Website City of Buellton

Open-Competitive Recruitment
(Salary: $67,200 – $81,684 Annually for Assistant Planner – 7/1/22)
(Salary: $79,032 – $97,032 Annually for Associate Planner – 7/1/22)


The City is looking for a qualified, energetic, and motivated individual to fill a vacancy in the Planning Department. The City will appoint at either the Assistant Planner or Associate Planner level, depending on the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate. Under supervision of the Planning Director, the incumbent will assist with current planning projects, long-range planning projects, environmental review, engineering assistance, and code enforcement, while working with developers, property owners, other City departments, and the general public with regard to land use and planning issues.

Assistant Planner: Conduct planning research and analysis on routine to moderately difficult projects. The Assistant level position would receive regular instruction, assistance, and oversight while in the process of learning the procedures and policies of the Planning Department work flow.

Associate Planner: Conduct planning research and analysis on moderate to difficult and complex projects. The Associate level position would receive only occasional instruction or assistance as new or unusual situations arise, and are fully aware of the operations, procedures and policies of the Planning Department work flow. The Associate Planner is distinguished from the Assistant Planner classification by its increased responsibility for project management.


Performs assigned planning projects involving land use, environmental issues, and related subjects; performs basic research and confers with applicants and agency representatives to identify problems and issues. Implements environmental programs and prepares associated environmental documents as needed. Prepares and presents staff reports of summarized data and recommendations to the Planning Commission and City Council, other official groups and at public workshops as needed. Confers with developers, building designers, contractors, architects, and the general public on planning and zoning related matters; interprets planning policies, State laws, and local ordinances. Performs various administrative functions for the department, including accepting applications and permits; maintains and updates land use information on maps, files, and coordinates with GIS consultants. Tracks General Plan implementation. Participates on regional planning committees and tracks long-range planning issues such as growth forecasting, housing needs, and land use patterns. Implements planning and zoning regulations and prepares ordinance amendments. Reviews, prepares letters and reports, and recommends actions on discretionary applications, including tentative maps, conditional use permits, development plans, variances, general plan amendments, and zone changes.  Assists with a variety of code compliance activities including zoning, land use, housing, parking, and nuisance abatement. Works with the Code Enforcement Officer and the City Attorney and special legal counsel in research and review of abatement policies and procedures. Assists in the preparation of environmental studies in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Maintains official maps, records, and files related to areas of responsibility. Searches for grants and assists in the preparation of grant applications. Performs related work as required.


Knowledge of: Urban planning principles and practices; laws, ordinances, rules and regulations; application of land use, physical design, environmental, CEQA, Subdivision Map Act, and/or social concepts to the planning process; environmental review procedures and thresholds of significance; local and regional planning issues and constraints.

Ability to: Interpret and apply federal, state, and local laws, codes, regulations, policies, procedures, and standards pertaining to the planning process; research, analyze and summarize current and long range planning data; analyze problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions, and provide recommendations. Make presentations of ideas and recommendations to staff, the City Council, Planning Commission, local and regional planning agencies, and the general public; work collaboratively in multi-city departmental groups. Must have valid driver’s license.


Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in urban planning, geography, environmental design, or a related field. One year of related planning experience is required for placement at the Assistant Planner level, while three years of progressively responsible planning experience, preferably within a local government environment, is required for placement at the Associate Planner level.


Bending, stooping, kneeling, reaching, lifting, and carrying approximately 25 pounds at waist high level. Frequent sitting, some standing and walking required. Extensive use of computer terminal and keyboard. Moderate to high requirement for hand coordination, visual ability, and cognitive abilities. Must tolerate moderate noise levels and interruptions in an open office environment. Works indoors in controlled conditions.


Works under the general direction of the Planning Director who reviews work for conformance with policies and procedures.


Applicants meeting or exceeding the minimum qualifications will be invited to participate in the interview process which may include written and/or oral examinations or other selection procedures deemed appropriate by the City. All offers of employment are contingent upon the candidate successfully passing a pre-employment physical, drug screening, fingerprinting and background check via the LiveScan process.


Employees must complete twelve (12) months of probation at a satisfactory level prior to gaining regular employment status.

The duties listed above are not intended to be all-inclusive.  An employee may also perform other reasonable related business duties as assigned by his/her immediate supervisor.  This position is considered non-exempt.

This position description is subject to change by the City as the needs of the City and requirements of the position change, in accordance with applicable personnel rules and procedures.


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