Associate Planner
City of Sunnyvale, CA - Sunnyvale, CA

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$36.60 - $46.72 Hourly
$2,928.30 - $3,737.34 Biweekly
$6,344.64 - $8,097.56 Monthly
$76,135.70 - $97,170.74 Annually

(Please note: typical placement is made at the first step of the salary range)


NOTE: This is an alternately-staffed classification. Salary listed above is a full range for the Associate Planner which is the experienced journey-level classification in this series. This job announcement is specific to the Associate Planner classification.

Under direction of a Principal Planner or Planning Officer, performs professional work in current and long-range planning including zoning, environmental review, general plan updates, and plan preparation and review; and performs related work as required.


Associate Planner is the experienced journey-level classification in the professional Planner series in which incumbents are expected to independently perform the full scope of planning activities under direction. Associate Planner is distinguished from the higher-level classification of Senior Planner in that Senior Planner is responsible for performing more complex duties. Positions in this class are flexibly staffed and are normally filled by advancement from the Assistant level once the incumbent meets the qualification standards of the Associate level, demonstrates an ability to perform the full scope of the work, and meets performance expectations. Incumbents are not automatically promoted to the higher level; the needs of the department determine the level of assignment.

Essential Job Functions:

(May include, but are not limited to, the following):
  • Processes planning applications; reviews and analyzes land use impacts and compliance with local and State regulations and City policies.
  • Conducts research and compiles, analyzes and evaluates information related to planning studies, such as demographic, economic, social, environmental, land use and housing data.
  • Prepares a variety of technical and administrative reports, documents and correspondence; makes presentations to the Planning Commission, City Council and at public hearings and community meetings.
  • Prepares and maintains maps pertaining to zoning, land use and other planning related activities.
  • Conducts studies and prepares and presents corresponding reports.
  • Evaluates and reviews development plans for compliance; prepares reports, Initial Studies, ordinances, and research and communicates with applicants, consultants, staff and members of the public.
  • Inspects residential, commercial and industrial properties to gather data and assess the possible need for project or plan modifications.
  • Researches, conducts and/or analyzes policy and long range planning projects.
  • Researches planning issues related to economic development, land use, zoning and environmental concerns.
  • Researches and writes special studies including General Plan review and policy study issues.
  • Coordinates project reviews with other city departments and outside agencies.
  • Receives and responds to inquiries and questions at the front counter, via email and telephone; provides information regarding planning, zoning and the development process to developers, property owners, design professionals, other agencies and City departments.
  • Assists in the identification and preparation of grant applications for planning and development projects.
  • Represents the Community Development Department at meetings and conferences as assigned.

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 ways:

Associate Planner
(1) a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in urban planning, architecture or a related field; AND
Three years of city planning experience; OR
(2) Equivalent to a Master’s degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in urban planning, architecture or a related field; AND
Two years of city planning experience
Assistant Planner

Knowledge of:

  • Basic planning and design principles, practices and current trends.
  • General understanding of zoning, land use and environmental laws.
  • Principles of research.
  • Basic math and statistical methods.
  • Office methods, procedures, software and equipment.
Ability to:
  • Learn to interpret, apply and explain zoning and land use principles, laws and regulations.
  • Read and understand maps, architectural drawings and plans, and reports.
  • Analyze and compile information and determine appropriate course of action.
  • Operate a computer using word processing and business software and other office equipment.
  • Understand and follow written and oral instructions.
  • Communicate effectively, orally and in writing.
  • Write staff reports and similar correspondence.
  • Establish and maintain and promote positive and effective working relationships with employees, other agencies, public officials and the public.
  • Demonstrate initiative and exercise good judgment in the performance of duties.
  • Work independently and as a team member; recognize and set priorities and meet deadlines.
  • Observe safety principles and work in a safe manner.
Associate Planner

Knowledge of:

The above, plus:
  • Principles, objectives and procedures of city and regional planning, urban design and zoning.
  • Research and statistical practices as they relate to land use, transportation, zoning and master plan studies.
  • Techniques used in the development and maintenance of comprehensive plans, general plans and specific plans.
  • Pertinent local, State and Federal laws, ordinances and rules.
  • Elements of project review, including architectural and site planning considerations.
  • Methods of citizen participation in planning.
  • The relationship of land use planning to transportation, housing and other aspects of community development.
Ability to:
  • Gather and analyze data on land use, population, urban growth patterns, economic and social trends, industrial development and other demographic data used in land use planning for the purpose of preparing and presenting accurate and concise written reports and making presentation at public forums.
  • Interpret economic, sociological and statistical data and draw logical conclusions.
  • Interpret, apply and explain planning, zoning and City policies, rules, laws and regulations.
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.

  • Demonstrated experience developing and delivering public presentations.
  • Certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners
  • Completion of certification in land use, transportation, geographic information systems, public policy, or a related area from an accredited institution; or state licensing or registration in a related field such as architecture or landscape architecture.

Application and Selection Process:

If you are interested in this exciting City of Sunnyvale employment opportunity, please submit your completed City of Sunnyvale employment application and written responses(s) to the supplemental question(s) to the Department of Human Resources no later than 5:00 p.m. on June 24, 2013 .

City application forms, completed in full, are required, as well as response(s) to the required supplemental question(s). Candidates are asked to fully describe any training, education, experience or skills relevant to this position on their application and in their responses to the required supplemental questions. Resumes are not accepted in lieu of the application, please do not indicate "see resume".

Electronic applications may be submitted on-line through the City's employment page at or application materials may be submitted to: Department of Human Resources, 505 West Olive Avenue, Suite 200, Sunnyvale, CA 94088.

Late or incomplete applications, as well as postmarks or faxes 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 will consist of an oral exam, tentatively scheduled for Thursday, July 11, 2013. (Note: The examination process may be changed as deemed necessary by the Director of Human Resources).

Those candidates who receive a passing score of 70% or higher 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, selected by the hiring department will be required to successfully complete a pre-employment process, which will consist of a background history check 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.

Note: Full-time positions in this job classification are represented by the Sunnyvale Employee Association (SEA) and are subject to agency shop provisions.


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

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, color, religion, sex, gender identity, ethnic or national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, uniformed service member status, family relationship, age, marital status, medical condition, genetic information, sexual orientation, and physical or mental disability (whether perceived or actual). Applicants needing special accommodations for testing should submit a request to the Department of Human Resources at time of application.