Job Title Associate Planner/Assistant Planner



Under direct and general supervision, provides environmental review expertise and project analysis for Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) and special projects in advance planning; provides complex professional staff assistance to the Assistant Community Development Director and Principal or Senior Planner, other departments, and the public in areas of environmental planning and long-range planning; performs various professional field and office planning work related to current and advance planning, including review of development applications, zoning, and environmental documents, preparation of ordinances, review of City demographic data, General Plan maintenance, local and regional goal and policy documents, and state law; provides project management and administration; completes technical assessments and prepares written project analysis; provides professional advice and assistance to the public on planning, community development, zoning, permits, and environmental review; provides complex professional staff assistance to supervisory staff, other departments, and the public in areas of expertise; performs a variety of studies and prepares and presents staff reports; and performs related work as required.

Examples of Duties:
Management reserves the right to add, modify, change or rescind the work assignments of different positions and to make reasonable accommodations so that qualified employees can perform the essential functions of the job.

Prepares or assists in preparing, and/or commenting on initial studies, negative declarations, and environmental impact reports; prepares staff reports related to City Capital Improvement projects of development projects. Performs City project coordination with outside agencies such as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Caltrans, the Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Toxic Substance Control, and others as needed.

Participates in interdepartmental coordination, representing the Planning Division and providing environmental review guidance for a variety of capital improvement projects.

Reviews permit applications and building plans for completeness and compliance with the General Plan, Orange Municipal Code, City policy and guidance documents, regional goals, policies and regulations, and state law; provides interpretations of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Subdivision Map Act, and local environmental guidelines; identifies appropriate types of environmental documents for projects, reviews consultant work products, recommends, requires and/or prepares necessary mitigation measures; identifies corrective actions to be taken by owners; conducts follow-up and re-check and approves or denies submittals. Reviews routine to complex development proposals, plans, and applications in order to provide an analysis and recommendation on discretionary entitlements to decision making bodies or in order to ministerial approve Planning Division permits in compliance with applicable codes, ordinances, standards, laws, rules, regulations, goals and policies.

Reviews and, as authorized, approves plans submitted for Building Plan Check, business license applications, and other ministerial permits.

Reviews CEQA statute and guidelines; attends training and reviews literature for CEQA updates, including case law decisions; advises Planning Division staff of appropriate CEQA determinations for projects; maintains the City’s Local CEQA Guidelines, and consults with City Attorney staff, when necessary, for formulation of CEQA determination recommendations.

Assists the public at the front counter, on the phone, and via e-mail answering questions and providing information regarding zoning, land use, development standards, approved development proposals, and the City’s entitlement process; performs plan check functions for various projects; received and reviews applications for building permits for completeness and establishes appropriate files.

Serves as project manager on planning and development projects, which includes application and plan review, coordination with project applicants and other City departments, preparation and posting of legal notices, background research, environmental review; preparation of staff reports, scheduling meetings and hearings, monitoring of project implementation to verify substantial conformance with approved plans, conditions and mitigation measures; suggests revisions to site plans and architecture; inspects project development sites.

Compiles information for a variety of studies and reports; researches, analyzes, and interprets social, economic, population, and land use data and trends; researches and reviews previous entitlements and City records; develops recommendations and prepares written reports on various planning matters and the City’s General Plan; participates in the implementation, administration, and maintenance of the City’s General Plan and Zoning Ordinance development regulations of the Orange Municipal Code.

Researches, collects, records, analyzes, interprets, and summarizes statistical and demographic information; prepares spreadsheets and establishes and maintains a comprehensive database.

Prepares and presents staff reports for the City Council, Planning Commission, Design Review Committee, Zoning Administrator, Staff Review Committee, and various other committees and advisory boards as directed; prepare research, reports maps, and conducts briefings and meetings.

Confers with and advises architects, builders, attorneys, contractors, engineers, and the general public regarding City development policies and standards; provides and clarifies information relative to land use, zoning, code interpretation, general plan compliance, signage, and other issues.

Researches and assists in preparing ordinances for review.

Participates in coordinating City planning and development related activities with other City departments and with outside agencies.

Refers to and applies numerous documents including the General Plan, Zoning Ordinance, California Environmental Quality Act, Local CEQA Guidelines, Subdivision Map Act, State Planning laws, Orange Municipal Code, Specific Plans, emergency operations manual, historic preservation standards and guidelines, County tax assessor’s maps and records, building and architecture plans, design guidelines, etc.

Attends meetings, conferences, workshops, and training sessions; attends and participates in professional group meetings; stays abreast of new trends and innovations in the field of urban planning and other types of public services as they relate to the area of assignment.

May provide technical direction and training to other planning and technical staff.

Plans, coordinates, and carries out special projects as assigned by management staff.

Performs other duties as assigned.