Senior Planner – Current Planning

Class Title: Senior Planner (Current Planning)
Bargaining Unit: Mid-Managers
Class Code: 0003
Salary: $40.78 – $49.57 Hourly
$3,262.40 – $3,965.60 Biweekly
$7,068.53 – $8,592.13 Monthly
$84,822.40 – $103,105.60 Annually

NOTE: Incumbents at this level will be writing a variety of reports and summaries. Candidates are expected to demonstrate advanced and professional writing skills. As part of the application and qualifications screening, candidates will also be evaluated on their usage of English, grammar, spelling, expression, and clarity of thought in the work history and the supplemental questionnaire sections of the application.


San Clemente, incorporated in 1928, is a general law city operating under the Council-Manager form of government. The city is a popular southern Orange County beach community which enjoys a year-round moderate climate averaging 70 degrees and is centrally located between Los Angeles and San Diego. The city is 18.45 square miles in area and has a current population of approximately 65,500. The City has approximately 186 full-time employees.

The beautiful Southern California coastal City of San Clemente is seeking a highly experienced and skilled individual to fill its vacancy for Senior Planner (Current Planning). Under general direction, the position performs and directs complex professional planning work related to current planning projects. The Senior Planner also assists with planning, organizing and directing the work and the employees of the Community Development Department.

This is the advanced journey level class in the professional Planner series. Positions at this level are distinguished from other classes within the series by the level of responsibility assumed and the complexity of duties assigned. Employees perform the most difficult and responsible types of duties assigned to classes within this series including providing assistance to developers in successful completion of the development review process. Employees at this level are required to be fully trained in all procedures related to assigned area of responsibility. Employees at this level will supervise lower level staff.


Receives direction from the City Planner and the Community Development Director.
Supervises lower level professional, technical, and support staff.


Essential responsibilities and duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Supervise the Current Planning responsibilities of the Planning Division to achieve assigned objectives and balance workloads.
2. Perform the most complex assignments, or directs the work of others involved in the preparation and review of current planning projects.
3. Conduct research, interpret data, prepare, and present reports on development projects or policy issues to the City Council, Planning Commission, committees, advisory boards and other groups as required.
4. Prepare environmental documentation for planning projects; ensure that planning projects are reviewed in a manner consistent with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); and administer contracts for environmental consulting services.
5. Participate in the preparation of special studies, reports and other official documents such as, but not limited to, the General Plan, zoning code, design review standards and budgets.
6. Assist the public on the telephone, at the public counter and through attendance at community meetings by providing information and interpretations of plans and proposals.
7. Ensures that reports, decision letters, and plan checks are completed to high levels of professionalism.
8. Receive and respond to questions and inquiries from the general public, local business owners and developers; explain local land use policies and development procedures.
9. Review final plans and conduct field inspections of projects to determine compliance with Planning Commission and City Council actions and land use codes.
10. Schedule meetings, prepare agenda items and provide policy interpretations as requested.
11. Stay abreast of new trends and practices in the field of urban planning through review of professional journals and through participation in training, conference and/or professional group meetings.
12. Make presentations to staff, committees and general public; educate parties on the impacts of planning projects or policy issues.
13. May manage and implement housing, coastal and historic preservation programs.
14. Perform related duties and responsibilities as required.


Knowledge of:

• Principles and practices of urban and regional land use planning.
• Operations, services and activities of an urban planning program.
• Supervisory and training principles and practices.
• Methods and techniques of research and analysis.
• Principles of business letter writing and basic report preparation.
• Current literature, information sources and research techniques in the field of urban planning.
• Pertinent federal, state and local laws, codes and regulations underlying general plans, zoning, land divisions and environmental assessment ,including but not limited to, California Coastal Act, Mills Act, Secretary of Interior Standards, California Environmental Quality Act, State housing regulations, and Community Development Block Grants.
• Architecture and landscape design.
Ability to:
• Interpret & apply general and specific plans, zoning ordinances, coastal zone regulations, CEQA regulations, architectural guidelines, and other related development policies.
• Read and interpret design level concept drawings to ensure conformance with land use and zoning regulations.
• Select, supervise, train and evaluate professional, technical and support staff; oversee professional service contractors.
• Research, compile and analyze a variety of complex data and draft guidelines, ordinances, procedures and related material.
• Develop and present oral and written staff reports and policy recommendations to the Planning Commission, City Council and other groups as needed.
• Communicate effectively and maintain effective, positive and harmonious working relationships with citizens, City officials, staff, and others regarding a variety of City policies, procedures and practices.
• Provide excellent customer service to the general public, providing information and resolving inquires or complaints.
• Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
• Maintain mental capacity which allows the capability of making sound decisions and demonstrating intellectual capabilities.
• Maintain effective audio/visual discrimination and perception to the degree necessary for the successful performance of assigned duties.


Any combination of experience and training that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:

Five (5) years of increasingly responsible experience in municipal planning and community development. Due to the operational and service delivery needs of the department, applicants with recent, continuous, public agency municipal experience will be given first consideration.

This experience must include working with larger, complex and controversial projects, City Council staff report writing and review, management of discretionary applications, and public counter problem solving customer service.

This position will be supervising lower level professional, technical and administrative planning staff, so supervisory experience and performance evaluation preparation experience is highly desirable.


• Equivalent to a Bachelors degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in planning, architecture, political science, public administration, or a related field.

License or Certificate:
• American Institute of Certified Planner (AICP) certificate is highly desirable.
• Possession of, or ability to obtain, an appropriate valid California C driver’s license.


Environmental Conditions:
Office environment with occasional field inspections.

Physical Conditions:
Essential and marginal functions may require maintaining physical condition necessary for sitting, standing and walking for prolonged periods of time.

APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCEDURE: All applicants must submit a completed City of San Clemente application form and supplemental questionnaire in order to be considered. Applications will not be accepted by fax or email.

Applications must be submitted via the City’s web site at All properly completed applications will be reviewed, and the most appropriately qualified individuals will be invited to continue in the selection process. Examinations for the position may consist of any combination of written, performance, or oral exams to evaluate the applicant’s skill, training, and experience.

Prior to employment, the prospective candidate must successfully complete a background review, medical examination, including drug screen, and be fingerprinted, all at City expense. If selected, written identification showing entitlement to legally work in the United States will be required.

Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or age.

In accordance with the ADA, candidates that require accommodation to perform the tasks of this position should contact Human Resources to inform them of the accommodation requested.

NOTE: The provisions of this bulletin do not constitute an express or implied contract and any provisions contained herein may be modified or revoked without notice.