South San Francisco

Senior Planner (19941789)

San Francisco/Peninsula
12/12/2019 at 5pm or until 75 applicants
$105,040.00-$127,649.00 Annually

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


315 Maple Avenue South San Francisco, 94080


Applications are being accepted for the position of Senior Planner with the City of South San Francisco.



The City of South San Francisco is a fully independent and highly commercialized full-service City with an estimated population of 68,000 growing to 110,000 during business hours. City departments include: Police; Fire; Parks and Recreation; Public Works; Economic and Community Development; City Attorney; Library; Finance; Information Technology; Human Resources; City Clerk; and Office of the City Manager. The City has a Council-City Manager form of government with more than 400 full and part-time employees. South San Francisco is about 10 miles south of San Francisco, and is the birthplace of the biotechnology industry, including Genentech’s headquarters. 


The Economic and Community Development (ECD) Department is charged with the preservation and improvement of the physical and economic condition of the community. The Department includes Economic Development, Housing and Community Development, Planning, and Building.  The Planning Division is responsible for the development of long range planning policies and the processing of current applications for new development and design reviews to promote compliance with the City’s Zoning Ordinance and development standards. The division is also responsible for administering the General Plan, Zoning Ordinance, Use Permits, promoting high-quality urban design and developments, and collaborating on fostering careful consideration of historic structures and resources.

Planning Division services include proposing land-use policy documents, processing applications to assure compliance with ordinances and state law and providing assistance to the Planning and Downtown Parking Commissions and Design Review Board. The Planning Division is comprised of a City Planner, Principal Planner, three Senior Planners, two Associate Planners, a Planning Technician and an Administrative Assistant.

The Planning Division has been at the forefront of some of the most exciting, complex, innovative, and high-visibility projects in San Mateo County. Some recent highlights include: a relocated and renovated Caltrain station, 4,000 units of urban, mixed-use housing near transit; updated master plan for the expansion of Genentech’s 207-acre corporate campus; a new 2.8 million sq. ft. technology office campus; new civic community center, and update to the General Plan. Planning Division services include proposing land-use policy, ensuring compliance with ordinances and state law and staffing the Planning Commission and Design Review Board.

For more information, please visit the Economic and Community Development page on the City’s website at



This new position was created to allow a single, seasoned planning professional to coordinate transportation planning studies and initiatives citywide. These studies include: long-term analysis of the City’s transit and transportation needs, updating initiatives such as the City’s Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program, staffing the City’s Transportation Commission, and working on various studies and initiatives to improve transit, bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Transportation planning is anticipated to occupy about 50% of the position. In addition, this position will be expected to take on a diverse portfolio of projects and tasks, ranging from over-the-counter service to entitlement of highly complex, controversial housing, office, retail, hotel or industrial projects.



The process will first consist of a review of application materials and responses to the supplemental questionnaire, which must be detailed and complete. A resume is REQUIRED, but does not substitute for a complete application. Applications with "see resume" as a substitution for the work experience description; those with unclear past employment information; or those with insufficient information to evaluate possession of minimum qualifications will not be considered. The most highly suitable and qualified candidates will be invited to participate in an oral panel interview and practical exercise. This assessment is tentatively scheduled for the week of January 6, 2020 

Upon completion of this examination, an eligible list will be established which will be used for the appointment to the position. Possession of minimum qualifications does not guarantee advancement in the selection process and placement on the eligible employment list. Top scoring candidates will be invited to the next phase of the selection process which will consist of any or all of the following: a departmental interview and written/performance exercise. All applicants will be notified by email as to whether or not they are invited to participate further in the selection process.

Appeals concerning administration of an examination must be submitted in writing within 2-business days from the date the event occurred.  

Note: The City of South San Francisco reserves the right, at its discretion, to limit the number of qualified candidates invited to the selection process. Admission to the examination may be limited to those applicants who demonstrate the best combination of qualifications on the application and resume, in addition to an assessment of supplemental questionnaire responses. Applicants possessing the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed admission to the examination.




Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will possess a firm foundation in municipal planning with the ability to effectively and positively deal with personnel, customer relations and community and political issues is essential. Must be driven, highly organized and team oriented, with strong technical, problem solving and analytical skills. The ideal candidate must also possess excellent oral and written communication skills and a proven ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of audiences. The Senior Planner should have a strong track record of exercising good judgement and demonstrate personal leadership qualities including flexibility, adaptability, dependability and accountability. Moreover, the Senior Planner will be a supportive mentor with a proven ability to motivate staff and build capacity and talent in others.

The City is experiencing tremendous growth and potential in all sectors; particularly in the creation of dense urban housing and mixed use projects, as well as, Biotech campus design and development.  The City is also working on revitalizing its downtown and transit corridors and implementing sustainable urban design practices. Candidates having experience in these disciplines or seeking a desire to gain experience in these disciplines are strongly encouraged to apply.


Any combination of experience and training that would likely provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities would be qualifying.  A typical qualifying background would be:

EXPERIENCE:  Four years of progressively responsible experience in municipal public planning.  A master's degree may be substituted for one year of the experience requirement.

TRAINING:  A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in planning, urban studies, architecture, geography, sociology, political science, or a related field. 

LICENSES:  Possession of, or ability to obtain, an appropriate, valid California driver’s license and a satisfactory driving record.  


Salary Range:  $105,040 - $127,649 Annually*

*Newly appointed employees typically start at the first step of the pay scale. The Department may give consideration to superior qualifications when determining maximum base pay.

Retirement:  In compliance with AB 340, CalPERS retirement formula is either 2% at age 60; employee pays approximately 7%, OR 2% at age 62; employee pays approximately 6.5% of pay, depending on the individual's eligibility.  Social Security and Medicare participation; and option to participate in 457 deferred compensation plans. City contributes equivalent of 1.5% of base pay towards a medical after-retirement account. 

Health Insurance:  City offers choice of medical HMO (two providers) or PPO plan, and offers vision and dental coverage. City pays 100% of HMO, vision and dental premiums for employee and eligible dependents. For PPO, employee pays cost difference between PPO and HMO plans. City provides 100% City-paid short- and long-term disability insurances. The City offers a discretionary benefit account for employees who demonstrate health coverage elsewhere. 

Vacation:  Fifteen to thirty working days annual vacation, based on the length of service. 

Holidays:  Fourteen paid holidays per year, including one floating holiday.  

Leaves:  The City offers 40 hours per fiscal year of administrative leave. 

Programs:  Unreimbursed Medical and Dependent Care Expenses, Long Term Care, Employee Assistance Program, Deferred Compensation, Credit Union, Recreation Classes, and Reduced-fee Child-care Programs are available.

Special Instructions


To be considered for this employment opportunity, you must complete the online application and supplemental questionnaire in their entirety. A resume must be included but does not substitute for a complete application. Applications with "see resume" as a substitution for the work experience description, those with unclear past employment information or those with insufficient information to evaluate possession of minimum qualifications will not be considered. Some email accounts have been known to place these emails in the spam/junk file. Please check your email folders/settings or accept emails ending with

Prior to hire, and after a conditional offer of appointment has been made, candidates will be required to successfully complete a pre-employment process, including a pre-employment physical and drug screening (when applicable), a driving record review, reference check, and a Department of Justice (DOJ) fingerprint check. A conviction history will not necessarily disqualify an applicant from appointment. Determinations are made on a case-by-case basis with consideration given to nature and recency of the conviction and relationship to job duties. All City standards must be met before the final appointment is made.

Candidates requesting veteran’s preference must provide a copy of U.S. Government Form DD 214 "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty" as an attachment to their CalOpps application.

Candidates with a disability who may require special assistance in any phase of the application or testing process should advise the Human Resources Department upon submittal of application.  Documentation of the need for accommodation must be submitted to HR.

The policy of the City of South San Francisco is to grant equal employment opportunity to all qualified persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender, age, religion, ancestry, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status or national origin.  It is the intent and desire of the City of South San Francisco that equal employment opportunity will be provided in recruiting, hiring, training, promoting, wages, benefits, and all other privileges, terms and conditions of employment.  The City of South San Francisco is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).


DISCLAIMER: This general announcement does not constitute an express or implied contract and is subject to change. Any provisions contained within this announcement may be modified or revoked without notice. Tests may consist of any combination of written, oral or other exercises or assessment procedures as deemed appropriate by the City, in order to evaluate job knowledge, skills and/or abilities as they relate to the position. The City may, without notice, change or eliminate any particular assessment component or combination of components as needs dictate.


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