Job Title: Principal Planner (Current Planning and Development Services)

Job Location: Carlsbad

Employer Website:

Job Description:

A world class city is seeking world class talent.

Carlsbad -The Community: Carlsbad is a well-balanced community with beaches, lagoons, habitat preserves, a variety of housing types, world class employers, Legoland, the second highest number of hotel rooms in San Diego County, a successful auto dealership core, two golf resorts and a municipal golf course, two rail stations, a thriving downtown village, and an engaged public. This balance has been achieved not by accident, but in part through the efforts of a strong team of experienced planners. From translation of the community’s vision into ambitious General Plan goals and policies and application of rigorous growth management principles that ensure public facilities, open space and infrastructure are provided in conjunction with development, to consistent implementation of zoning rules and development codes, the Planning Division is at the forefront of ensuring that Carlsbad’s high quality of life is maintained and the city continues to evolve in a manner valued by the community.

In addition to the many benefits that the City offers, incumbents will have the option of a 9/80 work schedule, a professional membership fee paid, and a variety of training and career advancement opportunities (please see the benefits tab and our website for benefit details).

Ideal Candidate: The City of Carlsbad has one position open in the department for a Principal Planner for Current Planning and Development Services. The ideal candidate for this position will have strong analytical, written and verbal communication skills which are critical to success in the position. Prospective candidates must be effective in project management, able to successfully prioritize work assignments, wisely use time and resources, and adapt well to changing circumstances. They must be able to exercise good judgment, discretion and initiative in carrying out job duties. The following is a brief overview of work at present in Current Planning:

Current Planning: Planners in the Current Planning section manage complex projects across the entire spectrum of development entitlements including General Plan amendments and zone changes, tentative maps, site plans, conditional use permits, coastal permits, hillside development and habitat management permits. Planners monitor development project habitat restoration projects with the support of a city biologist, and also prepare CEQA documents or manage EIR consultant contracts for projects.

Development Services: The Development Services Team is the first point of contact for persons needing information concerning development regulations and permitting. Members of the Development Services Team respond to requests for information, receive permit applications, perform various types of permit plan checks, review sign permits, business licenses, and complete research to respond to public records act requests.


Provide supervision and guidance for other professional staff and participate in the conduct of complex studies relating to the social, economic and physical development of the community.
Develop and implement work plans for complex projects and programs.
Assist in coordinating a program of staff assistance to the Planning Commission and other commissions and committees in planning matters, including the preparation of reports and recommendations.
Assist in developing policies, rules and procedures for the effective operation of the department, including establishing goals and objectives and priorities.
Coordinate routine departmental purchasing, personnel, budget and related administrative activities.
Make oral presentations concerning planning programs and development projects to Planning Commission and to the City Council and other boards and commissions as required.
Make authoritative interpretations of applicable regulations and policies.
Respond to difficult citizen complaints and requests for information.
Represent the city at community or professional meetings; make presentations as required.
Meet with developers, architects, engineers and others involved in privately sponsored residential, commercial and industrial projects; assist in the review and evaluation of project plans for conformance to established land use regulations, codes and policies.
Reviews and authorizes written reports developed by subordinate staff; prepares reports for the City Council and the Planning Commission; reviews and authorizes Notices of Decisions relative to development projects; writes staff reports to the Planning Commission and City Council for projects or policy interpretation
Assign work to subordinate personnel, providing instructions and answering questions: coordinate the scheduling and completion of work by determining operational priorities and resolving work load problems; review work for accuracy and completeness: evaluate work techniques and methods for conformance to established standards.
Coordinate program activities with other city departments and divisions, and with outside agencies.
Assists in developing and administering division budget; provides budget oversight of expenditures for assigned division, including consultant payments, payments for legal notices, conferences and training, and supplies and materials
Perform other related duties as assigned.


To perform a job in this classification, an individual must be able to perform the essential duties as generally described in the specification. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential duties in a specific job. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required.

Knowledge of:
Managerial principles;
Applicable General Plans, Specific Plans, and Local Coastal Program provisions;
Negotiation and mediation techniques;
Parliamentary procedures;
Real estate and property acquisition procedures;
Customer service principles;
Municipal planning principles;
Research methods;
Mathematical concepts;
Site planning and architectural design principles;
Budgeting principles;
Principles and practices of urban planning and development;Planning terminology, methods, materials, practices, and techniques;
Applicable Federal, State, and Local laws, ordinances, codes, rules, and regulations, including state planning and zoning laws and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
Ability to:
Monitoring and evaluating employees;
Prioritizing and assigning work;
Operating computers and related software applications;
Providing customer service;
Managing multiple projects and priorities simultaneously;
Interpreting planning and zoning programs to the general public;
Performing mathematical calculations;
Reading site plans, building plans, grading plans, and other development-oriented documents;
Developing and administering budgets;
Analyzing, interpreting, and understanding technical and statistical information;
Developing and implementing City Codes and policies related to land use and development.
Responding to changing policies and environment;
Conducting negotiations and mediations;
Creating and giving presentations;
Public speaking;
Preparing, reviewing, and maintaining staff reports and written documents;
Communication, interpersonal skills as applied to interaction with coworkers, supervisor, the general public, etc. sufficient to exchange or convey information and to receive work direction Properly interpret and make decisions in accordance with laws, regulations and policies.
Analyze problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions, and implement recommendations in support of goals.
Exercise good judgment, flexibility, creativity, and sensitivity in response to changing situations and needs.
Work well under pressure to meet deadlines.


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

Equivalent to a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major work in planning, public administration, community development, urban design or related field, and

Three years of increasingly responsible professional planning, redevelopment or housing experience with some experience in a supervisory or lead capacity.

A master’s degree in planning, public administration, business administration or related field is desirable.

Link or email to apply:

Apply by date: 10/12/2020