City of Pacific Grove – Senior Planner


The City of Pacific Grove is recruiting for a Senior Planner.  The ideal candidate will be an experienced urban planning professional who is able to provide high quality customer service working alongside a small staff of conscientious and dedicated employees, as well as an engaged Planning Commission, Historic Resource Commission and Architectural Review Board. The ideal candidate will have knowledge and experience of current and advanced planning strategies and techniques, strong written and verbal communication skills, an understanding and appreciation of the importance of economic development to the local economy, and respect for the significance of historic preservation to the unique character of Pacific Grove.  The ideal candidate will have the ability to address important unsolved challenges facing the community, particularly in the areas of affordable housing and water. Experience with implementation of a Local Coastal Program is highly desirable.  Exceptional interpersonal skills, strong leadership capabilities, high ethical standards, and a willingness to actively engage and connect with the municipal organization and community is a must.  AICP and historic preservation experience are highly desirable.

Tentative Recruitment Timeline
October 3, 2021  – Application Closing Date
Week of October 18th – Oral Exam Interviews
Week of October 25th – Selection Interviews

Essential Functions

Under general supervision, supervises the functions and staff of the Community Development Department (CDD) Current Planning Program; processes discretionary land use permits, and provides planning assistance to the community, and is a liaison to CDD’s Boards and Commissions.

As defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act, essential functions may include any of the following representative duties, knowledge, and skills. This is not a comprehensive listing of all functions and duties performed by incumbents of this class; employees may be assigned duties which are not listed below; reasonable accommodations will be made as required. The job description does not constitute an employment agreement and is subject to change at any time by the employer. Essential duties and responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Supervises the Community Department (CDD) Current Planning Program, including land use applications and development proposals; assists with advance planning and code compliance tasks and projects as needed.
  • Ensures that planning services are provided in alignment with land use constraints; prepares technical documentation for environmental impact issues; updates CDD website as needed, including regular updates to Board and Commission pages with agendas and minutes.
  • Supervises staff, develops priorities, and assigns tasks and projects; trains staff, and conducts performance evaluations; meets regularly with staff to discuss CDD programs, workload, priorities, customer service, and technical issues.
  • Analyzes Current Planning Program functions, programs, services, and activities to ensure they are meeting the needs of customers; explains and interprets CDD programs, policies, and activities.
  • Acts as case manager for complex current planning projects; including coordination with outside agencies, review of related technical reports, review for application completeness including site plan review, and review for compliance with zoning code, general plan, land use plan, the local coastal program and any specific plans; researches critical issues, evaluates records and files for accuracy and completeness, and prepares summary reports.
  • Reviews and prepares environmental compliance, CEQA and other related documents.
  • Prepares legal notices for public hearings, projects, and technical compliance documentation; presents reports to City Boards and Commissions.
  • Monitors caseloads, workflow, and timeline requirements for planning projects; ensures that quality and timeliness standards are met, and quality customer services are provided.
  • Serves as technical advisor to Architectural Review Board, Historic Resources Committee, and Planning Commission for review of planning projects.
  • Acts as staff for Architectural Review Board and Historic Resources Committee meetings, including preparation of agendas, notices and minutes and attends all hearings.
  • Manages administrative functions for work group, including personnel actions, budgets, and purchasing.
  • Supports the relationship between the City of Pacific Grove and the general public by demonstrating courteous and cooperative behavior when interacting with citizens, visitors, and City staff; maintains confidentiality of work-related issues and City information; performs other duties as required or assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

Education, Training and Experience Guidelines: 
Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Planning, Business or Public Administration or related field; AND five years of experience managing community development and urban planning programs; OR an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience.

Knowledge of: 

  • City policies and procedures.
  • Federal regulations, state statutes, case law, and local ordinances governing planning, zoning, municipal services, and urban development, including California Environmental Quality Act, the Secretary of of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation and the Coastal Act.
  • Principles, practices and procedures of urban planning, community development, land use, zoning regulation, permitting, code compliance, and environmental protection.
  • Principles and practices of public sector administrative management, including performance management, personnel rules, accounting, budgeting, and contract management.
  • Environmentally responsible and resource-efficient community development techniques.
  • Principles of records management, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
  • Geography, roads, and landmarks of City and surrounding areas.

Skill in: 

  • Interpreting and applying technical standards and procedures, federal and state rules and regulations, and City policies and procedures governing Community Development functions.
  • Using initiative and independent judgment within established procedural guidelines.
  • Supervising staff, delegating tasks and authority, and coaching to improve staff performance.
  • Establishing and maintaining cooperative working relationships with City employees, representatives from other regional agencies, community groups, and advisory groups.
  • Assessing and prioritizing multiple tasks, projects and demands.
  • Operating a personal computer utilizing standard and specialized software.
  • Communicating effectively verbally and in writing.

Licensing and Certification Requirements

A valid California State Driver’s License is required. Professional certification through the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) is preferred.

Work is performed in a standard office environment. May anticipate lifting approximately 25 lbs at a time and be able to stand on a ladder for file property files in banker boxes on shelves.


  • Required to take an Oath of Office
  • City employees are disaster relief workers in the event of natural disasters or emergency conditions.
  • Employees must have and show their Social Security Card on the first day of work. Employment is contingent upon acceptable documentation verifying identity and authorization for employment in the U.S.; a list of acceptable documents is available on the USCIS Form 1-9.
  • As part of the selection process, all individuals provided with a conditional offer of employment will be subject to a background investigation, including a social media and criminal history check (primarily completed through the taking of fingerprints).  An image of your fingerprints will be captured and sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  The resulting report of your conviction history, (if any), will be evaluated along with the other information received in connection with your application. Except as otherwise required by law, a criminal conviction will not necessarily disqualify you from the position.  The nature of the offense, the date of the offense, the surrounding circumstances, and the relevance of the offense to the position applied for may, however, be considered.
  • This recruitment will establish an eligibility list that may be used to fill other related vacancies. The duration of the eligibility list is 14 months unless abolished by Human Resources.
  • The Senior Planner is a non-exempt position and represented by the General Employees Association (GEA).
  • COVID-19:
    Applicants who accept employment with the City of Pacific Grove, will be required to be fully vaccinated or submit to weekly testing.