Supervising Planner

County Of Sonoma   Santa Rosa, CA   Full-time     Other
Posted on February 24, 2023
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Starting salary up to $55.40/hour ($115,626/year), a cash allowance of $600/month, and a competitive total compensation package!*

Join Our Comprehensive Planning Team

Permit Sonoma's Planning Division is responsible for zoning in unincorporated Sonoma County. It works to develop and implement the Sonoma County General Plan, Local Coastal Program, and other adopted Area Plans or Specific Plans. The Division evaluates the environmental impacts of private development proposals and public projects, such as bridges, roads, and airport projects, and reviews new development proposals for conformance with the County's General Plan and Zoning Codes.

As integral contributors to the Division, the Comprehensive Planning team leads the County’s advanced/long-range land use planning and policy efforts and is focused on creating a long-term vision for the people of Sonoma County. Under the leadership of the Board of Supervisors, the team delivers a plan that includes working directly with customers and leading County initiatives through an inclusive community engagement strategy.

Currently, the team is recruiting for a Supervising Planner who will assign and monitor the workload of eight clerical, technical, and professional staff engaged in planning and zoning-related responsibilities. The position will also select, train, mentor, and evaluate staff. Additionally, the Supervising Planner position will act as a staff planner on highly complex projects, provide supervisory guidance to other planners, and:

  • Assist in the implementation of goals, objectives, policies, and priorities
  • Perform complex and sensitive planning work, and prepare reports and findings
  • Supervise the preparation of staff reports, data collection and analysis, plan formulations, and the implementation of a variety of planning, zoning, and environmental issues
  • Meet and advise developers on application processes, explaining the purpose, regulations, and directives of accepted development practices
  • Make recommendations regarding use, variance, subdivisions, commercial, and residential planned development permits and other planning and development applications
  • Represent the Planning Division at public meetings, and present planning and zoning matters to outside agencies and other County departments

The Supervising Planner primarily performs office work during normal business hours but may occasionally work in the field or in the evening to attend public outreach and engagement events. Following completion of a six-month probationary period, this position may telework up to three days a week, depending upon business needs.

To effectively accomplish the Planning Divisions' goals and objectives, Permit Sonoma's ideal candidate to supervise the Comprehensive Planning team will:

  • Thoroughly understand the principles, methods, theories, practices, and techniques of urban and regional land use planning design review and resource management planning
  • Have four years of professional planning experience implementing a wide variety of complex planning issues
  • Possess lead experience on a General Plan update or similar experience in the development of a specific area or individual general plan element
  • Be able to effectively collaborate and interact positively with the public, business owners, municipal leaders, boards, commissions, and elected officials
  • Possess the ability to manage multiple disciplines and juggle competing priorities
  • Have proven leadership skills and excellent analytical problem-solving judgment

Additionally, a sense of humor is a must! This is a serious position, and while the work we accomplish is very important, we value colleagues who can find opportunities and reasons for levity.

Though not required, possession of an American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Certification is highly desired.

What We Offer

Working at the County of Sonoma offers expansive opportunities for growth and development, the ability to be a part of a challenging and rewarding work environment, and the satisfaction of knowing you're working to better our communities. You can also look forward to flexible work arrangements and excellent benefits* including:

  • A hybrid telework schedule that meets the needs of our staff, department operations, and the communities we serve may be available depending on the assignment
  • Eligibility for a salary increase after 1,040 hours (6 months when working full-time) for good work performance; eligibility for a salary increase for good performance every year thereafter, until reaching the top of the salary range
  • Competitive vacation and sick leave accruals, 12 paid holidays, and an additional 8 floating holiday hours per year
  • County paid 100% premium contribution for the majority of employee-only and employee + family health plan options
  • An annual Staff Development/Wellness Benefit allowance of up to $650 and ongoing education/training opportunities
  • County contribution to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement to help fund post-retirement employee health insurance/benefits
  • Retirement fully integrated with Social Security
  • May be eligible for up to 8 weeks (320 hours) of Paid Parental Leave after 12 months of County employment

Bring Your Commitment to Public Service to the County of Sonoma

The County of Sonoma is the place to live, grow, and build your career legacy. When you join the County of Sonoma, you'll have the freedom to explore the beauty of our county - its picturesque coastline, majestic redwoods, historic towns, fine dining, award-winning wineries, and a wide variety of entertainment and cultural activities. For additional information about the beauty of our community and the valuable services and support that the County provides our communities, please visit and

*Salary is negotiable within the established range. Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice. Additional information can be found in the Service Employees International Union Local 1021 Memorandum Of Understanding (SEIU MOU) and our Employee Benefits Directory.

This recruitment is being conducted to fill a Supervising Planner position in Permit Sonoma. This employment list may also be used to fill future full-time, part-time, or extra-help (temporary) positions as they occur during the active status of the list. Qualified County employees who wish to be considered for future positions should consider applying to this recruitment.



Minimum Qualifications


Education: Any combination of education and/or training that would provide an opportunity to acquire the above knowledge and abilities. Normally, education equivalent to a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in urban, regional or environmental planning, solid waste planning, geography, architecture, landscape architecture, economics, environmental studies or closely related courses, would provide such opportunity.

Experience: Experience which would provide the opportunity to acquire the above knowledge and abilities. Normally, four or more years of professional planning experience in city, county, or regional planning, or private planning agency would provide such opportunity.

License: Possession of a valid driver's license at the appropriate level, including special endorsements as required by the State of California, may be required depending upon assignment to perform the essential job functions of the position.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities


Considerable knowledge of: the principles, methods, theories, practices, and techniques of urban and regional land use planning design review and resource management planning; urban and rural development and conservation; research methodology, and of standard statistical methods and procedures as they apply to the use of socio-economic and environmental data; supervisory principles and procedures; county government and of other governmental agencies which have a coordinative relationship with County planning activities.

Working knowledge of: the principles, practices and techniques of drafting and graphic arts; transportation planning; planning, organizing and supervising work of others; the use of electronic information equipment, systems, and programs; mediation and conflict resolution techniques.

Ability to: plan, prioritize, review, direct, implement, and perform work assigned to the section; supervise and train subordinate staff; suggest alternative work methods or special training; evaluate graphic design and site plans; plan, organize and carry through research projects effectively; understand and develop current knowledge in special areas such as environment, transportation, population growth and density; select proper methodology and apply it to planning problems; present the results of research effectively in oral, written or graphic form; read and interpret maps and legal property descriptions; learn to problem solve and understand, interpret, and explain a wide variety of laws, ordinances, codes, rules and regulations relating to land use issues; work effectively with and advise appointed citizens advisory committees and groups and various official boards and to communicate orally and in writing concerning specific planning studies, projects and programs; prepare clear and concise written reports; reason logically and speak effectively; perform difficult, complex, and specialized planning studies and projects with a great deal of independence; select proper research methodology and apply it to planning problems; present the results of research effectively in oral, written and graphic form; refine, rewrite, and combine work of lower level planning staff; speak effectively before groups and audiences; utilize electronic information systems and analyze and interpret such information; establish and maintain effective working relationships with county employees, other public agencies and the general public.


Selection Procedure & Some Helpful Tips When Applying


  • Your application information and your responses to the supplemental questions are evaluated and taken into consideration throughout the entire selection process.
  • You should list all employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work history section of your application. Be as thorough as possible when responding to the supplemental questions.
  • You may include history beyond ten years if related to the position for which you are applying. If you held multiple positions with one employer, list out each position separately.
  • Failure to follow these instructions may impact your competitiveness in this process or may result in disqualification.