City of Santa Rosa Supervising Planner

More information on the job opportunity is provided below…

SALARY: $49.58 – $63.50 Hourly
$8,594.25 – $11,006.42 Monthly


OPENING DATE: 09/09/19
CLOSING DATE: 09/30/19 11:59 PM

The City of Santa Rosa is seeking qualified applicants for the position of Supervising Planner. There is a current vacancy in the Advance Planning section of the Planning & Economic Development Department.

Supervising Planners possess the full range of knowledge, abilities and experience required to perform difficult and complex work involving the application of professional planning principles and theory to various municipal planning and zoning issues. Individuals assigned to this classification are expected to define planning and public policy issues, apply strategic thinking and analysis of physical, social, and economic conditions and trends to a wide variety of land use issues, and oversee and evaluate the work of professional and technical personnel engaged in a broad range of planning programs.

The Supervising Planner works independently, exhibits judgment, and provides direction in the completion of high level assignments, many of which have high public visibility. Incumbents may also serve as staff liaison to boards and commissions and represent the City through direct participation in local or regional committees or forums.

The current opening is in the Advance Planning section of the Planning Division.  The position is currently involved in the following specific projects:

  • General Plan Update.  Following a series of community conversations, the City has just kicked off a Request for Proposals for a comprehensive General Plan Update process that will begin in 2019 and complete in 2022. The update will include comprehensive changes to land use and circulation, as well as integration of a new Environmental Justice element, and measures to address climate planning and resiliency.
  • Housing Action Plan.  A Council priority is housing for all and as such the City has been progressing through a series of housing streamlining initiatives as well as policy updates in compliance with recent state laws.
  • Downtown Station Area Specific Plan Update.  This year’s top Council priority is downtown housing so the City is updating its Downtown Plan to reduce impediments and attract investment in this area.

The Ideal Candidate will demonstrate a solid foundation in planning principles and practices, possess varied and extensive long range planning experience, preferably in a fast-paced urban planning environment with extensive public involvement, have experience in engaging community members in planning programs and processes, possess a Bachelor’s degree (Master’s and AICP certification is desirable), have excellent written and oral communication, interpersonal and mentoring skills, and a strong commitment to providing excellent customer service. Additionally, ideal candidates will have experience developing general plans and other long range plans, are proven self-starters with strong enthusiasm for the profession, who possess excellent organizational skills and the ability to balance a multi-faceted, heavy workload. A positive customer service orientation and an ability to foster that attitude among co-workers is essential.

The Planning & Economic Development Department provides a wide range of development services to this dynamic and growing community, developing long-range plans for the growth of Santa Rosa and reviewing development proposals for consistency with those plans. These are very busy, challenging, yet rewarding times for the Department due to dramatic increase in activity as a result of the unprecedented October 2017 fire disaster in which several businesses and 5% of the City’s housing stock were destroyed. Planning staff assist in the land use permit review, the public review process, preparing reports and presentations, conducting outreach and education, and processing both minor and major permit applications.

The City of Santa Rosa is the county seat of Sonoma County, one of California’s premier wine growing regions, and is the gateway to tourist destinations in the redwoods and on the coast. Santa Rosa is the 26th largest City in the state. It occupies 41 square miles and serves a population of 170,000. It is a great place to live, work and play!

The City of Santa Rosa provides a full range of services including police and fire protection; construction and maintenance of streets and other infrastructure; water, storm water, and wastewater utilities; housing services through its Housing Authority; economic development; transit; parking; and recreation, parks, and cultural services, including a municipal golf course. The City of Santa Rosa’s residents work in a well balanced mix of management, professional, manufacturing, sales, tourism, transportation, construction, and service jobs. The City also plays an important role in supporting the agriculture and tourism industries of California’s north coast.

Essential Duties:
The following duties are considered essential for this job classification:

  • Assist in the implementation of goals, objectives, policies, and priorities
  • Coordinate, review and participate in the work of professional and technical employees in data collection, analyses, plan formulation, and implementation of a wide variety of planning, zoning, and environmental review activities
  • Supervise and coordinate the City’s advance planning programs
  • Supervise and coordinate special planning, zoning, and environmental studies
  • Prepare reports and findings and make recommendations
  • Perform complex, sensitive and important planning work
  • Represent the Planning Division at public meetings and present planning and zoning matters to City department employees, City boards, commissions and City Council, to outside agencies and boards and neighborhood groups
  • Meet with members of the public, neighborhood organizations, and developers to discuss planning practices, projects, or regulations
  • Direct and manage work of consultants
  • Assist in Planning Division budget preparation
  • Supervise, train and evaluate professional, technical, and clerical staff
Knowledge of:  Principles and practices of urban planning and zoning; laws underlying general plans, zoning and land divisions; current literature, information sources and research techniques in the field of urban planning; applicable environmental laws and regulations; principles of organization, administration, supervision, budget, and personnel management; computer software such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Knowledge of ArcMap GIS is highly desirable.

Ability to: Plan and supervise the work of professional and technical staff in compilation of technical and statistical data, research, and the preparation of plans and technical papers; establish and maintain effective working relationships with the public, other City personnel, and that of outside agencies; communicate clearly and concisely, orally and in writing; prepare, analyze, and make recommendations regarding planning studies and communicate findings in an understandable manner; supervise, train, inspire, and evaluate professional, technical and administrative support staff.

Experience and Education:  A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:

Experience – Six years of progressively responsible professional planning experience in a public planning environment. Typically, this experience would be comparable to that gained in a progressive, urban planning environment to demonstrate possession of the above knowledge and abilities, including previous experience leading or directing the work of others. A master’s degree in a field related to planning may be substituted for one year of planning experience.

Education – A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in urban or regional planning or a related field considered useful in city planning work.  A Master’s degree is highly desirable.  Possession of a Master’s degree in a field related to planning may substitute for one year of required experience.

License: Individuals must be physically capable of operating a motor vehicle safely and possess a valid, Class C California driver’s license OR be able to demonstrate the ability to travel on scheduled or unscheduled visits to various locations in the City which may or may not be reachable by public transportation.


Working Conditions: Incumbents assigned to this classification are expected to be able to communicate verbally, in person and or via the telephone and in writing. It is common for incumbents to sit for extended periods of time as they complete their work by using a computer terminal. The work requires an individual to make site visits for the purpose of plan and design review and presentations to neighborhood groups. Formal public presentations are frequently conducted, requiring the individual to be familiar with and use audio-visual aides as part of the presentation.

Selection Process:
Applications and answers to supplemental questionnaires will be carefully reviewed. Those applicants demonstrating the best match with what we are seeking will be invited to continue in the process that will include a structured oral board interview.