DEFINITION: To perform the more difficult professional planning and environmental review work including research, analysis and technical studies in the development of planning projects and related planning activities; to ensure project compliance with a wide variety of local, State and Federal requirements; to provide assistance in interpreting, analyzing, and complying with environmental policies, rules and regulations; to perform initial environmental studies; and to perform related work.
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This is the advanced journey level class within the Planner series. Employees in this class are distinguished from the Associate Planner by the performance of the full range of duties and are generally assigned the more complex and difficult work projects, including serving as project lead and/or project manager. 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 and the Development Services Department.
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS: Functions may include, but are not limited to, the following: Coordinate and perform the more complex and difficult planning and environmental work on various projects including the review of revisions to the General Plan, General Development Plans (GDP), Sectional Planning Area (SPA) plans, Specific Plans, Multiple Species Conservation Plan and other land use plans and policy documents, regional issues, environmental issues, site development, building and grading plans, subdivision and parcel maps, environmental analysis and similar applications; research, review, and analyze information and data for the preparation of comprehensive planning and environmental reports on both current and long-range issues; plan, organize and conduct research studies regarding land use, zoning, community design and environmental issues; prepare reports, recommendations and presentations; perform highly technical research in zoning changes, zoning variances, conditional use permits and other planning matters including population, housing, transportation, land use and economic studies and growth management; administer and implement various environmental plans and programs, such as California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); review projects for compliance with CEQA, NEPA and any local environmental programs, regulations and/or standards; determine if projects meet provisions of these plans/programs; review and manage for small and large projects, Environmental Impact Reports (EIR), Negative Declarations, addenda, and exemptions for compliance with CEQA; oversee and prepare consultant contracts; prepare and/or review mitigation measures; prepare and distribute CEQA notices; conduct initial studies pursuant to CEQA and produce Negative Declarations; manage large and small complex projects involving Mitigated Negative Declarations, Environmental Impact Reports, and Environmental Impact Statements; develop and coordinate project compliance with a wide variety of local, State, and Federal requirements; coordinate field analysis and studies on a variety of planning topics; develop new ordinances and resolutions; participate in the administration of land use regulations, the City’s General Plan, General Development Plans, Sectional Planning Area (SPA) plans, Specific Plans, Multiple Species Conservation Plan, environmental review and design review; provide support at the permit counter as necessary; review development proposals for conformance with General Plan/City zoning; communicate with and assist developers, property owners and the public regarding laws, policies, regulations, standards and procedures with respect to the submission of plans, and processing of applications; implement requirements; identify problems and assess alternatives for projects; recommend project approval or denial; act on behalf of the Zoning Administrator as necessary; conduct meetings and hearings as necessary; act as a project manager for the complex departmental assignments and projects which may include planned communities, redevelopment areas and special planning or development projects; manage and assist in the creation of SPA plan design and development standards and guidelines including zoning, financing and precise planning for specific development zones within SPA planning areas; prepare and present reports related to local and regional planning and zoning issues; make recommendations on a wide variety of planning subjects including zoning changes and subdivision maps; attend meetings of the City Council, Planning Commission and Design Review Committee and provide technical support to various agencies and community groups as required; serve as project leader on complex departmental assignments and projects; provide written and oral information to the public on a wide range of planning and environmental issues, including current, long term and capital improvement projects; attend meetings and make presentations to various committees, commissions, professional and community groups; build and maintain positive working relationships with co-workers, other City employees and the public using principles of good customer service; and perform related duties as assigned.