City of East Palo Alto – Assistant/Associate Planner

The City of East Palo Alto is seeking an energetic Associate/Assistant Planner to take on the full range of planning functions.  Given the recent increase in development activity in the City, the associate/assistant planner will be to take on a variety of exciting projects, for both long range and current planning.

The Assistant/Associate Planning position is a full-time position appointed by Planning Manager and Community and Economic Development Director; it is an non-exempt, SEIU classification.  This is an exciting time for planning in East Palo Alto.  The City is in process of updating the Ravenswood Business District Specific Plan, a designated Priority Development Area. The City is also processing multiple applications for large mixed use projects, housing and office developments. Planners will have the opportunity to work on complex and varied projects in an environment with a diverse and engaged community.

Please visit Calopps to apply for this opportunity. A completed City application is required and can be obtained at the following link:  The application is December 17, 2021.  Candidates are encouraged to apply early in the process for optimal consideration; the oral examination may be accelerated at the discretion of the City’s leadership once a highly qualified pool of candidates has been established

Assistant Planner:  This is the first experienced-level class in the professional planning series.  Initially under general supervision, incumbents with basic planning experience perform professional and technical planning work in current, advance, and/or environmental planning activities.  As experience is gained, assignments become more varied and are performed with greater independence.  Positions at this level usually perform most of the duties required of the positions at the Associate level but are not expected to function at the same skill level and usually exercise less independent discretion and judgment in matters related to work procedures and methods.  Work is usually supervised while in progress and fits an established structure or pattern.  Exceptions or changes in procedures are explained in detail as they arise.

Associate Planner:  This is the full journey-level class in the professional planning series.  Incumbents are expected to perform the full range of professional and technical planning work in all of the following areas: current, advance, and/or environmental planning activities and daily departmental operations, in addition to providing project management and administration.  Positions at this level are distinguished from the Assistant level by the performance of the full range of duties as assigned, working independently, and exercising judgment and initiative.  Positions at this level receive only occasional instruction or assistance as new or unusual situations arise and are fully aware of the operating procedures and policies of the work unit.  This class is distinguished from the Senior Planner in that the latter is the advanced journey-level class in the series and is responsible for organizing, assigning, and reviewing the work of departmental and/or contract staff involved in a major area of the Planning Division, in addition to performing the more complex planning and project management activities.

Positions in the professional planner class series are flexibly staffed and positions at the Associate level are normally filled by advancement from the Assistant level requiring two (2) years of experience at the Assistant-level and after gaining the knowledge, skill, experience, licenses, and certifications which meet the qualifications for and after demonstrating the ability to perform the work of the higher-level class.

Job PDF:

Ideal Candidate


Will have the Knowledge of:

  • Modern principles and practices of technical and legal issues of urban and regional planning, zoning, urban economics, demographics, and environmental planning and program management.
  • Geographic, socio-economic, transportation, political, and other elements related to city planning.
  • Comprehensive plans and current planning processes and the development process.
  • Site planning and architectural design principles.
  • General concepts of architecture, landscaping, grading, drainage, and traffic and transportation engineering as they relate to the process of urban planning.
  • Operational characteristics, services, and activities of a comprehensive environmental planning program.
  • Applicable Federal, State, and local laws, rules, regulations, ordinances, and organizational policies and procedures relevant to assigned area of responsibility.
  • Project management and contract administration principles and techniques.
  • Researching and reporting methods, techniques, and procedures.
  • Recent developments, current literature, and sources of information related to planning, zoning, and environmental review.
  • Practices of researching planning and land use issues, evaluating alternatives, making sound recommendations, and preparing and presenting effective staff reports.
  • Principles of advanced mathematics and their application to planning work.
  • Methods and techniques of effective technical report preparation and presentation.
  • Techniques for effectively representing the City in contacts with governmental agencies, community groups, various business, professional, educational and regulatory organizations, and with property owners, developers, contractors, and the public.
  • Techniques for providing a high level of customer service by effectively dealing with the public, vendors, contractors, and City staff.
  • The structure and content of the English language, including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Modern equipment and communication tools used for business functions and program, project, and task coordination.
  • Computers and software programs (e.g., Microsoft software packages) to conduct, compile, and/or generate documentation.

Minimum Qualifications

Assistant and Associate Planner: Equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning, Geography, Public Administration, Business Management or a closely related field.

Assistant Planner: One (1) year of full-time professional experience in planning, zoning and related community development activities.

Associate Planner: Three (3) years of professional experience in planning, zoning and related community development activities, or two (2) years of experience as Assistant Planner at the City of East Palo Alto.

Possession of a master’s degree in City Planning, Architecture, Public Administration, Business Administration, or closely related field is desirable, and will substitute one-year of professional experience.

Licenses and Certifications:

Possession of a valid California Class C Driver’s License and a good driving record, at the time of