City of Los Altos – Planning Services Manager

See below for more information:

Under supervision and direction from the Community Development Director plans, organizes, directs and coordinates, planning, zoning, and community development programs, and participates as a member of the department’s management team in departmental policy development and administrative planning, and does related work as required.

The Planning Services Manager reports to the Community Development Director and is responsible for planning and zoning programs and personnel. This position provides general direction for administrative, financial, and operational activities of the division.

  • Administer the General Plan and Specific Plans, and subdivision, planning and zoning codes and ordinances.
  • Monitor the City’s development services programs including review of major development projects and processing and issuing zoning approvals.
  • Provide staff support to the Environmental Committee, Architecture and Site Control Committee, Board of Adjustments, Historical Commission and Planning Commission.
  • Administer the California Environmental Quality Act and related state and federal laws and regulations, the Affordable Housing Program, the Community Development Block Grant Program, and the Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program.
  • Develop, recommend, implement, and monitor divisional performance standards and prepare division policies and procedures.
  • Coordinate interagency programs and enforcement projects and cross functional reviews with other departments and agencies, and assist with code enforcement investigations.
  • Meet with developers, design and construction professionals, and interested members of the public to provide advice and information, and provide applicant support throughout the plan check and building inspection process.
  • Supervise, coach, train, and evaluate staff.



Considerable knowledge of zoning regulations, state and local laws, the California Environmental Quality Act, the Subdivision Map Act, the Community Development Block Grant Program, and the Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program; considerable knowledge of the principles and practices of land use, urban planning, architectural and urban design; considerable knowledge of policy planning and administration; working knowledge of the policies, procedures, rules and regulations which govern the operation of local government; working knowledge of legislative and regulatory processes; working knowledge of the use and application of modern information and telecommunications systems and technologies; working knowledge of the principles of supervision and management.


Provide leadership; plan, direct, and organize the operations and staff of a complex agency division; understand, interpret and apply laws and administrative policies and rules; work effectively with the Community Development Director, the City Manager and the City Council; communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively both orally and in writing; select, train, supervise, motivate, and evaluate staff; utilize modern information and communication technologies.

EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION: Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the required qualifications would be:

  • Five years of progressively responsible supervisory and management experience involving interpretation and application of planning and zoning codes and regulations.
  • Bachelor’s degree in urban planning, architecture, civil engineering or a closely related field. Possession of a Master’s Degree in one of the specified fields is desirable.
  • Possession of, or ability to obtain prior to employment, a Class C California Driver’s license and a satisfactory driving record.
  • Certification by the American Institute of Certified Planners is highly desirable.

IDEAL CANDIDATE POSSESSES THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERISTICS: Is highly professional, patient, respectful, and ethical; possesses excellent problem-solving skills and a can-do attitude. Communicates effectively and proactively both verbally and in writing. Enjoys working in a small-town atmosphere with an engaged public, including merchants, property owners and residents.


Work generally involves a high degree of concentration, especially in the consideration of technical and personnel problems and the originations of programs to increase division efficiency and improvement of services.

The recruitment will remain open until the position is filled. Prior to hire, candidates will be required to successfully complete a pre-employment process, including a livescan background investigation. A conviction history will not necessarily disqualify an applicant from appointment; however, failure to disclose a conviction will result in disqualification or termination.


The City of Los Altos is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in employment on the basis of a person’s race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, mental or physical disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age or sexual orientation. Candidates with a disability, which may require special assistance in any phase of the application or testing process, should advise City of Los Altos upon submittal of application. Documentation of the need for accommodation must accompany the request.


The above job description is meant to describe the general nature and level of work being performed; it is not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required for the position. All job requirements are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities. Some requirements may exclude individuals who pose a direct threat or significant risk to the health and safety of themselves or other employees.