Associate Planner

This recruitment is open until the needs of the Department are met and may close without prior notice. NOTE: Applications will be reviewed and interviews are expected to be held as needed.

Come take a look at Downey! Our town is brimming with new retail, office and residential development. This position supports a very busy planning division that is an integral component to the City’s development. We’re seeking an energetic individual with a business friendly approach, a focus on quality customer service that enjoys working with the public and thrives in a team environment.

Under general supervision of the Principal or City Planner, performs professional-level tasks in current and/or comprehensive planning; provides information and assistance to developers, the business community and the public on planning, housing, zoning and development related matters.


The following examples are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by persons assigned to this classification.

Confers and provides consultative advice to architects, builders, attorneys, contractors, engineers, and the general public regarding City development policies and standards.
Receives and answers public inquiries regarding zoning, legal descriptions and other related Planning matters, either on the phone or in person over the public counter.
Reviews development proposals and applications for compliance with the City’s Zoning Ordinance and consistency with the General Plan.
Performs field surveys to identify problems and ensures conformance with project conditions and development standards.
Prepares CEQA documentation to evaluate environmental impacts.
Reviews and processes land use entitlements, including the site plan reviews, conditional use permits, variance, subdivisions, General Plan amendments, and zoning code amendments.
Interprets and applies land use, environmental quality, subdivision, and general and residential development projects with the Zoning Ordinance.
Prepares staff reports for various zoning and subdivision applications with recommendations.
Makes presentations to Planning Commission for various zoning applications.
Performs other duties as assigned.

Any combination of education, training, and work experience to demonstrate possession of the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform in the position is qualifying. A typical combination is as follows:

Education: A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university* with major course work in Urban Planning, architecture, geography or other related field.

Experience: Two (2) years of increasingly responsible full-time professional experience in planning, including design, site plan preparation/review and code interpretation/application. A Master’s degree from an accredited college/university* in Urban Planning may be substituted for one year of experience.

Knowledge of: Principles and practices of urban planning and development; site plan review; architectural design techniques and methods; California Environmental Quality Act; Subdivision Map Act; and other laws pertaining to general plans, zone changes and other planning practices; Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and G.I.S. permit tracking and picture software. An understanding of statistics, economics and sociology as these disciplines are understood by planners who are educated at the Bachelor’s degree level.

Bilingual skills in Spanish is highly desirable.

Ability to: Perform professional current and long-range planning activities; interpret planning and zoning laws to the general public; analyze and compile technical and statistical information and prepare reports; understand and carry out oral and written instructions; establish and maintain effective working relationships with all employees; and communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.

License Requirement: Due to the performance of field duties, the ability to operate a City vehicle may be required; therefore a valid California Class C Driver’s License and acceptable driving record at time of appointment and throughout employment in the position is required.

California Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Pull Notice System: An incumbent appointed to this position is subject to enrollment in the California DMV Pull Notice Program. The Pull Notice program provides information on the incumbent’s driving record and Driver’s License status on a periodic basis to the City of Downey. An employee assigned a City vehicle must acknowledge receipt and understanding of City Administrative Regulations covering the use of City vehicles.

NOTE: A legible copy of transcripts, showing the coursework completed, or a copy of the official college/university diploma for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, or an official letter from the accredited institution verifying completion of formal education including the area of study for which the degree was awarded must be uploaded with the online application at time of application submission.

*Accredited institutions are those listed in publications of regional, national, or international accrediting agencies such as American Universities and Colleges and International Handbook of Universities.

Physical Tasks and Environmental Conditions: The duties and responsibilities of this position are performed in an office environment and occasionally in the field and involve sitting, standing, and walking for prolonged or intermittent periods of time, and include reaching, bending, and twisting at the waist to perform desk work and operate general office equipment including a personal computer with keyboard for prolonged or intermittent periods of time.

The operation of a personal computer requires finger and wrist dexterity and the ability to withstand exposure to vibration, pitch and glare from the computer. Employee must be able to safely lift and carry books, files and reports weighing up to 25 pounds.

All application materials received by the final filing date will be reviewed. For consideration, an on-line employment application and supplemental questionnaire is required to be completed and submitted by the final filing deadline. A resume may be attached, but will not be accepted in lieu of the completed application and supplemental questionnaire. Failure to complete the information requested will result in an application being removed from consideration. All information submitted is subject to verification.
Those applicants who most closely meet the desired qualifications for the position will be invited to participate in the selection testing process, which may not necessarily be limited only to an appraisal examination (oral interview) weighted 100%.

Candidate(s) who complete selection testing with acceptable results will qualify for name placement on the Eligible List. The Department hiring authority may appoint a candidate from the List based on the experience, training, and/or education relevant to Department’s operational needs. Prior to a conditional offer of employment, a comprehensive background investigation is conducted, including fingerprinting. Upon issuance of a conditional offer of employment, a job-related pre-placement medical exam to determine the candidate’s physical ability to perform the essential functions of the position will be conducted, including a drug screen.