City of Millbrae – Assistant Planner


The Assistant Planner position in the Community Development Department is a fulltime position. The Community Development Department is comprised of five divisions and functional areas: Planning, Building, Code Enforcement, Housing, and Economic Development. This position will be the primary planner assigned to staff the public service counter, and would be assigned to process planning applications, zoning clearances, business license applications, and building, sign, and wireless permits. There would be a focus on processing design review planning applications and conditional use permits for single family dwelling units and other smaller scale residential and commercial projects.  This position may also work on other duties as needed by the Planning Division.


The Assistant Planner position 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.


Receives general supervision from supervisory or management staff in Community Development Department. May provide lead direction, work coordination, and training for lower-level staff.


The duties listed below are illustrative only and are not meant to be a full and exhaustive listing of all of the duties and responsibilities of the position.

  • Conducts assigned planning projects involving land use, populations, structures, economic activities, housing, transportation, environmental and related subjects; conducts research and confers with applicants, interested parties, and agency representatives to identify problems and opportunities; processes use permits, business licenses, and re-zoning and subdivision variances;
  • Analyzes data with respect to relevant laws, ordinances, regulations, and policies; determines methods to reconcile project conflicts with local and State law;
  • Prepares professional staff reports of summarized data, conclusions, and recommendations; prepares staff analysis and reports regarding land use applications;
  • Attends and makes presentations to the Planning Commission, City Council, other commissions, and the public;
  • Receives and reviews planning applications; coordinates review with various City and outside agencies; assists with the creation and revision of plans and related documents; may lead a team on complex applications and long-range planning projects; responds to inquiries both orally and in writing; interprets planning policies, State laws, and local ordinances, within established parameters; explains City procedures in person, over the phone, and in writing;
  • Drafts resolutions, findings, ordinances, and amendments to plans and related documents; prepares and oversees the preparation of graphs, charts, and other displays;
  • Ensures that all public and private development proposals have been properly reviewed and noticed under California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and State Law; 
  • Provides information on City, regional, and State environmental, zoning, land use, development standards, and subdivision requirements to consultants, developers, property owners, and the general public;
  • Works extensively on the computer to manage current planning caseloads, produce written documents, prepare maps, analyze data, create graphics, research on the internet, and communicate with others through e-mail;
  • May administer contracts and oversee the work of consultants; may serve as a liaison with other City departments on large development projects;
  • May provide a variety of support to the department, other city agencies, commissions, or ad-hoc advisory groups; and
  • Performs related duties as assigned.


Knowledge of: Mapping and drafting techniques involved in planning; design and plan review techniques; principles, practices, and purpose of municipal planning; laws and regulations related to city planning, including CEQA, State planning law, and subdivision map act; site and project design review techniques and requirements; nomenclature, symbols, methods, practices, techniques, and instruments used in planning, drafting, and mapping; statistics and statistical analysis as applied to land use, transportation, zoning, and master plan studies; principles and techniques of developing and maintaining a master plan; site planning, and architectural design; laws and other regulations relating to municipal planning; geographic information system (GIS) software, database software, word processing software, spreadsheets, and graphics software.

Ability to: Research, interpret, and apply local, State, and Federal laws and codes; collect, analyze, and interpret data pertaining to planning and zoning situations; apply urban, environmental, housing, zoning, and transportation planning principles and methods to local problems; assist with code and policy development related to planning and zoning; establish and maintain effective working relationships with others; communicate effectively, orally and in writing; understand and interpret maps, plans, building elevations, specifications, and legal descriptions; operate personal computers and utilize planning applications and software used in office environments;  analyze and compile statistical, economic, and technical data; read, understand, and apply State laws, local ordinances and guidelines to permit applications; prepare well-written reports and oral presentations; make effective presentations in public meetings in a clear and concise manner; establish and maintain effective working relationships with other employees, policy makers, developers, and the public; read and interpret architectural and construction plans; participate in project development.


Any combination of experience and training that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities. A typical way would be:

Education:  Graduation from a four-year college or university with major course work in city or regional planning, urban planning, public policy, or a closely related field.  Master’s degree in a related field is highly desirable.

Experience: One (1) years of experience as a current planner.

Licenses:  Possession of a valid California Driver’s License and a satisfactory driving record, as determined by the City.


Speak clearly and understandably; operate standard computer programs. Ability to travel to various locations within and outside the City of Millbrae to meet program needs and fulfill the job responsibilities. When driving on City business, maintenance of a California driver’s license and satisfactory driver’s record is required. Must be able to actively participate in evening meetings.

Other Requirements: Must have the willingness and ability to work the hours necessary to accomplish the assigned duties, including evening and weekend hours; attend evening meetings; travel out of town to attend workshops, conferences, and seminars during work and non-work hours.

Supplemental Questions

Listed below are four questions designed to assist us in evaluating your qualifications for Administrative Assistant. The information you provide, along with the information on your application, will help us to select the most appropriate candidates for further consideration. We are interested not only in what you have to say but also in your ability to present information in a clear, concise and organized manner. PLEASE COMPLETE YOUR ANSWERS TO EACH QUESTION IN 300 WORDS OR LESS. Where applicable, relate your answers to your specific background of education and experience as it relates to the position of Assistant Planner.

The responses to this questionnaire must be returned with your completed application. If a response is not submitted, the application will be considered incomplete and will be rejected.

  1. This position requires that you work effectively within a fast-paced deadline-oriented team environment.  Provide an example of how your interpersonal skills made you successful as part of a high-performance team and foster a positive working environment.
  2. Please describe your experience, if any, in processing design review planning applications and conditional use permits for single family dwelling units and other smaller scale residential and commercial projects? Include when (dates) and where (employer) you gained the experience. In your response, please include your role and specific responsibilities.
  3. Please describe your experience, if any, in serving as the lead planner staffing a public service planning counter at a public agency? Include when (dates) and where (employer) you gained the experience.
  4. Please describe in detail how your past employment experience and education meets the requirement for graduation from a four-year college or university with major course work in city or regional planning, urban planning, public policy, or a closely related field (master’s degree in a related field is highly desirable) and a minimum of one (1) year of experience as a current planner?

Applications are being accepted ONLY though CalOpps, a link to the recruitment can be found here: