San Marcos – California
For consideration of the Planning Manager position with the City of San Marcos, please prepare complete responses to the Supplemental Questions(located at our website Complete responses are to be uploaded as an attachment to the application.

Class specifications are intended to present a descriptive list of the range of duties performed by incumbents in the class. Specifications are not intended to reflect all duties performed within the job.


Under administrative direction, directs, manages, supervises, and coordinates the activities and operations of the Planning Division within the Development Services Department including planning, zoning, environmental, and plan review activities for the City; coordinates assigned activities with other departments and outside agencies; provides highly responsible and technical staff assistance to the Director of Development Services and the Planning Commission.


  • 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.
  • Assumes full management responsibility for assigned services and activities of the Planning Division including planning, zoning plan review, and environmental activities.
  • Manages and participates in the development and implementation of goals, objectives, policies, and priorities for assigned programs; recommends and administers policies and procedures; implements new ordinances and resolutions as well as new state laws and codes.
  • Monitors and evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures; recommends, within departmental policy, appropriate service and staffing levels.
  • Administers the City’s General Plan and amendments; oversees the environmental review of City Capital Improvement Projects.
  • Plans, directs, coordinates, and reviews the work plan for assigned staff; assigns work activities, projects, and programs; reviews and evaluates work products, methods, and procedures; meets with staff to identify and resolve problems.
  • Participates in the selection of, trains, motivates, and evaluates assigned personnel; works with employees on performance issues in coordination with Human Resources; implements discipline in consultation with Human Resources; responds to staff questions and concerns.
  • Oversees and participates in the development and administration of the Planning Division’s annual budget; participates in the forecast of funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials, and supplies; monitors and approves expenditures; implements adjustments.
  • Provides responsible staff assistance to the Director of Development Services; conducts a variety of organizational studies, investigations, and operational studies; recommends modifications to Planning Division programs, policies, and procedures as appropriate.
  • Serves as the liaison for the Planning Division to other divisions, departments, and outside agencies; negotiates and resolves sensitive and controversial issues.
  • Serves as staff on a variety of boards, commissions, and committees; prepares and presents staff reports and other necessary correspondence.
  • Serves as Zoning Hearing Officer, presiding over administrative hearings.
  • Attends and participates in professional group meetings; stays abreast of new trends and innovations in the field of planning.
  • Responds to and resolves difficult and sensitive citizen inquiries and complaints.
  • Performs other related duties as required.


The following generally describes the knowledge and ability required to enter the job and/or be learned within a short period of time in order to successfully perform the assigned duties.

Knowledge of: Principles and practices of municipal planning operations and administration; principles and practices of organization, administration, and personnel management; principles and practices of municipal budget preparation and administration; applicable Federal, State, and local planning laws and regulations related to general plans, environmental matters, zoning, land division, and building inspection and plans; recent developments, current literature, and informational sources in the field of planning and zoning; research methods and sources of information related to urban growth and development; organization and functions of the various agencies involved in the planning process; strategic management techniques and methodology; research methods and techniques and methods of report presentation; principles of supervision, training, and performance evaluation; and personal computer operation and software applications.

Ability to: Plan, direct, and coordinate the activities of a municipal planning program; direct and coordinate the work of planning and technical personnel engaged in office and field work; provide administrative and professional leadership for the division; identify, coordinate, and resolve a wide variety of interests in the development of land use policy; collect and analyze data and develop complex plans and reports; complete a general plan review on time and on budget; develop and administer departmental goals, objectives, and procedures; analyze and assess programs, policies, and operational needs and make appropriate adjustments; research, analyze, and evaluate new service delivery methods and techniques; select, supervise, train, and evaluate staff; plan, organize, direct, and coordinate the work of lower level staff; delegate authority and responsibility; analyze problems, identify solutions, project consequences of proposed actions, and implement recommendations in support of goals; prepare and effectively present clear and concise comprehensive administrative and financial reports and recommendations orally and in writing; prepare and administer large and complex budgets; interpret and apply applicable Federal, State, and local policies, laws, and regulations; identify and respond to sensitive community and organizational issues, concerns, and needs; gain the confidence and cooperation of department heads and employees; 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.

Education and Experience Guidelines:

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

  • Education/Training: A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in urban planning, public administration, community development, urban design, or a related field. A Master’s degree in planning, public administration, business administration, or related field is highly desirable.
  • Experience: Seven years of increasingly responsible, professional experience in municipal planning, including three years of management and administrative responsibility and supervisory experience.
  • License or Certificates: Possession of an appropriate, valid driver’s license with satisfactory driving record.