or capacity to learn Geographic Information System software, database software, and graphics software.

Ability to:  Operate personal computers and utilize planning applications; analyze and compile statistical, economic and technical data; read, understand and apply state laws, local ordinances and guidelines to permit applications; prepare well written reports and oral presentations; establish and maintain effective working relationships with other employees, developers and the public; read and interpret architectural and construction plans; communicate clearly, concisely and tactfully with a variety of audiences; learn, retain and apply knowledge of laws and ordinances.

Skills in: 

Collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data pertaining to planning and zoning situations;  applying urban, environmental, housing, zoning, and transportation planning principles and methods to local problems; establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with others; communicating effectively, orally and in writing; understanding and interpreting maps, plans, building elevations, specifications, and legal descriptions; creating word processing documents, sending e-mails, and researching topics on the Internet.

Education and Training

  • Any combination of experience, education and training that would provide the best qualified candidates. A typical way of gaining the knowledge, skills and abilities would be:
  • Experience: Experience in land use planning and/or regulations desirable.
  • Education: Graduation from a four-year college or university with major course work in city or regional planning, urban planning, public policy or a closely related field.
  • Training: Any recent training such as academic courses and certification programs which are relevant to this job classification.
  • License: Possession of a valid California Driver’s License and a satisfactory driving record, as determined by the City.

Special Requirements

Speak clearly and understandably; operate standard computer programs. Ability to travel to various locations within and outside the City of San Carlos to meet program needs and fulfill the job responsibilities. When driving on City business, maintenance of a California driver’s license and satisfactory driver’s record is required. Must be able to actively participate in evening meetings. 

Other Requirements: Must have the willingness and ability to: work the hours necessary to accomplish the assigned duties, including evening and weekend hours; attend evening meetings; travel out of town and attend workshops, conferences, seminars during work and non-work hours.


Apply online:

Resume will not be accepted in lieu of application. Application, including all work history, must be fully completed if a resume is attached. Incomplete and/or inaccurate applications may result in disqualification from the recruitment process.

Posted May 5, 2023, 10:02 AM PDT

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