M-Group – Associate Planner

M-Group exists to bring innovative and effective planning solutions to Bay Area cities. Since the creation of the firm in 2006, we have brought high-caliber planning services to over 65 Bay Area communities.  M-Group’s planners have extensive experience working on large, complex and high-profile projects and our staff brings together a range of accomplishments and a wealth of real-world experiences. Our staff enjoy working with a variety of planning professionals in many different settings and with many different agencies where they gain excellent experience in the profession.

Visit us at http://www.m-group.us to learn more.

M-Group is looking to hire Associate level planners to serve clients in the North Bay.  The positions are based in M-Group’s Santa Rosa office but are currently working remotely due to COVID19 Shelter In Place orders.



Performs a variety of professional planning duties in current and long-range planning including zoning and planning administration, environmental review, general plan updates, and plan preparation and review; and performs related work as required.

Associate Planner is the experienced journey-level classification in the professional Planner series in which employees are expected to independently perform the full scope of planning activities under occasional direction. Associate Planner is distinguished from the higher-level classification of Senior Planner in that Senior Planner is responsible for performing more complex duties.


(May include, but are not limited to, the following):

  • Processes planning applications; reviews and analyzes land use impacts and compliance with local and State regulations and City policies.
  • Conducts research and compiles, analyzes and evaluates information related to planning studies, such as demographic, economic, social, environmental, land use and housing data.
  • Prepares a variety of technical and administrative reports, documents and correspondence; makes presentations to the Planning Commission, City Council and at public hearings and community meetings.
  • Prepares and maintains maps pertaining to zoning, land use and other planning related activities.
  • Conducts studies and prepares and presents corresponding reports.
  • Evaluates and reviews development plans for compliance; prepares reports, Initial Studies, ordinances, and research and communicates with applicants, consultants, staff and members of the public.
  • Inspects residential, commercial and industrial properties to gather data and assess the possible need for project or plan modifications.
  • Researches, conducts and/or analyzes policy and long range planning projects.
  • Researches planning issues related to economic development, land use, zoning and environmental concerns.
  • Researches and writes special studies including General Plan review and policy study issues.
  • Coordinates project reviews with other city departments and outside agencies.
  • Receives and responds to inquiries and questions at the front counter, via email and telephone; provides information regarding planning, zoning and the development process to developers, property owners, design professionals, other agencies and City departments.
  • Establish and maintain appropriate files, and prepare correspondence as required
  • Build and maintain positive working relationships with co-workers, other City employees and the public using principles of good customer service
  • Perform other related duties as assigned


Position requires prolonged sitting, standing, walking, reaching, twisting, turning, kneeling, bending, squatting and stooping in the performance of daily activities. The position also requires grasping, repetitive hand movement and fine coordination in using a computer keyboard. Additionally, the position requires near and far vision in reading reports and work related documents and using a computer. Acute hearing is required when providing phone and personal customer service. The need to lift, drag and push files, paper, books and documents weighing up to 25 pounds is also required. Some of these requirements may be accommodated for otherwise qualified individuals requiring and requesting such accommodation.


Education and Experience:

The minimum qualifications for education and experience can be met in the following ways:

  1. A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in urban planning, architecture or a related field; AND
  2. Three years of city planning experience; OR equivalent to a Master’s degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in urban planning, architecture or a related field; AND two years of city planning experience

Knowledge of:

  • Basic planning and design principles, practices and current trends.
  • General understanding of zoning, land use and environmental laws.
  • Principles of research.
  • Basic math and statistical methods.
  • Office methods, procedures, software and equipment.
  • Principles, objectives and procedures of city and regional planning, urban design and zoning.
  • Research and statistical practices as they relate to land use, transportation, zoning and master plan studies.
  • Techniques used in the development and maintenance of comprehensive plans, general plans and specific plans.
  • Pertinent local, State and Federal laws, ordinances and rules.
  • Elements of project review, including architectural and site planning considerations.
  • Methods of citizen participation in planning.
  • General customer service techniques.
  • The relationship of land use planning to transportation, housing and other aspects of community development.

Ability to:

  • Learn to interpret, apply and explain zoning and land use principles, laws and regulations.
  • Read and understand maps, architectural drawings and plans, and reports.
  • Analyze and compile information and determine appropriate course of action.
  • Operate a computer using word processing and business software and other office equipment.
  • Understand and follow written and oral instructions.
  • Communicate effectively, orally and in writing.
  • Write staff reports and similar correspondence.
  • Establish and maintain and promote positive and effective working relationships with employees, other agencies, public officials and the public.
  • Demonstrate initiative and exercise good judgment in the performance of duties.
  • Work independently and as a team member; recognize and set priorities and meet deadlines.
  • Observe safety principles and work in a safe manner.
  • Gather and analyze data on land use, population, urban growth patterns, economic and social trends, industrial development and other demographic data used in land use planning for the purpose of preparing and presenting accurate and concise written reports and making presentation at public forums.
  • Interpret economic, sociological and statistical data and draw logical conclusions.
  • Interpret, apply and explain planning, zoning and City policies, rules, laws and regulations.

Willingness to:

Attend weekend and evening meetings.


Possession and continued maintenance of a valid class C California driver’s license or the ability to provide alternative transportation as approved by the appointing authority and a safe driving record.


  • Demonstrated experience developing and delivering public presentations.
  • Certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners
  • Completion of certification in land use planning, transportation planning, geographic information systems, public policy, or a related area from an accredited institution; or state licensing or registration in a related field such as architecture or landscape architecture.


  • 99% Employer Paid Medical, Dental & Vision Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Life Insurance
  • Profit Sharing
  • Retirement Plan with 3% Employer contribution after 1 year
  • 12 Paid Vacation Days
  • Paid Sick Leave
  • 12 Paid Holidays
  • Short & Long Term Disability
  • Professional Development Reimbursement

Submit your application at m-group.us/careers or email to jobs@m-group.us