City of San Clemente – California
Note: This recruitment is being conducted to fill 2 current vacancies and will be used to establish an eligibility list for upcoming vacancies in the next 3-6 months.

Note: The vacancies will be filled at either the Assistant Planner or Associate Planner levels depending on qualifications.

Note: Planning professionals are needed with expertise in any or a combination of the following planning specialties: General Urban/Land Use Planning, Coastal Planning, Historic Preservation, and Housing & CDBG.

Assistant Planner: $5,407 – $6,572 Monthly DOQ
Associate Planner: $6,106 – $7,422 Monthly DOQ

THE CITY: San Clemente, incorporated in 1928, is a general law city operating under the Council-Manager form of government. The city is a popular southern Orange County beach community which enjoys a year-round moderate climate averaging 70 degrees and is centrally located between Los Angeles and San Diego. The city is 18.45 square miles in area and has a current population of approximately 65,500. The City has approximately 186 full-time employees.

POSITION DESCRIPTION: The beautiful Southern California coastal City of San Clemente is seeking a qualified individual to serve as Assistant/Associate Planner. This position performs a variety of general and specialized professional planning functions, including conducting studies, analyzing data, and preparing reports on current and long-range projects; to coordinate and manage all activities related to assigned projects; and to provide information and assistance to developers, the business community and the public on planning and development related matters.

Assistant Planner: This is the entry level class in the professional Planner series. This class is distinguished from the Associate Planner by the performance of the more routine professional planning functions within the series. Since this class is typically used as a training class, employees may have only limited or no directly related work experience.

Associate Planner: This is the full journey level class within the Planner series. Employees within this class are distinguished from the Assistant Planner by the performance of the full range of duties as assigned including assuming responsibility for advanced planning projects, management of planning projects, and preparation of complex planning reports. Employees 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. Positions in this are flexibly staffed and may be filled by advancement from the Assistant level, or when filled from the outside, require prior experience.


Assistant Planner:
Receives general supervision from assigned management staff.

Associate Planner:
Receives direction from assigned management staff.
May exercise technical and functional supervision over professional, technical and clerical staff.

Minimum Qualifications & The Ideal Candidate:

Assistant Planner:

Knowledge of:

  • Principles and practices of urban planning and development.
  • Statistical and research methods and techniques related to planning.
  • Computer operations and software applications.

Ability to:

  • Learn current literature and recent developments in the field of planning and zoning.
  • Learn site planning and architectural design techniques and methods.
  • Learn pertinent Federal, State and local laws, codes and regulations underlying general plans, environĀ­mental matters, zoning and land division.
  • Learn to interpret and explain planning and zoning ordinances and regulations.
  • Learn to analyze and compile technical and statistical information and prepare reports.
  • Learn technical report writing techniques.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.
  • Maintain mental capacity which allows the capability of making sound decisions and demonstrating intellectual capabilities.
  • Maintain effective audio/visual discrimination and perception to the degree necessary for the successful performance of assigned duties.

Associate Planner:

In addition to the qualifications for the Assistant Planner:

Knowledge of:

  • Principles and practices of planning, architecture, and building construction.
  • Site planning and architectural design techniques and methods.
  • Technical report writing techniques.
  • Laws underlying general plans, zoning and land divisions.
  • Laws related to the California Government Code related to planning and community development.
  • Applicable environmental laws and regulations.
  • Current literature, information sources and research techniques in the field of urban planning and zoning.

Ability to:

  • Complete work with minimal supervision.
  • Interpret planning and zoning programs to the general public.
  • Analyze and compile technical and statistical information and prepare reports.
  • Respond to difficult and sensitive public inquiries.
  • Provide excellent customer service.


Any combination of experience and training that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:
Assistant Planner:


  • One year of responsible experience in urban planning or redevelopment is desirable.


  • Equivalent to a Bachelors degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in planning, architecture, political science, public administration, or a related field.

License or Certificate:

  • Possession of, or ability to obtain, an appropriate valid California C driver’s license.

Associate Planner:


  • Two years of increasingly responsible experience in urban planning.


  • Equivalent to a Bachelors degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in planning, architecture, political science, public administration, or a related field.

Examples of Duties:


Essential responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

When assigned to Urban/Land Use Planning:

  • Perform professional level planning functions in support of assigned projects including conducting studies, analyzing data and preparing reports.
  • Receive and review development proposals and applications, and zoning and variance requests; ensure compliance with appropriate regulations and policies; recommend modifications as appropriate.
  • Conduct a variety of current and long-range planning studies; research, analyze and interpret social, economic, land use and population data; identify trends; prepare written reports and make recommendations on planning activities; make presentations to the Planning Commission and City Council.
  • Serve as project manager for complex advanced planning projects, as assigned.
  • Confer with and advise developers, contractors and the general public on acceptable site plans; review building plans, parcel maps, tract maps, subdivision proposals; ensure compliance with regulations and ordinances; recommend modifications, as appropriate.
  • Conduct environmental reviews; collect and analyze data; prepare environmental impact reports.
  • Plan check construction plans to determine compliance with City codes and conditions of approval; inspect construction projects.
  • Perform environmental review of projects; analyze architectural, site planning and use merits of projects.
  • Assist in administering and managing consultant contracts; Participate in bidding process; review proposals and assist in conducting interviews; participate in consultant selection review work progress; ensure compliance with specifications; recommend adjustments, as necessary.
  • Conduct field inspections for development proposals, land use surveys, and related planning studies; ensure compliance with applicable codes and ordinances.
  • Make public presentations; explain planning and zoning regulations, and upcoming planning projects; respond to and resolve complaints and inquiries.
  • Provide staff assistance to boards and commissions, including the Planning Commission; prepare and present staff reports.
  • Coordinate planning activities with other departments, divisions and outside agencies and organizations.
  • Provide customer service to the public at the counter, over the phone and in the field.

When assigned to Historic Preservation:

  • Administers and oversees the historic preservation section of the zoning ordinance;
  • Oversees, coordinates activities and serves as staff liaison for Historic Preservation.
  • Oversees and coordinates historic preservation activities of the City including the Certified Local Government and Mills Act programs;
  • Supervises and coordinates funding (including the preparation of grant applications) for historic districts with local, state, and federal agencies and officials;
  • Assist in training of Boards and Commission related to the Secretary of Interior Standards for Historic Preservation.
  • Prepares and monitors annual reports and other data as required by the commission, local, state, and federal government;
  • Accomplishes condemnation proceedings for properties within Historic Districts;
  • Monitors projects and administers programs and funds to ensure compliance with regulations and reporting requirements for historic preservation;

When assigned to Coastal Planning:

  • Assist in the processing, certification and implementation of the City’s Local Coastal Program, including the Coastal Land Use Plan and Coastal Implementation Plan.
  • Oversees, coordinates activities and serves as the City liaison to the community related to the Local Coastal Program.
  • Assist in the processing of in concept approvals and Coastal Development Permits once permit authority is transferred to San Clemente.
  • Oversee consultant contracts assisting with the development of the Local Coastal Program.

When assigned to Housing & CDBG:

  • Coordinate and implement the City’s affordable housing strategy; evaluate proposed low and moderate income housing projects; coordinate with appropriate staff; collect and review legal information; make recommendations.
  • Administer the City’s housing rehabilitation program; coordinate property surveys; evaluate rehabilitation needs of property; process and review applications and payments.
  • Coordinate the City’s neighborhood pride program; collaborate with owners, tenants and property managers; meet with community groups; prepare and disseminate public information.
  • Research various grants; prepare grant applications, involving significant report writing; monitor and evaluate program progress.
  • Administer the City Social Services Grants; process and review applications and payments.

Additional Marginal Functions:

  • Attend and participate in professional group meetings; stay abreast of new trends and innovations in the field of urban planning.
  • Assist in the preparation of the Planning Division’s annual budget.
  • Conduct pre-application meetings with applicants.
  • Provide research assistance for the City Attorney relative to legal aspects of various projects.
  • Perform related duties and responsibilities as required.

Supplemental Information:


Environmental Conditions:
Office environment with occasional field inspections.

Physical Conditions:
Essential and marginal functions may require maintaining physical condition necessary for sitting, standing and walking for prolonged periods of time.

APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCEDURE: All applicants must submit a completed City of San Clemente application form and supplemental questionnaire in order to be considered. Applications will not be accepted by fax or email.

Applications must be submitted via the City’s web site at All properly completed applications will be reviewed, and the most appropriately qualified individuals will be invited to continue in the selection process. Examinations for the position may consist of any combination of written, performance, or oral exams to evaluate the applicant’s skill, training, and experience.

Prior to employment, the prospective candidate must successfully complete a background review, medical examination, including drug screen, and be fingerprinted, all at City expense. If selected, written identification showing entitlement to legally work in the United States will be required.

Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or age.

In accordance with the ADA, candidates that require accommodation to perform the tasks of this position should contact Human Resources to inform them of the accommodation requested.

NOTE: The provisions of this bulletin do not constitute an express or implied contract and any provisions contained herein may be modified or revoked without notice.