Planner IV – City of San José

The Planner IV position in the Planning, Building & Code Enforcement Department supervises and leads a staff team, as well as manages planning projects of considerable complexity and difficulty. The ideal candidate will possess a high level of professionalism, excellent leadership and teamwork skills, and a strong work ethic. The position requires excellent judgment, integrity, initiative, flexibility, project management, customer service, and written and verbal communications skills.

Salary range: $125,645.52- $153,011.04
Application deadline: Wednesday, October 12th, 2022
Link to apply:

Position and Duties

Per the City’s COVID19 Mandatory Vaccination Policy, the City requires all employees starting on or after February 11, 2022, to provide proof of vaccination as a condition of employment absent a documented medical and/or religious exemption. Proof of vaccination means that employees are required to be “up-to-date” with regards to the COVID-19 vaccine. Consistent with the Santa Clara County Public Health Order issued on December 28, 2021, “up-to-date” means that an employee is not only “fully vaccinated,” but has also obtained any booster doses of a COVID-19 vaccination for which they are eligible, within 15 days of first becoming eligible.

Please note that applications are currently not accepted through CalOpps or any other third party job board application system. To apply, applicants must complete an application via the City of San Jose’s website at

The salary range for Planner IV is: approximately $125,645.52- $153,011.04 annually. This amount includes an approximate five percent (5%) ongoing non-pensionable pay. Actual salary shall be determined by the final candidates’ qualifications and experience.

Specific duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Provides frontline supervision to a team of professional planners, planning technicians, and/or interns. Includes mentoring, staff development, training, and preparing performance evaluations.
  • Contributes to the evaluation and determination of recommendations on privately or City-initiated General Plan, zoning, land use, subdivision, and other Planning applications based on applicable General Plan, Zoning Code, City Council policies, the California Environmental Quality Act, the Housing Accountability Act, the Housing Crisis Act, and other relevant guidance documents.
  • Contributes ideas and develops proposals to modify the Zoning Code, streamline processes, improve service delivery, etc.
  • Uses performance data and project management skills to guide the work of the team.
  • Meets with applicants, community members, or other interested parties to problem-solve on issues associated with Planning applications, long-range plans and policies, and land use regulations.
  • Reviews, edits, and writes reports to the Planning Commission, City Council, and other audiences.
  • Makes presentations before the City Council, Planning Commission, neighborhood groups, or other agencies.
  • Represents the City at public hearings, meetings, and/or conferences.
  • Collaborates and coordinates with other City departments, government agencies, and other entities on matters relating to San José’s Planning programs.
  • Communicates clearly and demonstrates excellent customer service consistent with PBCE standards.

This recruitment may be used to fill multiple positions in this, or other divisions or departments. If you are interested in employment in this classification, you should apply to ensure you are considered for additional opportunities that may utilize the applicants from this recruitment.

We are currently recruiting for the following Planner IV positions.

  1. Ordinance/Policy Amendments: Supervises a team of planners that draft, conduct outreach, and prepare reports and analysis related to updates to municipal code chapters (zoning ordinance, sign ordinance, etc) and City Council policies related to planning/land use.
  2. Urban Villages: Supervises a team of planners that oversee preparation of Urban Village Plans. Urban Village Plans are one of the Envision San Jose 2040 General Plan’s major strategies to accommodate growth. This team is responsible for leading the process to prepare these plans including grant applications and management, managing consultants and contracts, report writing and analysis, and public outreach and presentations.
  3. Permit Center: Supervises a team of planners and planning technicians that processes administrative permits and zoning verification applications and reviews building permit plans for zoning and permit conformance. Oversees public information services in providing planning and zoning information to the general public.
  4. Council Liaison/Legislative Affairs: This position is responsible for proactive coordination with City Council offices about Planning Division projects and initiatives. This position will work in thoughtful partnership with City Council offices to act as a primary point of contact, educate,  anticipate needs and issues and work proactively to address them. This position would be responsible for tracking and coordinating between planning staff and Council Offices on Planning projects such as privately initiated development applications, process improvements, and ordinance or policy updates. In coordination with the Intergovernmental Relations team in the City Manager’s Office, this position is also responsible for identifying, tracking, analyzing, and advocating for the Planning Division’s position on pending state legislation related to planning and land use. An ideal candidate for this position will have a strong understanding of planning practices and principles as well as political astuteness and an understanding of legislative processes at a local and state level.

Selection Process

The selection process will consist of an evaluation of the applicant’s training and experience based on the application and responses to the Job Specific Questions. Only the candidates whose backgrounds best match the position will be invited to proceed in the selection process. Additional phases of the selection process will consist of one or more interviews.

You will be prompted to answer the following job-specific questions during the online application process. A response to the Council Liaison/Legislative question is only required if you are interested in that position. Please note that there is a 4,000-character limit, including spaces, for each text response. You will be evaluated on the quality of your response and your written communication skills.

* Please specify your degree, major, and the accredited college or university you obtained it from.

* Please describe your professional planning experience including journey level experience. Specify years of experience and the employers from where you obtained the experience. (Your response should be consistent with your work history).

* Please describe a recent experience when your leadership ability resolved a problem in your professional career.  Use a specific example and provide specific details of the type of problem, your role and responsibilities, and the outcome.  (Your response should be consistent with your work history).

* A response to this question is only required if you are interested in the Council Liaison/Legislative position. Please provide an example of when you have worked within a legislative process to develop or influence a project or policy related to development, land use, or another Planning related topic. Explain the process, your role, and the outcome. (Your response should be consistent with your work history).

You must answer all job-specific questions in order to be considered for this vacancy or your application will be deemed incomplete and withheld from further consideration.

If you have questions about the duties of these positions, the selection or hiring processes, please contact Emma Go at

Please note that applications are currently not accepted through CalOpps or any other third party job board application system. To apply, applicants must complete an application via the City of San Jose’s website at

Ideal Candidate


Minimum Qualifications

Education: Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university in urban or regional planning, urban studies, architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, urban geography, environmental studies or a closely related field

Experience: Five (5) years of professional planning experience that includes three (3) years of journey-level experience.

Acceptable Substitution:

Master’s Degree or sixty (60) semester units of graduate course work from an accredited college or university in urban or regional planning, urban design, urban studies, architecture, landscape architecture, urban geography, or environmental studies or a closely related field can substitute for two (2) years of planning work experience at the City of San Jose’s Planner II/ III level or equivalent.


Possession of a valid California driver’s license may be required. American Institute of Certified Planners certification is desirable.

Employment Eligibility:  Federal law requires all employees to provide verification of their eligibility to work in this country. Please be informed that the City of San Jose will NOT sponsor, represent or sign any documents related to visa applications/transfers for H1-B or any other type of visa which requires an employer application.


The ideal candidate will possess the following competencies, as demonstrated in past and current employment history.  Desirable competencies for this position include:

Job Expertise: Demonstrates knowledge of and experience with applicable professional/technical principles and practices, Citywide and departmental procedures/policies and federal and state rules and regulations.

Collaboration: Develops networks and builds alliances; engages in cross-functional activities.

Decision Making: Identifies and understands issues, problems, and opportunities; uses effective approaches for choosing a course of action or developing appropriate solutions.

Leadership: Leads by example; demonstrates high ethical standards; remains visible and approachable and interacts with others on a regular basis; promotes a cooperative work environment, allowing others to learn from mistakes; provides motivational supports and direction.

Political Skill: In taking action, demonstrates an understanding and consideration of how it will impact stakeholders and affected areas in the organization.

Problem Solving: Approaches a situation or problem by defining the problem or issue; determines the significance of problem(s); collects information; uses logic and intuition to arrive at decisions or solutions to problems that achieve the desired outcome.

Project Management: Ensures support for projects and implements agency goals and strategic objectives.

Communication Skills: Effectively conveys information and expresses thoughts and facts clearly, orally and in writing; demonstrates effective use of listening skills; displays openness to other people’s ideas and thoughts.

Recruitment Contact

Contact email: