Job Title: Senior Planner – Long Range Planning

Job Location: San Clemente

Employer Website:

Job Description:


NOTE: Incumbents at this level will be writing a variety of reports and summaries. Candidates are expected to demonstrate advanced and professional writing skills. As part of the application and qualifications screening, candidates will also be evaluated on their usage of English, grammar, spelling, expression, and clarity of thought in the work history and the supplemental questionnaire sections of the application.

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 166 full-time employees.

The beautiful Southern California coastal City of San Clemente is seeking a qualified individual to serve as Senior Planner (Long Range). Under general direction, the position performs and directs complex professional planning work related to long range planning projects, including but not limited to amendments and maintenance of the City’s General Plan, Coastal Element, Housing Element, Specific Plans, and Zoning Ordinances. Programs overseen may include, but are not limited too, historic preservation, coastal and housing programs. The Senior Planner also assists with planning, organizing and directing the work and the employees of the Community Development Department.

This is the advanced journey level class in the professional Planner series. Positions at this level are distinguished from other classes within the series by the level of responsibility assumed and the complexity of duties assigned. Employees perform the most difficult and responsible types of duties assigned to classes within this series including providing assistance to developers in successful completion of the development review process. Employees at this level are required to be fully trained in all procedures related to assigned area of responsibility. Employees at this level supervise lower level staff.

Receives direction from the City Planner and the Community Development Director.
Supervises lower level professional, technical, and support staff.


ESSENTIAL FUNCTION STATEMENTS – Essential responsibilities and duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

Meet and confer with developers regarding the City’s development review process; coordinate assigned planning projects including large tract maps, commercial projects, code amendments and general plan amendments.
Review plans for conformance with land use codes and policies as applied by the Planning Commission and City Council.
Serve as environmental coordinator; prepare environmental documentation for planning projects; ensure that planning projects are reviewed in a manner consistent with the California Environmental Quality Act; administer contracts for environmental consulting services, and other planning-related extension of staff contracts.
Receive and respond to questions and inquiries from the general public, local business owners and developers; explain local land use policies and development procedures.
Conduct research, interpret data and prepare and present reports on development projects or policy issues to the City Council, Planning Commission, Design Review Committee and other boards as required.
Review final plans and conduct field inspections of projects to determine compliance with Planning Commission and City Council actions and land use codes.
Schedule meetings, prepare agenda items and provide policy interpretations as requested.
Stay abreast of new trends and practices in the field of urban planning through review of professional journals and through participation in training, conference and/or professional group meetings.
Make presentations to staff, committees and general public; educate parties on the impacts of planning projects or policy issues.
Provide supervision to lower level staff to achieve assigned objectives and balance workloads.
May manage and implement housing and historic preservation programs.
Perform related duties and responsibilities as required.



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:

Five (5) years of increasingly responsible experience in municipal planning and community development. Due to the operational and service delivery needs of the department, applicants with recent, continuous, public agency municipal experience will be given first consideration.

This experience must include work applying knowledge of legal requirements of state, federal, and local zoning laws, in a progressively responsible Assistant and Associate Planner positions. Experience in coastal, historic preservation, and housing/CDBG areas are highly desirable.

This position will be supervising lower level professional, technical, and administrative planning staff, so supervisory experience and performance evaluation preparation experience is highly desirable.

Equivalent to a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in urban planning, geography, architecture, public administration, or a related field.

Knowledge of:
Principles and practices of urban and regional land use planning.
Operations, services and activities of an urban planning program.
Supervisory principles and practices.
Methods and techniques of research and analysis.
Principles of business letter writing, report preparation, and drafting of resolutions and ordinances.
Current literature, information sources and research techniques in the field of urban planning.
Pertinent federal, state and local laws, codes and regulations underlying general plans, zoning, land divisions and environmental assessment, including but not limited to, California Coastal Act, Mills Act, Secretary of Interior Standards, State housing regulations, and Community Development Block Grants.
Architecture and landscape design.
Ability to:
Interpret & apply general and specific plans, zoning ordinances, coastal zone regulations, CEQA regulations, architectural guidelines, and other related development policies.
Read and interpret design level concept drawings to ensure conformance with land use and zoning regulations.
Select, supervise, train and evaluate professional, technical and support staff; oversee professional service contractors.
Research, compile and analyze a variety of complex data and draft guidelines, ordinances, procedures and related material.
Develop and present oral and written staff reports and policy recommendations to the Planning Commission, City Council and other groups as needed.
Communicate effectively and maintain effective, positive and harmonious working relationships with citizens, City officials, staff, and others regarding a variety of City policies, procedures and practices.
Provide excellent customer service to the general public, providing information and resolving inquires or complaints.
Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
Draft clear and concise ordinances, policies, and regulations.
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.

License or Certificate
Possession or, or ability to obtain, a valid California driver’s license.



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.

Link or email to apply:

Apply by date: 08/05/2021