City of Palo Alto – Senior Planner (Housing)

The City of Palo Alto seeks a Senior Planner to manage its affordable housing program and implement the City’s Housing Element and recently adopted Housing Work Plan. The successful candidate will have a prominent role in supporting and shaping housing policies including an ongoing effort to produce 300+ housing units per year to meet the city’s goal of adding up to 4,420 units by 2030. Work in the department is challenging, complex and requires a candidate that can prioritize assignments, meet deadlines and communicate clearly and effectively.

Palo Alto is a community that is committed to engaging its citizenry and expects thoughtful analysis supported by facts and reasoned judgment. Candidates must have knowledge of housing planning and policy development, experience with affordable housing financing and administering affordable housing programs in compliance with local, state, and federal requirements. Experience preparing and negotiating loan agreements, contracts, and regulatory agreements necessary to provide for the construction and preservation of affordable housing is required. The candidate will also have primary oversight of the city’s community development block grant program, but will have support from a consultant that provides day to day administration. Candidates with the above skills and experiences that are intrinsically motivated, self-confident, optimistic and thrive in a team environment will enjoy rewarding work and have a key role advancing city housing policy in Palo Alto.

Essential Duties

Essential and other important responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Supervises preparation of environmental impact reports on projects submitted for City approval.
  • Evaluates the design of large, complex projects submitted for Architectural Review Board (ARB) review.
  • Prepares reports, including coordinating the work of other staff members, on special planning for the Architectural Review
  • Board, Historic Resources Board, Planning Commission, City Council, appointed committees and other City staff.
  • Assists in plan preparation, coordination, monitoring and other activities related to the Community Development Block
  • Grant (CDBG) and other federal, state and local housing programs.
  • Prepares revised elements to the Comprehensive Plan.
  • Coordinates and monitors the work of planning consultants.
  • Makes public presentations before appointed boards, commissions, committees, and the City Council.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Sufficient education, training and/or work experience to demonstrate possession of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities which would typically be acquired through:
  • Bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning, Architecture, Historic Preservation or a directly related field from an accredited college or university. An advanced degree is highly desirable.
  • Five years of suitable professional experience in urban planning (or substitute for up to two years of experience a master’s degree in planning or a related field).
    Special Requirements:
  • Possession of a valid California Driver’s License.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will possess the following:

  • Self motivated and displays a positive can do attitude
  • Strong interpersonal skills with superior customer service skills
  • Demonstrated team player
  • Flexible and able to shift priorities.