Town of Hillsborough – Associate Planner

Under general supervision, performs a variety of professional duties in support of the Town’s Planning Division; serves as project manager on current and long-term planning and development projects; provides professional advice and assistance to the public on planning, zoning, and permitting issues; and performs related duties as assigned.


Receives general supervision from the Planning Manager. Exercises technical and functional direction over and provides training to lower-level staff.


This is the fully qualified journey-level classification in the Planner series. Positions at this level are distinguished from the Assistant Planner by the performance of the full range of duties as assigned, working independently, and exercising judgement and initiative. Positions at this level receive only occasional instruction or assistance as new or unusual situations arise and are fully aware of the operating procedures and policies of the work unit. The work requires extensive public contact and knowledge of codes, ordinances, and laws. This class is distinguished from the Senior Planner in that the latter is responsible for performing the more complex planning and project management activities, including serving as a project manager for multiple planning projects.

Management reserves the right to add, modify, change, or rescind the work assignments of different positions and to make reasonable accommodations so that qualified employees can perform the essential functions of the job.

  • Serves as project manager on current and long-term planning and development projects, including application and plan review, coordination with applicants to obtain additional information and project changes, preparing and posting legal notices, background research, preparing staff reports, scheduling meetings and hearings, monitoring implementation measures and conditions of approval, and inspecting development sites.
  • Reviews commercial and residential development proposals, plans, and applications for issuance of zoning clearance and for compliance with the Town’s General Plan, codes, and ordinances.
  • Reviews design plans for completeness and compliance with current Town codes and regulations; provides interpretations of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Subdivision Map Act, and local environmental guidelines; identifies corrective actions to be taken by owners; conducts follow-up reviews and approves or denies submittals.
  • Researches, collects, records, analyzes, interprets, and summarizes statistical and demographic information.
  • Prepares and reviews environmental impact reports; prepares written initial studies, negative declarations, and staff reports related to development projects or Town projects.
  • Assists the public at the front counter and on the phone, answering questions and providing information regarding zoning, land use, development standards, approved development proposals, and the Town’s entitlement process; performs plan check functions for various projects; receives and reviews applications for building permits for completeness.
  • Provides staff support and prepares and presents staff reports to the City Council, Architecture and Design Review Board, and various other committees and advisory boards; prepares public notices for public hearings.
  • Confers with and advises property owners, architects, builders, attorneys, contractors, engineers, and the general public regarding Town development policies, guidelines, and standards.
  • Researches and prepares draft resolutions and ordinances for management, Architecture and Design Review Board, and City Council review and approval.
  • Provides technical and functional direction and training to assigned staff; reviews and controls quality of work; inspects and evaluates work in progress and upon completion to ensure work is performed in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules, regulations, ordinances, and Town’s policies and procedures.
  • Assists in the development and implementation of division goals, objectives, operational policy, and priorities.
  • Assists in development of division budget; monitors expenditures.
  • Performs related duties as assigned.


Knowledge of:

  • Principles, practices, theories, and trends of urban, land use, and regional planning, zoning, and environmental review.
  • Principles and practices of project management.
  • Geographic, socio-economic, transportation, political and other elements related to Town planning.
  • Recent developments, current literature, and sources of information related to planning, zoning, and environmental review.
  • Applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules, regulations, ordinances, and organizational policies and procedures relevant to assigned area of responsibility.
  • Practices of researching planning and land use issues, evaluating alternatives, making sound recommendations, and preparing and presenting effective staff and technical reports.
  • Principles of advanced mathematics and their application to planning work.
  • Principles of providing technical and functional direction and training.
  • Principles and procedures of record keeping.
  • Techniques for providing a high level of customer service by effectively dealing with the public, vendors, contractors, and Town staff.
  • The structure and content of the English language, including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Modern equipment and communication tools used for business functions and program, project, and task coordination, including computers and software programs relevant to work performed.

Ability to:

  • Interpret Town planning and zoning programs to the general public; identify and respond to issues and concerns of the public, City Council, Architecture and Design Review Board, and other boards and commissions.
  • Understand, interpret, and apply all pertinent laws, codes, regulations, policies and procedures, and standards relevant to work performed.
  • Manage complex planning projects.
  • Independently research planning and zoning issues, evaluate alternatives, make sound recommendations, and prepare and present effective staff and technical reports.
  • Read and interpret plans and specifications.
  • Plan, organize, and coordinate the work of assigned staff.
  • Inspect the work of others and maintain established quality control standards.
  • Train others in proper work procedures.
  • Prepare clear and effective reports, correspondence, and other written material.
  • Make accurate arithmetic and statistical computations.
  • Effectively represent the division and the Town in meetings with governmental agencies, community groups, and various business, professional, and regulatory organizations and individuals.
  • Establish and maintain accurate databases, records, and files.
  • Independently organize work, set priorities, meet critical deadlines, and follow-up on assignments.
  • Use tact, initiative, prudence, and independent judgment within general policy and procedural guidelines.
  • Effectively use computer systems, software applications relevant to work performed, and modern business equipment to perform a variety of work tasks.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing, using appropriate English grammar and syntax.
  • Establish, maintain, and foster positive and effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.

Education and Experience:
Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the required qualifications would be:

Equivalent to a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university with major coursework in urban planning or a related field and four (4) years of professional planning or related work experience. A master’s degree in a planning or related field may substitute for two (2) years of previous work experience.

Licenses and Certifications:

  • Possession of, or ability to obtain, a valid California Driver’s License.


Must possess mobility to work in a standard office setting and use standard office equipment, including a computer and to operate a motor vehicle and to visit various Town and meeting sites; vision to read printed materials and a computer screen; and hearing and speech to communicate in person, before groups, and over the telephone. This is primarily a sedentary office classification although standing and walking between work areas may be required. Finger dexterity is needed to access, enter, and retrieve data using a computer keyboard or calculator and to operate standard office equipment. Positions in this classification occasionally bend, stoop, kneel, reach, push, and pull drawers open and closed to retrieve and file information. Employees must possess the ability to lift, carry, push, and pull materials and objects up to 15 pounds with the use of proper equipment.


Employees work in an office environment with moderate noise levels, controlled temperature conditions, and no direct exposure to hazardous physical substances.

Please apply at