City of Shafter
Work Schedule
Job Open until Filled
Job Description

Under general supervision, is responsible for performing complex, specialized planning work requiring comprehensive knowledge and understanding of planning principles and practices. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, preparing advanced level planning reports and studies; making oral and/or written presentations of completed work to various groups; processing planning applications from the initial phases through to completion; coordinating the approval process for assigned projects with other departments and agencies; other related work as assigned. Perform related duties as assigned.


This is the advanced journey-level class in the Planner series. This position is distinguished from other classes within the series by the level of responsibility assumed, the complexity of duties assigned, independence of action taken, and the nature of the public contact made. Incumbents perform the most difficult and responsible types of duties assigned to the class within the series, including supervision and performance of difficult and complex professional planning duties. Incumbents at this level are required to be fully trained in all procedures related to the assigned area of responsibility.

This class is distinguished from the Planning Director in that the latter has overall responsibility for all functions of the Planning Department and for developing, implementing, and interpreting public policy.

 Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities:

The duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed.   The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to this class. 

  • Prepare community plans by gathering information, preparing plans, and drafting land use maps according to City goals.
  • Design, develop, and coordinate projects ensuring alignment with approved budgets.
  • Perform environmental reviews to ensure projects are in compliance with all regulatory requirements. Prepare environmental documents for the Engineering Department projects.
  • Communicate with City department staff to relay pertinent information regarding planning-related matters.  
  • Perform analyses and reviews for housing and economic development.
  • Provide high-quality assistance to developers, business owners, and residents on planning-related matters. Assist with the application process as well as public requests for information.
  • Review and process planning applications for land use and subdivision projects.
  • Research, analyze, and prepare a variety of reports including hearing notices, staff reports, resolutions, and/or ordinances for the full range of planning-related projects.
  • Complete survey forms for school districts, U. S. Census Bureau, California Department of Finance, etc.
  • Prepare and present oral presentations of planning projects to the Planning Commission.
  • Review and approve firework stand site plan requests and sidewalk sales permits, ensuring compliance with all laws.
  • Ensure general plan, zoning, and subdivision ordinance documents are current and accurate.
  • Review landscape plans, perform site inspections to ensure projects are in compliance.
  • Compile data and prepare annual reports and non-renewal letters for Williamson Act compliance.
  • Research and prepare documentation for a variety of funding applications.
  • Make independent investigations of social, economic, and engineering problems, and to draw useful conclusions from a variety of data and information.
  • Organize research findings and present them clearly in written form; work effectively with the general public and the community agencies concerning matters of land use and the relation to planning functions.
  • Interpret and apply laws and regulations to planning projects; make independent field surveys, investigations, and decisions concerning questions and inquiries regarding City services.
  • Work effectively with the general public and the community agencies, talk with the general public on a one-on-one basis and give oral presentations to citizen groups and the Planning Commission.
  • Ensure all related files and records are maintained appropriately.
  • May provide technical direction and training to other planning and technical staff.
  • Perform duties of a disaster services worker in event of an emergency.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.

 Minimum Requirements:


Any combination of education and experience that may provide the knowledge, skills, and abilities would be qualifying.  A typical way to obtain the knowledge, skills, and abilities would be: 

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in urban planning, community development, business or public administration, or a related field. 
  • Three (3) years of professional experience in planning, zoning, and related community development activities. Government sector experience preferred.
  • Relevant experience may be substituted for education on a year-for-year basis. 


  • Valid California Class C driver’s license with a good driving record.

 Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Knowledge of:

  • Modern principles and practices, technical and legal issues of urban and regional planning, zoning, urban economics, demographics, and environmental planning and program management.
  • Geographic, socio-economic, transportation, political, environmental, and other elements related to city planning.
  • Comprehensive plans and current planning processes and the development process.
  • Site planning and architectural design principles.
  • General concepts of architecture, landscaping, grading, drainage, traffic and transportation engineering as they relate to the process of urban planning.
  • Operational characteristics, services, and activities of a comprehensive environmental planning program.
  • Applicable Federal, State, and local laws, codes, and requirements and related reports.
  • Project management and contract administration principles and techniques.
  • Research and reporting methods, techniques, and procedures.
  • Recent developments, current literature, and sources of information related to planning, zoning, and environmental review.
  • Modern office methods, practices, procedures, and equipment, including computer hardware and software necessary for graphic presentation, mapping, and database management.
  • Practices of researching planning and land use issues, evaluating alternatives, making sound recommendations, and preparing and presenting effective staff reports.
  • Principles of advanced mathematics and their application to planning work.
  • Methods and techniques of effective technical report preparation and presentation.
  • English usage, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and punctuation.  Spanish usage, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and punctuation is desirable.
  • Techniques for effectively representing the City in contacts with governmental agencies, community groups, various business, professional, educational and regulatory organizations, and with property owners, developers, contractors, and the public.
  • Techniques for providing a high level of customer service by effectively dealing with the public, vendors, contractors and City staff.

Skilled in:

  • Setting priorities and being able to meet assignment deadlines. 
  • Good judgment, dependability, and adaptability.
  • Communication to effectively convey ideas, both written and oral.

 Ability to:

  • Interpret and explain planning and zoning programs to the general public; identify and respond to issues and concerns of the public, City Council, and other boards and commissions.
  • Read plans and specifications and make effective site visits.
  • Assess, monitor, and report environmental impact on and of various City programs and services.
  • Analyze site design, terrain constraints, land use compatibility, utilities, and other urban services.
  • Conduct complex research projects, evaluate alternatives, and make sound recommendations.
  • Read, interpret, apply, and explain technical written material and complex Federal, State, and local policies, procedures, laws, regulations, ordinances, and City planning policies and procedures.
  • Read and understand technical drawings and specifications. 
  • Perform mathematical and planning computations with precision. 
  • Effectively represent the department and the City in meetings with governmental agencies, community groups, and various business, professional, and regulatory organizations and individuals.
  • Coordinate assigned activities with other City departments and agencies as required. 
  • Direct the work of contract consultants.
  • Prepare and present clear, concise, and logical written and oral reports, correspondence, policies, procedures, and other written materials.
  • Establish and maintain a variety of filing, record-keeping, and tracking systems.
  • Make sound, independent decisions within established policy and procedural guidelines.
  • Organize and prioritize a variety of projects and multiple tasks in an effective and timely manner; organize own work, set priorities, and meet critical time deadlines.
  • Operate modern office equipment including computer equipment and specialized software applications programs.
  • Use English effectively to communicate in person, over the telephone, and in writing. Use of Spanish to communicate in person, over the telephone, and in writing is desirable.
  • Use tact, initiative, prudence, and independent judgment within general policy, procedural, and legal guidelines.
  • Establish, maintain, and foster positive and harmonious working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.


The conditions herein are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions.


  • Sit for prolonged periods of time.
  • Verbally communicate to exchange information.
  • Hear, understand, and distinguish speech and/or other sounds, in person and by telephone.
  • Use hands to fingers, feel computers and standard business equipment; make repetitive hand movements in the performance of daily duties.
  • Lift, carry, push, and/or pull up to 25 lbs. amounts of weight. 
  • Occasionally bend, stoop, kneel, reach, push, and pull drawers open and closed to retrieve and file information. 
  • Visual requirements include close vision and the ability to adjust focus.   


  • Use written and oral communication skills. 
  • Interpret data, information, and documents. 
  • Analyze and solve complex problems. 
  • Work under deadlines with constant interruptions. 
  • Interact with City management, staff, the public, and others encountered in the course of work, some of whom may be dissatisfied or quarrelsome. 


  • Work is performed primarily in an indoor environment.
  • Occasionally may work in the field and be exposed to loud noise levels, cold and hot temperatures, inclement weather conditions, road hazards, vibration, mechanical and/or electrical hazards, and hazardous physical substances and fumes. 

All City of Shafter employees are designated “Disaster Service Workers” through state and local laws (CA Government Code Section 3100-3109). As Disaster Service Workers, all City employees are expected to remain at work or report to work as soon as practicable following a significant emergency or disaster. 

The City of Shafter is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. Reasonable accommodations for disabilities may be requested from the Human Resources Department at (661) 746-5003 or hr@shafter.com.


Incomplete application packets will not be accepted. Application packets must contain the following items:

  1. City of Shafter Employment Application
  2. Detailed Resume
  3. College or University Degree


The following are steps in the selection process. Candidates must pass each step before proceeding to the next step.

  1. Submit complete employment application as listed under Application Process
  2. Application Review
  3. Oral Interview
  4. Name Placed on Eligibility List
  5. City Manager Interview
  6. Conditional Offer
  7. Background Investigation
  8. Medical Examination
  9. Formal Offer
  10. Begin Employment