Placer Employment Opportunities

Principal Planner

Classified Management

Recruitment #2014-14224-01


Only current Permanent Placer County employees may apply for this promotional recruitment.

The Department of Community Development Resource Agency is currently recruiting for a permanent full-time Principal Planner - Planning Services Division. This is a Classified Management position.  A promotion from a PPEO respresented position will serve a one year probation period for the position of Principal Planner.


The Principal Planner will be responsible for providing managerial support to the Planning Services Division Manager and will work under their direct supervision. The successful candidate will help oversee all current planning projects, advance planning work programs, and environmental review activities within the Division. The successful candidate will also assist with administrative duties including personnel, budget development, contract management, and supervision over agendas and reports for the Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission, and Zoning Administrator. The successful candidate may also be responsible for providing direct supervision over large scale current planning projects (e.g., specific plans) and/or advance planning work programs (e.g., updates to the General Plan or Community Plan).



To provide highly complex staff assistance to the Director, Assistant Director, and related management staff for assigned functional area of responsibility; to manage, supervise and direct the activities of a major division or a major project element of the assigned functional area of responsibility; to perform highly responsible and complex professional planning duties in the preparation and review of plans and other documents relating to land use, environmental protection, economic development,  environmental compliance, and related topics; to administer applicable local ordinances and State and Federal statutes; to administer planning related grant projects and contracts; and to assist the public in understanding and complying with adopted plans and regulations.


The Principal Planner classification recognizes positions that exercise a higher level of independence and autonomy in the performance of the full-range of advanced and complex professional planning duties when overseeing the varied activities of a division or a major element of the assigned functional area of responsibility.


As assigned, receives direction from the Director, Assistant Director, or related management staff for the assigned functional area of responsibility.
May exercise direct supervision over professional, technical and clerical personnel.


Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Manage, direct, supervise and train subordinate staff involved with current and long range planning duties.
  • When assigned, manage land development activities within a defined geographic region of the County.  
  • Recommend goals and objectives regarding advanced planning studies for the County General Plan including element preparation, community plan preparation, policy formulation, program implementation and public presentation of findings and recommendations. 
  • Manage production of major planning documents such as the County General Plan, environmental documents and specialized plans such as community plans, ecosystem restoration plans, air and water quality plans, planning documents related to  environmental compliance plans and related topics. 
  • Conduct current planning reviews of large and/or complex land development projects including subdivisions, conditional use permits, design reviews, development agreements, rezoning and General Plan amendments.  
  • Review the plans of other public jurisdictions for compatibility with County plans. 
  • Perform environmental analysis for current and advanced planning projects, especially those of a highly complex, visible and sensitive nature; review environmental impact reports. 
  • Assist in the development, preparation and administration of the approved Department, division and project annual budgets. 
  • Assist the public by providing information and explaining particularly complex land use, environmental compliance, development and related regulations and procedures; meet with applicants as necessary and correspond with applicants and/or their representatives regarding project status; write staff reports; and make presentations of findings and recommendations at public hearings and to public agencies; conduct and participate in public hearings. 
  • Coordinate with other County Departments and public agencies as needed; coordinate, direct and participate in interdepartmental and interagency land use development committees, Boards and Commissions.   
  • Prepare, manage and monitor state and Federal  project grant programs.
  • Administer contracts with independent contractors or consultants who provide planning or environmental planning services to the County. 
  • Recommend the appointment of personnel; provide or coordinate staff training; provide standards and operating guidelines, provide timely input to performance evaluations; recommend disciplinary measures, when necessary; implement discipline procedures as directed; maintain discipline and high standards necessary for the efficient and professional operation of the assigned functional area of responsibility. 
  • Build and maintain positive working relationships with co-workers, other County employees and the public using principles of good customer service. 
  • Perform related duties as assigned.


It is the applicant's responsibility to identify in their application materials how they meet the Minimum Qualifications listed below.

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

Experience: Five years of increasingly responsible experience in land use planning and development.

Training: Equivalent to a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in urban, regional or environmental planning, or a related field.

License or Certificate: May need to possess a valid driver's license as required by the position.  Proof of adequate vehicle insurance and medical clearance may also be required.


Knowledge of:

  • Principles and practices of land use planning and development.
  • Principles and practices of environmental planning and administration of environmental policies.
  • Principles and practices of grant project management and contract administration.
  • All applicable local ordinances and State and Federal statutes.
  • State and Federal grant programs.
  • Operation, policies and procedures of the assigned functional area of responsibility.
  • Principles of supervision, training and performance evaluations.
  • English usage, spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • Arithmetic, basic statistics and mathematical calculations. 
  • Modern office procedures, methods and computer equipment.
  • Planning related applications software.

Ability to:

  • On a continuous basis sit at desk for long periods of time; intermittently stand at counter for long periods of time; twist and reach office equipment; write and/or use keyboard to communicate through written means; and occasionally lift moderate weight.
  • On a continuous basis, know and understand all aspects of the job.  Intermittently analyze work papers, reports and special projects; identify and interpret technical and numerical information; observe planning activities and problem solve when appropriate; understand, interpret and explain applicable ordinances and statutes and assigned functional area of responsibility policies and procedures; visually differentiate between colors on land use maps.
  • Manage complex, lengthy, highly public and visible element(s) of the assigned functional area of responsibility's work program.
  • Manage, direct, supervise, train, assign, review and evaluate the work of assigned subordinate staff.
  • Manage and monitor state and Federal grant programs.
  • Compile, analyze and evaluate technical, statistical and economic information of a difficult and complex nature; read and interpret maps and legal property descriptions; read and interpret applicable laws and regulations.
  • Work with various cultural and ethnic groups in a tactful and effective manner.
  • Obtain information through interview and dialogue, and deal fairly and courteously with the public; work effectively with interruption.
  • Analyze situations quickly and objectively and determine proper course of action.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.


Training & Experience Rating (100%)

Based upon responses to the supplemental questionnaire, the applicant’s education, training and experience will be evaluated using a pre-determined formula.  Scores from this evaluation will determine applicant ranking and placement on the eligible list.


Prior to the date of hire, applicants for regular full and part-time positions must pass a medical examination which may include a drug screening and possibly a psychological evaluation. Applicants for extra help positions may be subject to a drug screening. All applicants must sign a constitutional oath, submit proof of U.S. citizenship or legal right to remain and work in the U.S. and be fingerprinted. For some positions, applicants may also be required to submit proof of age, be bonded or undergo a background check.


The eligible list(s) resulting from this recruitment may be certified as a substitute list for a substantially similar classification.  For this purpose, a substantially similar classification is one at a lower level in the same classification (example: entry level vs. journey) and/or a similar classification (similar work performed, similar training and experience qualifications required). If you are contacted for an interview by a County department, you will be informed of the classification and other relevant information. If you choose not to interview for a substantially similar classification, you will remain on the eligible list for which you originally applied.


Thank you for your interest in employment with Placer County. Placer County is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to an active nondiscrimination program. It is the stated policy of Placer County that harassment and retaliation is prohibited and that all employees and applicants shall receive equal consideration and treatment. All recruitment, hiring, transfer and promotion will be based on the qualifications of the individual for the positions being filled regardless of sex, sexual orientation, race, color, ancestry, religious creed, national origin, physical disability (Including HIV and AIDS), mental disability, medical condition (cancer or genetic characteristics/information), age (40 or over), marital status, pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions, or any other classification protected by federal, state or local laws or ordinance. Please contact the Personnel Department at least 5 working days before a scheduled examination if you require accommodation in the examination process. Medical disability verification may be required prior to accommodation.


The following information represents benefits currently available to permanent Placer County employees and may be subject to change.  It is advisable that applicants inquire as to the most current benefit package during hiring interviews or by contacting the Personnel Department.

Click here to view benefits for Management bargaining unit

Selection Plan

02/20/2014 - Minimum Qualifications Screening

03/03/2014 - Eligible List Established

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