City and County of San Francisco, Planner III – Urban Designer/Architect

Application deadline: 9-22-2017, 5:00 PM PST

Appointment Type:  Temporary Provisional (TPV)

A provisional appointee must participate and be successful in a Civil Service Examination process for this classification and be selected through an open competitive process in order to be considered for a permanent appointment. Provisional appointments may not exceed three (3) years.

About the San Francisco Planning Department (CPC)

The San Francisco Planning Department plays a central role in guiding the growth and development in our City.  The Department works with other City agencies and the community to help achieve great planning for a great city.

Our mission, under the direction of the Planning Commission, shapes the future of San Francisco and region by:  generating an extraordinary vision for the General Plan and in neighborhood plans; fostering exemplary design through planning controls; improving our surroundings through environmental analysis; preserving our unique heritage; encouraging a broad range of housing and a diverse job base; and enforcing the Planning Code.

The Department serves a broad range of constituents, including the citizens of San Francisco, community organizations, elected and appointed policymakers, builders, architects, property owners, tenants, and advocacy groups.  All rely on the City’s General Plan and the Planning Code to achieve the City’s development goals.

This is an opportunity to work in a dynamic, inter-disciplinary, and innovative department and share in our vision to make San Francisco the worlds’ most livable urban place – environmentally, economically, socially and culturally.

For more information about CPC, visit

Division Overview

Planners in the Current Planning Division help shape the physical development of the City. They are responsible for reviewing building permit and land use entitlement applications for compliance with the San Francisco Planning Code, San Francisco’s General Plan, zoning regulations, and relevant design guidelines.

Position Description

CPC has an opening for one (1) Temporary Provisional (TPV) 5291 Planner III – Urban Designer/Architect position to join the Current Planning Division

Under direction, the Planner III – Urban Designer/Architect performs complex planning work relating to the design of the built environment.  This position is responsible for providing professional architectural and urban design review of development proposals; developing architectural and urban design guidelines for a variety of land uses and building types; participating in design review advisory groups, advising Department Staff on technical knowledge of the Building Code, Green Building Ordinance, building material and construction methodology and cost; providing architectural design expertise to assist in the development of proposed long-range policy and planning initiatives regarding the built environment; and performing other duties as assigned.

Essential duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Participates in design review of development proposals;
  • Coordinates updates to existing urban design and architectural design guidelines, and contributes to the development of new design guidelines, as needed;
  • Provides urban design and architectural expertise in support of the Department’s work to strengthen the City’s sense of place and livability through concern for the city’s physical qualities;
  • Assists in the coordination of and participates in the Department’s design review committees;
  • Provides technical knowledge of the Building Code, Green Building Ordinance, building material and construction methodology and cost;
  • Provides knowledge of the Planning Code as applied to existing and proposed development of all scales and types;
  • Supervises or assists in the supervision of a planning group engaged in professional planning work and may act as project manager if needed;
  • Participates in or leads community workshops and public presentations;
  • Responds to, educates and works closely with the public, other City agencies, policy makers, elected officials and other stakeholders; and
  • Works collegially with team members, motivates and completes projects within a tight schedule.
  • Planner III’s may be required to attend meetings or participate in work-related activities outside of normal working hours (evenings and weekends) in various community locations.  Some positions may require possession of a valid driver license, and may require specialized experience in order to perform department-specific planning duties.

Minimum Qualifications

Possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university AND four (4) years (8,000 hours) of verifiable full-time-equivalent experience in an urban, city, regional and/or other related planning environment (such as transportation planning, environmental planning, architecture or urban design);


Possession of a master’s degree from an accredited college or university in City, Regional or Urban Planning, or a closely related field such as Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Geography, Urban Studies or Environmental Studies AND two (2) years (4,000 hours) of verifiable full-time-equivalent experience in an urban, city, regional and/or other related planning environment (such as, but not limited to transportation planning, environmental planning, architecture, historic preservation or urban design).


Possession of a valid Architect License.

Note:  The above minimum qualifications reflect special conditions associated with the position to be filled. They may differ from the standard minimum qualifications associated with this classification.

Desirable Qualifications

The stated desirable qualifications may be used to identify job finalists at the end of the selection process when candidates are referred for hiring.

  • 6+ years of practical experience in the design of residential and commercial buildings
  • Higher-level degree or certificate, or 4+ years of professional experience in urban design, place making, or related field concerning the design of the urban environment
  • Registered Professional Architect
  • Registered Professional Architect in the State of California
  • Possession of LEED AP certification
  • Knowledge of local (San Francisco) Building Code, Planning Code, and Design Guidelines
  • Experience in the creation and/or implementation of Design Guidelines, particularly those to be applied to urban environments.
  • Knowledge of urban design principles, site and master planning, and transit-oriented design.
  • Knowledge of best practices in building design, building materials, and structural requirements
  • Ability to communicate with staff and representatives of business and public interest groups, organizations, individuals, and public officials in clarifying and interpreting planning policy and regulations
  • Note:  Applicants must meet the minimum qualifications requirement by the final filing date unless otherwise noted.

Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are being accepted through an online process.
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