Senior Planner

Job Information

Job Category

Land Use

Company Name

City of Escondido

Position Level


Job Description

The Senior Planner position would work on development projects that include annexations; implementation of the City’s newly adopted East Valley Specific Plan (housing element rezoning effort) which includes high density mixed-use projects, density bonus projects, and transit-oriented developments; as well as long-range policy implementation of the City’s adopted Housing Element and Climate Action Plan. (Please note that operational needs may dictate modifications to the assigned duties, in line with those identified in the job description). If you want to join a hardworking team that shares a commitment to provide top-quality municipal services in a prime North County location, consider a career with the City of Escondido. We have an opening for the position of Senior Planner in our Development Services Department/Planning Division. For a complete listing of job duties and qualifications, please refer to the corresponding job description, which can be obtained from the Human Resources Department or downloaded from the City's website. Under general direction, coordinates, supervises, oversees, and participates in the more complex and difficult work of staff responsible for providing planning related services and activities in an assigned unit or functional area; manages multiple complex projects in the areas of assignment; provides technical and functional supervision to professional planning staff; and provides responsible staff assistance to the City Planner and Director of Development Services. DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS This is the advanced journey level class in the professional planning series. Positions assigned to this class can be distinguished from lower level planning classes by performance of the more complex planning tasks requiring a high degree of knowledge related to various areas of current and advanced planning including serving as project manager on multiple difficult projects. Positions at this level are typically assigned responsibility of an assigned area or group. Positions assigned to this class can be further distinguished by the performance of supervisory activities such as assigning work, monitoring project progress, and providing technical assistance and training to other professional and technical staff.   Key Responsibilities   The following duties are typical for this classification. Incumbents may not perform all of the listed duties and/or may be required to perform additional or different duties from those set forth below to address business needs and changing business practices. Prepares and presents complex staff reports, formal presentations, and recommendations at community meetings, advisory boards, and public hearings including to the City Council, Planning Commission, and other advisory boards, local committees, and neighborhood groups. Reviews and analyzes civil engineering, architectural, landscaping, and other development plans for conformance with the City’s Zoning and General Plan, conditions of approval, and mitigation requirements. Reviews environmental technical studies and evaluates findings with consultants, internal departments, and public agencies. Manages the preparation of environmental documents pursuant to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) including Mitigated Negative Declarations, Environmental Impact Reports, and related documents; reviews the work of consultants responsible for preparation of same. Prepares CEQA pre- and post-Environmental Impact Report (EIR) documentation including Notices of Preparation, Notices of Determination, Requests for Proposal, Request for Qualifications, Scopes of Work, and related documentation. Manages and administers consultant contracts; develops and negotiates scope of work; establishes timeframes; ensures adequate funding; prepares contracts; verifies insurance; authorizes invoices; provides direction to consultant; reviews technical studies and environmental documents prepared by consultants. Provides supervision and technical assistance to professional and technical planning staff in an assigned group or unit; assigns work activities and projects; monitors work flow; reviews and evaluates work products, methods, and procedures; meets with staff to identify and resolve problems; and provides technical assistance and training. Participates in selecting, training, motivating, and evaluating assigned personnel; provides or coordinates staff training; works with employees to correct deficiencies; participates in the conduct of performance evaluations; implements discipline and termination procedures. Confers with, advises, and provides information and assistance to City staff, applicants, architects, builders, developers, attorneys, contractors, engineers, consultants, the general public, and outside organizations and agencies; explains the City’s development and public hearing process to design and development professional, property owners, and the general public. Manages multiple complex development proposals involving research, site visits, analysis, department coordination, scheduling, and report writing. Develops and prepares amendments to the Zoning Code, General Plan, Specific Plans, and Area Plans. Serves as planning representative for various City project teams. Prepares drafts of official correspondence for department head or elected official signature. Prepares annual reports related to local, state, and federal program compliance. As assigned, supervises the Project Processing Group; coordinates all activities related to the review of development projects and applications that do not require public hearings including appropriate environmental review and post approval plan checks. As assigned, assumes responsibility for the preparation of long range plans and policy documents associated with housing, climate planning, and other state-mandated programs; manages the work of consultants or staff involved in the preparation of assigned documents; manages the implementation of various long-range plans and policy documents. As assigned, supervises the Planning Resource Group (advanced planning) of the Planning Department; oversees staff and projects including those related to Annexations, General Plan Implementation Programs, Specific Plans, Master Plans, overseeing the Census program, large-scale development projects, Historic Preservation Program, Zoning Code Amendments, and Capital Improvement Projects. As assigned, coordinates environmental review and permitting for City Capital Improvement Projects; advises other departments of environmental and permitting requirements and recommends a course of action; prepares environmental documents; coordinates public notice requirements; coordinates with local, state, and federal agencies to prepare appropriate environmental clearances and to secure regulatory permits; coordinates public informational workshops; documents compliance with Mitigation Monitoring Program; participates in contractor preconstruction meetings to brief contractors on environmental requirements. As assigned, manages Special Planning Projects; conducts research; coordinates preparation of supporting materials from other departments or agencies; prepares reports, letters, ordinances, resolutions, and presentations; develops recommendations; attends public hearings and neighborhood meetings and makes presentations; reviews and prepares responses to referrals from other agencies or organizations regarding proposed policies and development applications affecting the City; monitors status of proposed projects and coordinates City input. As assigned, serves as City project manager for the Multiple Habitat Conservation Program (MHCP); participates in meetings with MHCP Advisory Committee, Elected Officials Committee; and Coalition of Environmental Organizations; negotiates proposed policies and agreements with wildlife agencies; coordinates strategies with SANDAG and other participating cities; negotiates with property owners regarding conservation opportunities, conservation easement requirements, Property Analysis Reports, Habitat Management Plans, and open space management agreements; prepares and administers grant function applications for open space conservation efforts; provides updates to management, City Council, Environmental Advisory Board, CEO, and other interest groups; evaluates financing alternatives to implement MHCP; processes and tracks Habitat Loss permits. As assigned, coordinates grant funding applications; researches grant funding opportunities; prepares staff reports, applications, and supporting documentation; solicits support from community groups, public agencies, and elected officials; administers grant funds in accordance with contracts including preparation of invoices and preparation of reporting forms documenting compliance. Attends and participates in professional associations and group meetings; stays abreast of new trends and innovations in the field of urban planning. Performs related duties as required. QUALIFICATIONS Knowledge of: Operations, services, and activities of a community planning and development program. Advanced principles and practices of zoning, community planning, and site planning. Development practices and development review procedures and requirements. Project management principles and practices. Basic principles of supervision and training. Organization and functions of various agencies involved in the planning processes. Recent developments, current literature, research methods, and sources of information related to municipal planning, urban growth, and development. Methods and techniques of effective technical report preparation and presentation. Methods and techniques of eliciting community participation in planning and development issues. Basic principles and practices of grant funding and contract administration. Modern office procedures, methods, and equipment including computers and supporting software applications. Pertinent federal, state, and local laws, codes, and regulations including laws underlying general plans, land use planning, zoning, and land divisions including applicable environmental laws and regulations. Ability to: Independently perform advanced professional level planning duties in the development, implementation, and modification of City plans and regulations. Provide supervision and training to assigned staff. Serve as project manager on multiple complex projects. Prioritize multiple projects. Staff and manage assigned commissions and committees. Interpret, analyze, apply, implement, and explain pertinent federal, state, and local laws, codes, and regulations including City codes and departmental policies and administrative directives. Analyze projects and potential projects for consistency with zoning ordinance standards, planning and environmental regulations, general planning principles, General Plan policies, and architectural quality. Analyze site design, terrain constraints, circulation, land use compatibility, utilities, and other urban services. Ensure project compliance with state, federal, and local rules, laws, and regulations. Participate in coordinating necessary communication between staff, developers, and other agencies. Understand, evaluate, and interpret complex technical engineering, architectural, landscape, and topographical plans, maps, and related documents. Utilize engineering and architectural scale to read plans. Prepare and analyze technical and administrative reports, statements, and correspondence. Present technical data in verbal, written, graphic, and map form to City management staff, citizen groups, and variety of boards and commissions. Interpret planning and zoning programs to the general public. Read, analyze, and interpret information from professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations. Operate modern office equipment and computers including specialized computer applications. Demonstrate an awareness and appreciation of the cultural diversity of the community. Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing. Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.

Required Skills / Experience / Education

Minimum Requirements Education/Training: A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in urban planning, regional planning, or a related field Experience: Five years (full-time equivalent) of increasingly responsible professional urban planning experience in local government including some project management experience. License or Certificate: Possession of, or ability to obtain, an appropriate, valid California driver's license.

US Citizenship Required?


Will security clearance be required?


Salary Range

$79,896.00 - $118,836.96 Annually

Other Benefits

The City of Escondido offers a comprehensive benefit package including vacation, holiday, and sick leave as well as medical, dental, vision, and life insurance. The Benefits of Choice program offers you a range of benefits. You choose the coverage that is right for you, your family and your budget. Read this e-Guide (Download PDF reader)for an overview of your options, with links to additional details and forms. For a more detailed overview of this benefits package, please visit the Management Benefit Summary.

Job Start Date


Position Type

Permanent Full-Time



Primary Language Required


Job Location

Location Address

City of Escondido
201 N. Broadway
Escondido, California

Contact Information

Hiring Contact Name

Veronica Morones


[email protected]