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Under general supervision of a Senior Planner or the Department Director, performs a variety of professional planning activities including review of development and land use applications; zoning, site plan and environmental review; completion of technical assessments; serves as project manager for development applications; prepares written project analyses and makes written recommendations; prepares and reviews City Ordinances; conducts site inspections; provides technical assistance to the general public; and performs related work as required.

Class Characteristics:

This class is the journey-level in the professional planning classification series and incumbents may be assigned the full range of planning functions encountered by a developing City. The class is distinguished from Senior Planner in that the latter handles complex project applications and has full supervisory authority over lower-level planners. It is distinguished from the lower level of Assistant Planner in that the Associate Planner has project management responsibilities in addition to performing the full range of professional planning duties.

Examples of Key Duties: (Duties are illustrative and not inclusive and may vary with individual assignment.)

  • Serves as project manager on application projects, including analyzing and evaluating site and architectural plans, performing technical review and making recommendations, ensuring plans and applications receive appropriate signatures, coordinating in-house review with contractors, administering contracts and giving approval for payment on projects.
  • Manages consultant contracts including determining scope of work and budgets, tracking budgets and approving contract payments.
  • Prepares routine written project analysis including researching, analyzing findings and making recommendations.
  • Provides technical advice to other departments, the general public, contractors and other professionals including explaining City ordinances, regulations, resolutions and planning and zoning policies.
  • Prepares staff reports for land use and development plan permits including determining overall content and format of reports.
  • Conducts site inspections, including determining if projects are in compliance with laws, regulations and ordinances, makes recommendations on changes.
  • Assists in preparing general plan updates; reviews and drafts City ordinances.
  • Confers with and provides information to property owners, contractors, developers, engineers, architects and the public regarding conformance to standards, plans, specifications and codes; explains codes, requirements and procedures.
  • Makes presentations to the Planning Commission on routine development matters.
  • Performs other duties of a similar nature or level.


Education and Experience:

Equivalent to graduation from a four-year college or university with major coursework in city, urban or environmental planning, architecture or a field related to the area of assignment and three years of planning related experience; or, an equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job as listed above.


Must possess and maintain a valid California class C driver’s license and a satisfactory driving record.

Physical Requirements and Working Conditions:

Must possess mobility to work in a standard office setting and to use standard office equipment, including a computer, and to attend meetings at various sites within the City and away from the City and to inspect various work, building or construction sites; strength to lift and carry materials and equipment up to 25 pounds, vision to read printed materials and a computer screen; and hearing and speech to communicate in person and over the telephone and/or radio.

Knowledge of: (at entry)
  • Principles, practices and procedures related to City and regional planning and zoning administration, including applicable laws and regulations;
  • Comprehensive plans and current planning and the development process;
  • Computer applications related to the work, including basic GIS concepts and applications;
  • Project management techniques;
  • Practices of researching planning issues, evaluating alternatives, making sound recommendations, and preparing and presenting effective staff reports;
  • Basic principles and practices of effective supervision;
  • Project management techniques; and
  • Techniques for effectively representing the City with governmental agencies, community groups, business, professional and regulatory bodies and with property owners, developers, contractors and the general public.
Skill in: (at entry)
  • Completing complex current and advanced planning and zoning conformance activities in an independent and effective manner;
  • Conducting complex planning research projects, evaluating alternatives, making sound recommendations and preparing effective technical staff reports;
  • Managing projects and conducting site inspections;
  • Interpreting, applying and explaining complex laws, codes, regulations and ordinances;
  • Directing and reviewing the work of support staff on a project or day-to-day basis and training staff in work procedures;
  • Conducting zoning studies and interpreting City zoning laws, regulations and codes;
  • Using specialized computer software such as GIS and AutoCad;
  • Reading blueprints and site plans and conducting site inspections; and
  • Communicating effectively with officials, co-workers, subordinates, the general public, representatives of organizations and others sufficient to exchange or convey information and receive work direction.


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2226 Camino Ramon, San Ramon, CA 94583 | Map | Phone (925) 973-2500 | Fax (925) 866-1436