City of Santa Clara – Senior Planner

Read more about this position below.

Applications must be filled out completely. Please do not substitute “see resume” or “see personnel file” in the employment history section of the application. To be considered for this position, candidates must submit a 1) City Employment Application, 2) Resume, and 3) Supplemental Questionnaire, no later than 4:00 PM on Wednesday, December 11, 2019.

Community Development Department
The ideal candidate will have experience and knowledge in the following:

  • Public presentation and community engagement
  • Planning with a wide breadth of project assignments and type of planning work
  • Serving as a team leader or mentor
  • Proposing and implementing process improvements
  • Experience staffing boards or commissions
  • Application of historic preservation principles

The Senior Planner is the advanced journey level classification in the professional Planner series. An incumbent in this classification is responsible for performing complex planning duties in the administration of land use regulations, the City’s General Plan, environmental review, and design review. Depending on area of expertise, a Senior Planner may be primarily assigned to one or more of the following specialties: current planning, advanced or long-range planning, architectural review, transportation planning, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping, or database development. The Senior Planner is distinguished from the Associate Planner classification as they perform lead, supervisory responsibilities.

Meeting the minimum qualifications does not guarantee admittance into the examination process. Only the most qualified candidates who demonstrate the best combination of qualifications in relation to the requirements and duties of the position will be invited to test.

Candidates must attain a passing score in the examination process to qualify for the Eligible List. A department interview will be required prior to appointment.

Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

Under general direction:

  • Provides support to the Permit Center; assists property owners, project developers, public officials, and consultants in review of plans for development
  • Evaluates the design of large, complex projects submitted for Architectural Review Committee (ARC) or Architectural Review Board (ARB) approval
  • Provides technical and functional supervision and training to Planning staff
  • Presents projects at public hearings or community meetings
  • Acts as a project manager for complex planning projects
  • Researches planning issues related to economic development, land use, zoning, and environmental concerns
  • Assists in the development and implementation of department and division goals, objectives, policies, and priorities to ensure efficient and effective operations and compliance with the City’s General Plan
  • Performs site visits relating to new development applications, building construction, and code enforcement issues
  • Prepares statistical findings, technical planning reports, presentations, recommendations, and graphic displays involving research, field inspections and analysis
  • Represents the Community Development Department with the Historical and Landmarks Committee
  • May act on behalf of the Development Review Officer presiding over a public hearing
  • Acts as a liaison to appointed hearing bodies
  • Administers Request for Proposals (RFPs) or Request for Qualifications (RFQs) process, develops consultant contracts, oversees deliverables, ensures projects stay within budget and scope
  • Conducts and negotiates real estate or development agreements
  • Performs other related duties as assigned

  • A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university in Urban and Regional Planning, Environmental Studies, Architecture, or closely related field; and
  • Four (4) years of professional municipal or regional planning experience.

Possible Substitutions

  • Two (2) years professional planning experience as an Associate Planner with the City of Santa Clara may be substituted for the required experience.
  • A Master’s Degree from an accredited college or university in City Planning or closely related field may be substituted for one year of the required experience.

Desirable Qualifications:

  • Computer proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), permit tracking software, such as Accela.
  • Depending on position assignment, experience in a particular specialty such as current planning, advanced or long-range planning, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and/or Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping, or database development.
  • Experience developing and delivering public presentations.
  • Planning experience in a lead or supervisory capacity.
  • Possession of a certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).


  • Prior to hire, candidates will be required to successfully pass a pre-employment background check, which may include employment verification, a DMV record check, a criminal history check, and a Department of Justice (DOJ) fingerprinting. Any information obtained will be used to determine eligibility for employment in accordance with the law. A conviction history will not necessarily disqualify an applicant from appointment; however, failure to disclose a conviction when required will result in disqualification from the recruitment process.
  • A medical examination will be required prior to appointment.
  • Will be expected to work evenings and weekends as required.
  • Must be able to perform all of the essential functions of the job assignment.

Incumbents in this position are required to file a Conflict of Interest statement upon assuming office, annually and upon leaving office, in accordance with City Manager Directive 100.

Current permanent employee candidates who receive a passing score on the examination will have an additional five (5) points added to his/her final score.

Knowledge of:

  • Principles and practices of urban and regional planning
  • Pertinent Federal, State and local laws and regulations, including those relating to planning, zoning, land use, safety and the environment
  • The relationship of land use planning to transportation, housing and other aspects of community development
  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) regulations and/or National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • Elements of project review, including architectural and site planning considerations
  • Methods of community outreach
  • Research methods and techniques, including statistics
  • Supervisory principles and practices, such as prioritizing and assigning work, training, editing documents prepared by staff, conducting performance evaluations, making staffing decisions, and disciplinary recommendations

Ability to:

  • Research, interpret, apply, and explain established laws, rules, policies, and procedures related to planning
  • Research, analyze and investigate work related issues and conduct field studies to make recommendations
  • Prepare complex and comprehensive formal written and oral presentations, reports, graphics, maps, and charts
  • Use Microsoft Office Suite and planning industry software such as Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and permitting software, such as Accela
  • Effectively handle multiple priorities, organize workload, and meet strict deadlines
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work, including the general public
  • Work in a team-based environment and achieve common goals
  • Interpret economic, sociological and statistical data applied to land use, transportation, communications and public utility systems
  • Communicate clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing
  • Implement and improve methods and procedures
  • Bend, stoop, reach, carry, climb, and lift up to 25 pounds to perform assigned duties