Principal Planner

Job Information

Job Category

Urban Design

Company Name

City of Monterey

Position Level


Job Description

ABOUT THE POSITION: The City of Monterey is looking for a dynamic Principal Planner to join the Community Development Department. In this key role, the Principal Planner will drive the review of current planning applications and lead advanced planning initiatives. The Principal Planner is part of a vibrant team of experts in planning, project management, environmental compliance, housing, historic preservation, sustainability, and architecture, supporting boards/commissions, including the City Council. This position offers a unique opportunity for an individual interested in a variety of topics including progressive mixed-use development in a culturally-significant community.   **Applicants must apply online at by June 13, 2024, to be considered** ABOUT THE CITY OF MONTEREY: Nestled along California's Central Coast, the City of Monterey is known for its natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, hospitality, and sense of community. The City of Monterey is a full-service charter city operating under a Council-Manager form of government. The City of Monterey is a full-service city that provides police, fire, public works, planning, recreation, and parks services and operates its own conference center, sports center, parking, and marina facilities. WE TAKE CARE OF OUR EMPLOYEES: The City of Monterey offers a competitive benefits package to full-time employees. Some of these benefits include a Health Spending Fund, Medical, Dental, Vision, and Life Insurance, Vacation Accruals, Sick Leave, 15 Paid Holidays, Education Incentive Pay, Tuition Reimbursement Programs, CalPERS Retirement, and more!   SUMMARY:  Under minimal supervision, performs complex professional planning work in conjunction with the City’s General Plan, specific plans and other advance planning activities; supervises functions, staff and programs; and manages specific planning programs. DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS:  The Principal Planner is a management level position in the Planning office.   It is distinguished from the next lower classification of Senior Planner in that the Principal Planner manages the lower level staff and functions of the Planning Office and manages high-level planning projects with minimal supervision. ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONSEssential functions, as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act, may include any of the following representative duties, knowledge, and skills. Factors such as regular attendance at the job are not routinely listed in job descriptions, but are an essential function. Essential duties and responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Manage the staff and functions of the Planning Office, lead a group of professional Planners, and serve as staff to the City commissions, and other advisory groups as assigned.
  • Manage planning assignments and special projects, and provide leadership and guidance for staff.
  • Review case assignments, agreements, reports, technical documentation, research findings, customer service issues, and presentations; assist staff with technical and presentation skills.
  • Monitor projects, resolve technical and customer service issues, and assure project compliance with federal, state and local regulations.
  • Use extensive knowledge of urban planning, community development, land use, and permitting rules and regulations to perform experienced technical planning work for complex projects.
  • Manage staff through appropriate delegation, mentoring, and work supervision; assign duties, responsibilities, resources, and scope of authority; review programs and workload in order to anticipate technical and management problems.
  • Meet regularly with staff to discuss and resolve priorities, technical issues, quality standards, and customer service issues; review staff work as needed to assure compliance to City policies and quality standards; assure operations are in compliance with state and federal regulations.
  • Monitor operations and recommend changes to policies and procedures to improve the organization's functions; analyze workload trends and implement staffing and assignment adjustments.
  • Manage coordination with City departments, elected officials, and regional government agencies.
  • Keep the Community Development Director or assigned manager apprised of technical, approval, and deadline issues.
  • Support the relationship between the City of Monterey and the general public by demonstrating courteous and cooperative behavior when interacting with citizens, visitors, and City staff.
  • Maintain confidentiality of work-related issues and City information.
  • Perform other job-related duties within the scope of this job classification as assigned.

Required Skills / Experience / Education

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Education: Completion of a Bachelor’s Degree from a college or university, in Urban Planning, or a closely related field. A Master’s Degree in Urban Planning or Public Administration is desirable. Experience: Six (6) years of progressively responsible professional planning experience, including two (2) years of supervisory experience. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered. LICENSE AND CERTIFICATION: Must possess a valid California Driver’s License upon time of appointment and be insurable with the City’s standard insurance rate, unless otherwise approved by appointing authority.

US Citizenship Required?


Will security clearance be required?


Salary Range

$115,536.00 - $140,448.00 Annually

Other Benefits

Tuition Reimbursement: $1,000 per fiscal year. Deferred Compensation: City will match employee paid contributions to a maximum of $100.00 per month. Retirement: CalPERS 2.7% @ 55 with highest year formula is provided for current City of Monterey employees or new employees who were hired prior to January 1, 2013 and who are currently active or have been active within six months of the date of hire in the CalPERS retirement system. The employee retirement contribution for these employees is 11% and is deducted on a pre-tax basis. The CalPERS retirement formula for new employees who do not meet the criteria stated above is 2% @ 62 with highest three year compensation. The employee retirement contribution is 7.75% and is deducted on a pre-tax basis. The City participates in the Medicare portion of Social Security. Health Plan Spending Fund: A minimum of $914.82 per month up to $2,540 per month, dependent upon level of participation (cash-in-lieu of benefits is $300) may be used to purchase medical benefits for the employee and dependents through the PERS Health Plan Program, dependent dental, additional life insurance, dependent care, and/or health care expenses through a Section 125 Flexible Spending Account. Dental: Fully paid employee premium by the City. Vision: Fully paid premium for employee and eligible dependents. Life Insurance: $50,000 policy paid by the City, with an option to purchase additional coverage up to $350,000. Short Term / Long Term Disability Plan: The City provides a Short Term/Long Term Disability Plan. Flexible Spending Account: The Section 125 Plan provides for an employee to set pre-tax dollars aside, through a payroll deduction, for reimbursement of health care and dependent care expenses. Group Legal: Subject to provider limitations, the City will continue to provide a Group Legal Services Plan for employees represented by GEM through an employee-paid premium. Participation in the program shall be voluntary and consistent with the provider's requirements that the potential pool of participants must include a minimum of 200 employees City Recreation Program Fees: Resident Rates for City Recreation classes and programs for employees and immediate family household members. Voluntary Unpaid Leave: With advance approval, an employee may take up to forty (40) hours of unpaid leave per calendar year. Fitness Pass: Fitness Pass Program available to use the City of Monterey Sports Center. Fitness Activity Plan: Employees are eligible to participate in a Fitness Activity Plan where they work out off-duty in exchange for leave time accrued in a Fitness Leave bank. Each year, a maximum of 40 hours can be accrued (10 hours per quarter) with a maximum of 80 hours allowed in the bank. The Fitness Leave bank does not have cash value, and time accrued has no expiration date. Employee Assistance Program: Fully paid confidential counseling and referral service for employee and eligible dependents. Management Leave: Management employees shall be provided with 40 hours of management leave at the beginning of each calendar year. Newly hired managers will be awarded leave on a prorated basis depending on hire date. Holidays: 14 paid days annually plus 1 floating holiday. Sick Leave: 12 days per year.* Vacation: 1-5 years/10 days; 6-10 years/15 days; 11-15 years/ 17 days; 15+ years/20 days.;20+ years/23 days per year.* *Relocation assistance, sick leave and vacation balances and initial vacation accrual rate negotiable. ***************************************** ADDITIONAL INFORMATION •Candidate selected will serve up to one-year probationary period. •Candidates who pass the testing process will be placed on an eligibility list. This list may be used to fill additional positions (including subordinate positions) that become available during the life of the list. •This bulletin is for informational purposes only and does not supersede rules regulations, ordinances and resolutions currently in effect. •Pursuant to the Immigration Reform Act of 1986, employees must show proof of identity and eligibility to work in the United States. •The City of Monterey is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Job Start Date


Position Type

Permanent Full-Time



Primary Language Required



Urban Planning

Job Location

Location Address

735 Pacific
Monterey, California

Contact Information

Hiring Contact Name

Cierra Rauch


[email protected]

Phone Number

(831) 646-3784