San Diego – California

The City:
With more than 1.3 million people, the City of San Diego is the eighth largest city in the United States and the second largest in California. The City of San Diego’s strong economy, diverse population, great educational institutions, unsurpassed quality of life, and world-renowned location makes it the ideal place to work, live, and play. With its great weather, miles of sandy beaches, and major attractions, San Diego has something to offer for everyone. The City’s Mission, as found in our Strategic Plan, is “To Effectively Serve and Support Our Communities.” Our core values are Integrity, Service, People, and Excellence. The City’s Vision is “A World-Class City for All.” As one of the region’s largest employers, the City of San Diego has a combined Fiscal Year 2016 operating budget of approximately $3.2 billion and employs approximately 10,000 highly dedicated employees. Additional information about the City of San Diego can be obtained on the City’s website:

The Department:
The Planning Department includes three divisions: Long-Range Planning, Environmental & Resource Analysis, and Facilities Financing. The Department operates with a staff of approximately 78 employees and a budget of $11.6 million. The Environmental & Resource Analysis Division (E&RA) has a staff of 18. E&RA serves as the center for all environmental policy in the City. More specifically:

  • The CEQA & Environmental Policy section reviews all City projects and other actions under CEQA for potential environmental impacts, prepares environmental documents, directs the work of outside environmental consultants, provides CEQA training to community planning groups, other City departments and outside interested parties, updates the City’s Significance Thresholds based on best practices and current case law, and oversees CEQA review by other City departments.
  • The Historic Resources section reviews ministerial and discretionary projects for impacts to designated and potentially historic resources, conducts surveys of historic neighborhoods, takes forward individual and district historic designations, serves as staff to the Historical Resources Board and as liaison to the State Office of Historic Preservation, prepares the Historic Preservation element of community plan updates, inspects historic Mills Act properties for compliance with recorded agreements, and prepares new Mills Act agreements on designated properties.
  • The Multiple Species Conservation Program section reviews discretionary projects for impacts to wetlands and within the Multi-Habitat Planning Area (MHPA) preserve, prepares portions of the Conservation elements of community plan updates, works to acquire new open space lands within the MHPA, is currently preparing a Vernal Pool Habitat Conservation Plan addressing seven sensitive wetland species, and coordinates with federal and state wildlife agencies on the MSCP, sensitive species and habitats.
  • The Parks Planning section reviews discretionary projects for impacts to population-based parks, determines the need for additional park land consistent with General Plan standards, prepares General Development and Natural Resource Management plans for open space, regional parks and resource-based parkland; prepares the Recreation element of community plan updates, prepares updates and amendments to public facility financing plans as needed, and prepares project sheets creating new CIP park projects.
  • The Urban Forestry Program is staffed by one Program Manager who will take a leadership role in furthering General Plan Urban Forestry goals and coordinating urban forestry initiatives among multiple City departments.

The Position:
This position, which is a direct report to the Department Director, offers an outstanding opportunity to join the management team of the Planning Department. The Deputy Director is responsible for managing the aforementioned sections, formulating policy positions, developing strategies to improve process efficiencies, maintaining budgets and ensuring deadlines are met. As a member of the management team, the Deputy Director will also assist in the preparation of the annual department budget and related documents. With adoption of the FY 2015 budget, the City Council formalized the organization and function of the Planning Department to include environmental authority, policy, and review of discretionary public projects including community plan updates and other planning projects, CIP projects, and other City-initiated projects. The Deputy Director will play a major role in implementing this function and establishing CEQA policy and practices for the City of San Diego.

Qualifications and Experience:
Under the direction of the Planning Director, the Deputy Director will be responsible for taking a leadership role and overseeing staff engaged in CEQA, Historical Resources, Multiple Species Conservation Program, Park Planning & Urban Forestry work. The individual must have excellent analytical, written and verbal communication, organizational, and project and program management skills. Must be able to work collaboratively, ensure deadlines are met, provide quality control, and think critically.

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • Strong working knowledge of CEQA, including document preparation and review;
  • Experience working on land use projects/programs in an urban city;
  • Strong management skills and experience managing varying program disciplines;
  • Experience developing and implementing process improvements that result in improved efficiencies;
  • Understanding of local, state and federal laws and regulations related to environmental review, resource management, and historic preservation;
  • Knowledge of the ministerial and discretionary review processes;
  • Excellent writing and communication skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to communicate effectively to different audiences, including elected officials, City management, other government agencies, and members of the public;
  • Highly ethical and objective, with the ability to navigate in a political environment without being political; and
  • Energetic and motivated with the ability and desire to take initiative.

Typical qualifications for this position include professional innovative planning experience with a minimum of eight years of progressively responsible experience, and a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university in planning, environmental studies, landscape architecture, architecture, biology, law, or related field. A master’s degree is desirable.

Management Compensation and Benefits:
The successful candidate will be eligible for participation in the City’s Flexible Benefits Plan that offers several optional benefit plans or a taxable cash option; $50,000 in City-paid life insurance; paid annual leave accruing at 22 days per year for the 1st through the 15th year of service. For further information, please contact the Risk Management Department at (619) 236-6600. Retirement benefits differ for this unclassified position depending on the candidate’s eligible status (new hire, rehire, etc.). For further information, visit Risk Management, Employee Benefits at Some benefits currently offered to employees may be modified in the future.

Pre-Employment Requirements:
Employment offers are conditional pending the results of all screening processes that are applicable to this job, which may include but are not limited to the following: Proof of citizenship or legal right to work in the United States; completion of a pre-employment medical review/exam (which may include drug alcohol testing); reference checks; and a fingerprint check. The fingerprints will be submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California Department of Justice for a conviction record report. Certain positions may require additional screening processes which may include a polygraph examination and/or background investigation. All of these processes must be successfully completed before employment begins. A positive test for alcohol, illegal drugs or inadequately explained prescription drugs, misrepresentation, falsification, or omission of pertinent facts in any step of the screening/selection process may be cause for disqualification and/or termination of employment. Nothing in this job posting constitutes an expressed or implied contract for employment with the City of San Diego.

Medical Evaluation:
A City medical examination including drug screening and documentation of medical history may be conducted following a conditional offer of employment or promotion. The individual must be able to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation. The City of San Diego is committed to a drug and alcohol free work place.

Selection Process:
To be considered for this position, please submit your:

  1. current resume;
  2. a letter of interest highlighting your relevant work experience and qualifications for this position; and
  3. a list of three professional references via email to

Following the closing date, resumes will be screened according to the qualifications outlined above and the most qualified candidates will be invited to an interview. If you have any questions, please contact the City’s Human Resources Department at (619) 236-6313.

The City of San Diego has an active Equal Opportunity/ADA Program for employment and vigorously supports diversity in the workplace.