City of Watsonville

The City of Watsonville is looking for a dynamic, collaborative senior-level planner to oversee the City's development review services. The successful candidate will have a proven track record of collaboration across departments in order to provide excellent customer service, as well as being a results-driven consensus seeker that remains focused on the big picture. This position will interface daily with the Public Works development review team, which includes engineering, stormwater, wastewater, trash and recycling; the candidate will also coordinate plan review with other divisions and departments such a Building, Housing, Police, Airport, and Fire. The ideal candidate will have extensive experience in current planning and best practices regarding development plan review.

To apply online visit
application deadline: Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 5 p.m.

Salary: $97,614.40 - $130,790.40 Annually

To assist in planning, organizing, and directing the activities of the two major divisions in the Planning Department; to make recommendations to City advisory bodies and the City Council; to insure compliance with City ordinances, policies and contracts; to represent the Department in the absence of the Planning Director; to represent the City to other agencies and the public. Employees in this classification receive administrative direction within a framework of general guidelines. Employees in this classification direct, supervise, and formally evaluate the work of others. This is the managing level classification in the professional planner classification series.

A Principal Planner is assigned to direct the activities of the two major divisions in the Planning Department:
1. Current Planning Section involves all aspects of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) land development, from dispensing information regarding land use, zoning regulations and subdivisions to processing of zoning permits, Design Review, and inspecting for compliance with conditions of approval, and enforces building and zoning codes.

1. Advanced Planning Section involves future planning, as required by state law, maintenance of an updated local coastal program and Redevelopment plan, sign ordinance, annexations, and specific area plans.

• Supervises, trains, and evaluates employees; recommends the selection, promotion and discipline of employees
• Develops and implements goals, priorities, policies and procedures; assists in developing and implementing department-wide goals, policies and procedures
• Staffs various council-appointed boards, commissions and committees as assigned
• Researches federal and state grant funding sources; prepares or directs the preparation of grant and permit applications; represents the City before various state and federal agencies in regards to permit and grant applications; assures compliance with grant or permit regulations
• Represents City to other agencies and the public
• Negotiates, prepares and administers contracts and agreements
• Coordinates departmental activities with other sections and City departments
• Represents the City in relations with other local, state and federal agencies
• sits as City representative on interagency and intergovernmental working groups
• Supervises the work of professional planning and engineering consultants retained for the development of plans, specifications, studies and reports
• Prepares or supervises the preparation of staff reports, resolutions, research reports, envirorimental documents and other material for presentation and use by City departments and advisory bodies and to meet state and federal agencies’ requirements
• Meets with and advises developers and the general public regarding complex development applications and processes
• Serves as technical advisor to the Planning Director and other City staff, City advisory bodies and the City Council on land use, redevelopment and other technical areas pertaining to development and other community development activities
• In the absence of the Director, assumes department head responsibility including personnel and budget administration
• Performs other related work as required

As manager of the Current Planning Section:
• Supervises the interpretation of the City's zoning ordinance by departmental personnel
• Directs the administration of the zoning and subdivision ordinances in connection with development applications
• Supervises staff engaged in review of permit applications and plans for compliance with applicable ordinances
• Supervises the implementation of CEQA guidelines for City and private projects
• Advises other City departments in regards to CEQA guideline requirements
• Drafts ordinance amendments for the zoning ordinance and subdivision ordinance

As manager of the Advanced Planning Section:
• Directs the implementation of the local coastal program and related coastal policies and prepares necessary amendments
• Supervises administration of the City's future planning program and maintenance of the general plan and its elements in conformance with state law requirements
• Directs the development of related information systems on land use, economics and demographics

Knowledge of:
• applicable laws and regulations pertaining to zoning, subdivision, coastal regulations, CEQA, the general plan and associated land use activities
• principles and practices of local government administration, including employee supervision, training and appraisal; budget preparation and control; contract administration; ordinance enforcement; and legal procedures

Ability to:
• coordinate and manage effectively all aspects of a multifunctional division
• develop and control operational and project budgets
• prepare complex plans, reports and analyses
• plan, organize, supervise and evaluate the work of others
• research and analyze operational and technical issues and develop appropriate recommendations for actions
• interpret, apply and explain laws, regulations, standards, policies, procedures and programs
• communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing
• develop and maintain accurate recordkeeping systems
• establish and maintain effective working relationships with developers, contractors, consultants, advisory bodies, City staff, other governmental agencies, and the general public
• develop consensus and resolve conflict between various groups and individuals
Special Requirement:
• possession of an appropriate California Driver’s license and safe driving record

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

• Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in planning or a closely related field, and four (4) years of increasingly responsible professional planning experience (at least two (2) years of which must have been in a public agency), including experience in current planning, environmental law, and zoning, and two (2) years supervisory experience.
The candidate will be appointed for a 12-month probationary period. Names of successful candidates who do not receive a job offer will be placed on an employment list which normally remains effective for one year. The Human Resources Department may abolish an Employment list at any time the needs of the City so require. This position is represented by the Management Bargaining unit.

Prior to appointment to the position of Principal Planner, a medical examination and Department of Justice Livescan fingerprinting will be required.

The City of Watsonville is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages workplace diversity. The City of Watsonville is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act by including people with disabilities in all of its programs and activities.


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