Assistant Planner

City of Los Altos
Los Altos, CA
United States

Under supervision of the Planning Services Manager, the Assistant Planner performs a full range of technical work with a primary focus in current planning and customer service. Incumbents process single-family development applications and review for compliance with adopted standards, prepare planning studies and reports, staff the public planning counter and provide customer service, conduct site inspections, and perform related work as required to support the Community Development Department.

This is the entry-level classification in the professional planning series and equivalent to a Planner I position. It differs from the Planning Technician position because it involves more professional-level duties that requires the analysis of a wide range of information and independent judgment plus fewer routine administrative tasks.

GENERAL ACCOUNTABILITIES: The following statements are intended as general illustrations of the work in this job class and are not all inclusive for specific positions.

  1. Responds to resident, public and developer inquiries concerning interpretation of zoning ordinances, development standards, City plans and policies regarding development. 
  2. Reviews and processes applications for single-family design review, single-family variances, tree removal permits, use permits, lot-line adjustments, land divisions, and other similar development projects.
  3. Conducts field investigations and prepares recommendations on such applications as assigned.
  4. Administers the City’s General Plan, Zoning Ordinance, Specific Plans and other adopted plans and guidelines.
  5. Prepares reports, correspondence, exhibits and presentations about the above and related functions.
  6. Assists with special studies and other long-range planning functions.
  7. Attends evening meetings of the Design Review Commission, Historical Commission, Planning Commission and City Council as needed.
  8. Coordinates with other departments, including Building and Public Works, to review and process permits.
  9. May work as part of a team with other personnel on an intermittent or project basis. Performs other related duties as assigned.



The principles, practices, and trends of public planning; statistics and graphic presentation; laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to zoning. Knowledge of architectural and site design principles and practices is also desirable.


Able to read and interpret architectural and engineering plans and specifications; detect deviations from established requirements; analyze information and prepare staff reports and correspondence; present orally to citizen groups and City commissions; establish and maintain effective relationships with City officials, employees, and the public; and maintain an organized workspace. Excellent written and oral communication skills are required, and architectural and graphic design skills desirable.


  • Graduation from an accredited college or university with an undergraduate or graduate degree in urban planning, architecture or closely related field. Four years of experience in professional planning, architecture or closely related field work may be substituted for the degree requirement.
  • At least one year of experience in professional planning work. A graduate degree in urban planning or closely related field may be substituted for the one year of required experience. Experience working in the public sector is desirable.


Is a self-motivated, highly professional, patient, respectful, and ethical; possesses excellent problem-solving skills and a can-do attitude. Communicates effectively and proactively both verbally and in writing. Enjoys working in a small-town atmosphere with an engaged public, including merchants, property owners, residents and developers.


$88,103– $107,090 annually DOE
The City of Los Altos offers a competitive benefits package. Please visit our website to learn more about our Benefits Summary.


Open until filled. There are two openings for this role. Human Resources will begin reviewing resumes starting on Monday, August 6, 2018.

Published on:
August 1, 2018 - 10:34am
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