Planning Officer

January 2, 2022
Sunnyvale, CA
Job Type




Regular, Full-Time Employment Opportunity

Under administrative direction of the Director of Community Development, plans, organizes, directs and coordinates the activities of the Planning Division within the Community Development Department including current and advanced planning; coordinates Planning Division activities with other divisions and departments; provides highly complex staff assistance to the Director of Community Development; and performs related work as required.


The position of Planning Officer is a management classification in which the incumbent is responsible for the management of the Planning Division performing a wide range of administrative functions including preparing and administering the division budget, supervising professional and administrative staff, and performing the most complex work of the division. This classification differs from the lower-level classification of Principal Planner in that the Principal Planner is responsible for supervising staff as opposed to having division-wide responsibility.

Essential Job Functions
(May include, but are not limited to, the following):

  • Develops and implements divisional goals, objectives, policies and procedures.
  • Plans, organizes and directs Planning Division activities including the interpretation and application of environmental laws, land use development principles and the conduct of specialized studies.
  • Directs, oversees and participates in the development of the Planning Division work plan; assigns work activities, projects and programs; monitors work flow; reviews and evaluates work products, methods and procedures.
  • Prepares the Planning Division budget; assists in budget implementation; participates in the forecast of additional funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials and supplies; administers the approved budget.
  • Recommends the appointment of personnel; provides or coordinates staff training; conducts performance evaluations; implements discipline procedures as required; maintains discipline and high standards necessary for the efficient and professional operation of the department.
  • Represents the division and department to outside agencies and organizations; participates in outside community and professional groups and committees; provides technical assistance as necessary.
  • Researches and prepares technical and administrative reports; prepares written correspondence.
  • Provides technical expertise for policy evaluations, site planning, architectural and land use project reviews for staff, applicants, residents, property owners, businesses and outside agencies.
  • Prepares and presents technical reports and studies to the Director of Community Development, City Manager, Planning Commission and City Council.
  • Serves as secretary to the Planning Commission and provides staff assistance to a variety of commissions and committees, including the Heritage Preservation Commission.
  • Supervises the collection, maintenance and analysis of land use, economic, demographic and social data.
  • Coordinates planning activities with the County, State and Federal governments and other City departments and independent private agencies.
  • Reviews development proposals for compliance with City policy and sound planning principles.
  • Directs or participates in the review and processing of the City's zoning, subdivision and related land development regulations and formulates proposals for modifications to meet changing circumstances.
  • Coordinates the interests of private developers with those of the general public to encourage the most suitable development of the City's urban area.
  • Participates in the compilation of capital programs and in departmental and interdepartmental special studies.
  • Keeps abreast of professional developments in the field of City planning by outside reading and study and attendance at professional meetings.
  • Serves in the absence of the Director of Community Development.


Position requires prolonged sitting, standing, walking, reaching, twisting, turning, kneeling, bending, squatting and stooping in the performance of daily activities. The position also requires grasping, repetitive hand movement and fine coordination in using a computer keyboard. Additionally, the position requires near and far vision in reading reports and work related documents and using a computer. Acute hearing is required when providing phone and personal customer service. The need to lift, drag and push files, paper, books and documents weighing up to 25 pounds is also required. Some of these requirements may be accommodated for otherwise qualified individuals requiring and requesting such accommodation.
Minimum Qualifications

Education and Experience:

The minimum qualifications for education and experience can be met in the following way:

A Master's degree from an accredited college or university in urban planning, architecture or a related field; AND Seven years of advanced journey level professional planning experience that includes two years of supervisory experience.


A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in urban planning, architecture or related field; AND Nine years of advanced journey level professional experience that includes two years of supervisory experience.

Knowledge of:

  • Advanced principles and practices of urban and regional planning, legislation, zoning and subdivision laws, design review, and CEQA.
  • Land use concepts, population density and growth problems.
  • Principles and practices of leadership, motivation, team building and conflict resolution.
  • Pertinent local, State and Federal rules, regulations and laws.
  • Principles and practices of organizational analysis and management.
  • Budgeting procedures and techniques.
  • Principles and practices of supervision, training and personnel management.
  • Office methods, procedures, software and equipment.

Ability to:

  • Organize and direct the Planning Division operations.
  • Analyze problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions and implement recommendations in support of goals.
  • Interpret and apply City and department policies, procedures, rules and regulations.
  • Prepare and present technical and administrative reports, correspondence and other documents.
  • Supervise, train and evaluate personnel.
  • Operate a computer using word processing and business software and other office equipment.
  • Communicate effectively, orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain and promote positive and effective working relationships with employees, other agencies, public officials and the public.
  • Deal with City officials, employees and the public concerning matters which involve a high degree of sensitivity.
  • Observe safety principles and work in a safe manner.
  • Engage major civic groups in the development and implementation of city plans.

Willingness to:

Attend weekend and evening meetings.


Possession and continued maintenance of a valid class C California driver's license or the ability to provide alternative transportation as approved by the appointing authority and a safe driving record.

Certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Application and Selection Process
If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit a City of Sunnyvale employment application and responses to the supplemental questions to the Department of Human Resources. The final closing date is 5:00 pm, Wednesday, January 12, 2022 (postmarks or faxes are not accepted). Candidates are asked to fully describe any training, education, experience or skills relevant to this position. Electronic applications may be submitted on-line through the City's employment page at Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Applications will be competitively screened based on the minimum qualifications of this position. Based upon a review of the application materials, the most qualified candidates will be invited to participate in the examination process, which may consist of an oral examination and written exercise scheduled for Monday, January 24, 2022 . (Note: The examination process may be changed as deemed necessary by the Director of Human Resources).

Those candidates that receive a passing score on the examination will be placed on an eligibility list for up to one year, in accordance with the City's Civil Service Rules and Administrative Policies. Any candidate that is selected by the hiring department will be required to successfully complete a pre-employment process, which may consist of a background history check, as well as a medical exam(s) administered by a City-selected physician(s) before hire. Prior to starting work, all newly-hired employees will be fingerprinted to check conviction history. A conviction history will not necessarily disqualify an applicant from appointment; however, failure to disclose conviction history will result in refusal of employment or termination. Positions which are covered by the Department of Transportation regulations are required to submit to a pre-employment drug test and to random drug and alcohol testing.

Individuals receiving offers of employment are required to provide either proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccination or receipt of a negative COVID-19 test within 7 calendar days prior to their start date. Individuals receiving offers of employment from the City who do not comply with this policy will have their offer of employment rescinded.

Please note: Any successful candidate, selected by the hiring department will be required to submit proof of education (i.e. original copy of the diploma or college/university transcripts).

Positions in this job classification are represented by the Sunnyvale Managers Association.

The information contained within this announcement may be modified or revoked without notice and does not constitute either an expressed or implied contract.

The City of Sunnyvale is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It is the policy of the City of Sunnyvale not to discriminate against all qualified applicants or employees on the basis of actual or perceived race, religion (including religious dress or grooming practice), color, sex (includes gender, pregnancy, childbirth, medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, breastfeeding or medical conditions related to breastfeeding), gender identity and/or gender expression, sexual orientation (including heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality), ethnic or national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, uniformed service member status, marital status, family relationship, age, cancer or HIV/AIDS related medical condition, genetic characteristics and/or genetic information, and physical or mental disability. Applicants needing special accommodations for testing should submit a request to the Department of Human Resources at time of application.

Summary of Management SMA Benefits

Notice of CFRA (California Family Rights Act) Rights and Obligations

Closing Date/Time: 1/12/2022 5:00 PM Pacific

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