County of Santa Clara – Assistant Planner

FINAL FILING DATE: 10/15/18. If the Final Filing Date states “Continuous”, the application filing period may close any time after ten business days from the issue date of this job announcement if sufficient qualified applications have been received. Postmarks are not acceptable, therefore it is important to submit your application as soon as possible.


Initially under close supervision, to provide service to the public and permit applicants, to assist in the review and processing of development applications for cities, agencies, and other county departments, to assist in planning studies, feasibility studies, master plans and concept plans, to assist in the research and analysis of planning data, and to assist in the administration of zoning, planning, or park and recreation development programs.


  • Assists in the preparation and processing of less complex and routine development applications;
  • Assists in coordinating agency and community review of development applications;
  • Analyzes the less complex and routine land development applications, site plans, and building permit applications for completeness and conformance with policies, ordinances, master plans, concept plans, County General Plan, conditions of approval, and State and Federal regulations, prepares conditions of approval where necessary, and takes discretionary action on certain land development projects that are reviewed at the staff level, making required findings;
  • Assists in the preparation and presentation of detailed reports on development applications, master plans, concept plans, feasibility studies and other planning-related documents to decision-making bodies such as Board of Supervisors, Parks and Recreation Commission, Planning Commission, Airport Land Use Commission, Historical Heritage Commission, Housing, Land Use, Environment and Transportation Committee, and San Martin Planning Advisory Committee;
  • Enters development permit information and permit process workflow data in a central database;
  • Tracks application and project expenses and verifies the accuracy of invoices;
  • Abstracts information from aerial photographs, subdivision maps, census reports, building permits, etc., for analysis in planning studies;
  • Analyzes geographic information systems data and creates maps;
  • Assists in the preparation of plans, maps, graphs and other visual aids;
  • Assists in the development of planning studies, feasibility studies, master plans and concept plans and reports on topics, such as land use, housing, historic resources, environmental impacts and economic development, in support of new or updated plan policies, regulations or programs;
  • Answers inquiries and provides general information to the public regarding land use projects, permitting procedures, development policies, plans, zoning ordinances and other regulations;
  • Provides information to the public regarding the permitting and development review requirements of other County departments such as Fire Marshal’s Office, Environmental Health, Land Development Engineering, Geology, Roads and Airports, and Building, and County programs such as Williamson Act, Historic Preservation, and the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan;
  • Assists with field inspections to gather data relevant to planning projects and the development review process and/or to verify that development projects comply with approved plans;
  • Prepares environmental documents in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) such as Categorical Exemptions, Negative Declarations or Addendum to Environmental Impact Reports;
  • Conducts in-depth property specific research including the review of deeds and other legal documents;
  • Assists with outreach to community groups, government agencies, developers and the public to encourage participation, resolve problems or obtain input;
  • Assists in the resolution of issues and complaints from the public or neighbors and permit applicants;
  • May write and deliver presentations to staff or committees and participate in meetings, conferences and workshops;
  • Attends evening meetings;
  • May be assigned as a Disaster Service Worker, as required;
  • Performs related duties as required.


Possession of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college with a major in planning, architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, natural resources, social science or related field.

Possession of a valid California Driver’s License prior to appointment and the ability to qualify for and maintain a County Driver’s Permit.

Knowledge of:

  • Research and data collection methods;
  • Principles and practices of planning and zoning administration;
  • Environmental protection regulations such as California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Water Act, National Historic Preservation Act, and Endangered Species Act;
  • State and local laws pertaining to land use such as Williamson Act, Historic Preservation Program, and Santa Clara Valley Habitat Plan;
  • Relationship of land use planning to the requirements of other County departments such as Fire Marshal’s Office, Environmental Health, Land Development Engineering, Geology, Roads and Airports, and Building;
  • Principles of effective customer service;
  • Effective report writing and presentation techniques;
  • Statistics and math applicable to planning and property development;
  • Common computer applications such as word processing, spreadsheet, database management, internet, and geographic information systems.

Ability to: 

  • Learn the principles, concepts and techniques related to planning and zoning administration;
  • Learn to review project descriptions, plans or field conditions and apply policy and code provisions to determine conformance;
  • Interpret the zoning ordinance and other policy documents;
  • Collect and analyze data;
  • Prepare clear and concise reports;
  • Communicate rules and procedures tactfully and effectively;
  • Work on several projects or issues simultaneously;
  • Work independently or in a team environment;
  • Build relationships and work respectfully, tactfully and creatively with the public, agencies and staff;
  • Speak and write effectively.