Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District

Planner II (20050004)

Open Space Planning
South Bay
Until filled
$84,079.00-$104,980.00 Annually

Please review the special instructions before applying for this job opportunity.


330 Distel Circle Los Altos, 94022


Do you have a passion for outdoor recreation, trails and open space? Do you enjoy working on a variety of planning, environmental review, design and construction projects that focus on preservation and public use of open space? Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District is seeking a Planner II who will provide support on and/or manage key planning and design projects for public access and outdoor recreation in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.  The ideal candidate will possess an educational background in urban or environmental planning or design, environmental sciences, architecture, landscape architecture, construction management, civil engineering, or related field. The candidate should be an organized, creative, and energetic self-starter with excellent communication and project management skills, who enjoys working within a collaborative team dynamic. Top-level candidates should also be familiar with CEQA/environmental review and local, state, and federal land use laws and processes.

About Midpen:  Midpen is a regional greenbelt system in the Santa Cruz Mountain region comprised of nearly 65,000 acres of land in 26 extraordinary open space preserves, permanently protected for public enjoyment and recreation. Midpen is a growing organization with a focused mission that guides our work, and where every employee makes an impact.  If you are looking for an outstanding opportunity to contribute to the legacy of open space protection and outdoor recreation, working with an incredible team of like-minded colleagues, we invite you to apply for this position!  View the interactive story map, Top 25 Future Open Space Project Portfolios, and view our Working for Midpen video.                                                                   

About the Position:  Focus is on a wide variety of planning and capital improvement projects that increase public access and enjoyment of District lands. In addition to supporting senior staff, the Planner II is tasked with analyzing and developing recommendations for land use policies; preparing long-range master and site-specific plans to guide the use and management of District lands; directing the preliminary design phase of capital improvement projects such as parking areas and trails; conducting or overseeing studies to identify and evaluate environmental issues related to public access and natural and cultural resources; conducting public engagement; preparing requests for proposals; assisting in development and administration of grant applications; preparing and assisting in the preparation of environmental review documents; obtaining planning and environmental permits and initial approvals for District projects; and reviewing external agency projects for impacts on District lands.  The position uses computer-based and/or other systems such as MS Projects, SharePoint, GIS for management and analysis of data regarding District lands, facilities, natural resources and activities.

The ideal candidate is expected to communicate and collaborate closely with other departments to complete project requirements, work with local jurisdictional agencies to coordinate planning and permitting efforts; direct multidisciplinary teams of consultants; prepare and present clear and concise oral and written communications to senior staff, the Board of Directors and public; keep projects on schedule and on budget while remaining flexible to adjust priorities as needed; maintain well-organized and complete project documentation; and build trust with peers, community members, stakeholders, and District leadership. The position is based upon the Planner I-II job description, focused on planning functions (see the Job Description page of the District website for Planner I-II). The position receives direct supervision from a Planner III or Senior Planner. 

A Few Reasons Why You May Love This Job

  • Collaborative work that directly supports Midpen’s mission to protect and restore the natural environment
  • You’ll be part of a talented and dynamic team whose work contributes to providing nature’s benefits to everyone
  • Excellent employee benefits, including medical, dental, vision, tuition reimbursement, and a retirement pension through California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS)

Work Environment:  During this time of COVID-19 restrictions and care for our employees’ health, Midpen employees are working remotely. However, once restrictions are lifted this position will operate in the Planning Department at the District’s offices in Los Altos, California.  In addition to working in the office, the Planner II will often work in the field and hike through steep terrain and wildland areas.  Fieldwork will require driving in remote areas on dirt roads, working in temperatures ranging from cold and blustery to hot and dry. Ideal candidates will be comfortable working in these types of field conditions, as well as in an office environment.

Education and Experience:  We realize your time is valuable, so please apply only if you have at least the required minimum qualifications outlined here: Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the required qualifications would be: 

Equivalent to graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with major coursework in urban planning, community development, environmental sciences, or a related field and two (2) years of increasing responsible experience in urban or open space planning, preferably on projects related to those found at Midpen.

Licenses & Certifications Required:   Possession of a valid California Driver’s License.

Benefits:   The Open Space District provides an excellent benefits package including health, life & disability insurance as well as CalPERS pension. Please see the Benefits page of the District website for details.

How to Apply:

A note to applicants who currently live outside of the San Francisco Bay Area: before committing to the application process, and if you haven’t done so already, we suggest evaluating the feasibility of relocation. We recommend researching the cost of living in the San Francisco Bay Area, the cost to relocate, and typical commute times to Los Altos from outlying areas.

Ready to apply?  Great!  We welcome your application online via CalOpps.org

The following application items are required in order to be considered*:

1. Fully completed CalOpps employment application 

2. Cover letter 

3. Resume 

4. Supplemental question responses

*Incomplete CalOpps employment applications, or applications without the required application items listed here, will not be considered for the position.

Applicants with the most relevant experience and qualifications suitable for the position will be contacted for an interview, tentatively scheduled for mid-November/early-December.



Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Applicants with disabilities may request reasonable accommodation by contacting the Human Resources department at (650) 691-1200 or via email at hr@openspace.org   

Put your passion for Open Space to work!


Retirement Plan – CalPERS 2.5% @ 55 for Classic Members; 2.0% @ 62 for PEPRA Members. 

Social Security – District does not participate in Social Security; however, it does pay toward Medicare.

457 Deferred Compensation Plan - optional

Medical Plan – choice of HMO or PPO plans through CalPERS – District contributes towards insurance premiums.

Dental Plan - Delta Dental – District paid.

 Vision Plan – VSP – District paid.

Flexible Spending Plan – optional pre-tax,

·        Dependent Care Reimbursement Account

·        Medical Reimbursement Account

Life and AD&D Insurance – District paid.

Employee Assistance Program –District paid.

Vacation – starts at 15 days per year.

Personal Leave – 36 hours of leave per year.

Holidays – 11 paid holidays per year.

Sick Leave – 12 days per year – no cap on accumulation; up to 72 hours per year may be used for Family Sick Leave.

Special Instructions

The following application items are required in order to be considered*:

1. Fully completed CalOpps employment application 

2. Cover letter 

3. Resume 

4. Supplemental question responses

*Incomplete CalOpps employment applications, or applications without the required application items listed here, will not be considered for the position.

Recruitment Contact

Contact email: