City of San Mateo – Planning Manager

The City of San Mateo Community Development Department is looking for a Planning Manager

Why Join our Department?

You’ll be joining a team of dedicated and talented professionals that strive to provide the highest quality of service to the San Mateo community, in a dynamic, fast paced, collaborative, innovative, and goal-oriented work environment.  This is an excellent opportunity for an individual who views planning from multiple perspectives, is forward-thinking and hard working, has a strong professional work ethic, places a high value on accountability, coaching, and mentorship, and is eager to accept and take on new challenges in their career. This is an excellent growth opportunity for a senior or principal planner in a similar sized municipality, or a higher-level planner from the private sector or a smaller municipality.

The Community Development Department, also known as CDD, is organized into four divisions — Building, Code Enforcement, Housing, and Planning.  CDD has broad responsibilities including, but not limited to, long-range planning, review of applications for new developments, implementation of the City’s housing programs, and maintenance of neighborhoods.  The Planning Manager will work alongside a team of focused and highly motivated professionals who work closely with the public, City officials, and personnel from other City departments and organizations/agencies.  The Planning Manager serves as a leader, facilitator, mentor, coach, and collaborator within CDD, the City of San Mateo, and the community at large.

The Position 

The Planning Manager plans, organizes, manages and directs the operations of the Planning Division, and is responsible for all tasks related to the current and long-range planning functions of the City.  The ideal candidate is a team player; is experienced and effective in all aspects of professional planning practices; has proven leadership, negotiation, and communication skills; works well with and among a variety of interest groups, individuals, and stakeholders; and can help lead the City of San Mateo through one of the City’s largest initiatives – a comprehensive General Plan Update.  The Planning Manager also serves as staff liaison to the Planning Commission, supervises preparation of the City Planning Commission agenda and compilation of required reports and documents, and acts as Zoning Administrator and performs all duties required thereof by the municipal code.  The position exercises direct supervision over professional staff in the Planning Division.  The Planning Manager receives general direction from the Community Development Director and/or Deputy Community Development Director and works collaboratively with other division managers within CDD.

For a complete list of duties, reference our job specifications at

The Ideal Candidate will: 

  • Be adaptable.
  • Be a strategic thinker.
  • Have the ability to simplify complex issues.
  • Know when to exercise decision-making and risk-taking and when to stop and ask questions.
  • Be a problem-solver, basing solutions on thoughtful analysis, a collaborative approach, and reasoned conclusions, and be able to present solutions, alternatives, and implications for recommendations and actions.
  • Have effective communication skills, both orally and in writing.
  • Possess the ability to identify and respond to stakeholders, residents, Commissioners, Councilmembers with tact and build strong and positive relationships and trust throughout the community and between conflicting interests.
  • Have the emotional intelligence necessary to supervise, train, motivate, and evaluate professional, technical, and clerical staff.
  • Value the importance of accountability, quality assurance, and continuous improvement.
  • Desire to contribute to a positive work environment that fosters motivation, collaboration, coaching, and staff engagement.
  • Be passionate about community engagement and providing the highest quality of customer service.
  • Enjoy serving in a culture where the CDD leadership team is empowered to achieve goals and work together amongst divisions to address issues and priorities.
  • Have knowledge of principles and practices of land use and urban planning, including environmental review, urban design, housing and zoning.
  • Be conversant on Federal, state, and local laws applicable to general plans, discretionary permits, environmental matters, zoning, housing and land use.

What You Need

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

  • You possess at least five years of increasingly responsible experience performing varied and complex municipal planning work, at least one year of which has included supervising professional staff.
  • You have the equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in Planning, Architecture, Public Administration, Urban Studies, or a closely related field.
  • Possession of a Master’s Degree in Planning or a related field, the American Institute of Certified Planners certificate, and valid California driver’s license are highly desired.

Salary:  $12,503 – $14,913/month, plus a comprehensive benefits package

To apply, review the complete job announcement, benefits information, etc., please go to

Application Deadline Recruitment will be opened until filled.  This recruitment is subject to close at any time without notice.  Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possibleFirst review of applications will be August 25.