Assistant/Associate Planner

Agency Town of Paradise


Brochure Link


Under general supervision or general direction from the Community Development Director, the Assistant/Associate Planner performs various professional field and office planning work related to current and advance planning.  This includes review of development and land use applications, zoning, site plans, and environmental documents.  The role also provides project management and administration, completes technical assessments and prepares written project analyses, and provides professional advice and assistance to the public on planning, community development, zoning, permits, and environmental review.  This person provides complex professional staff assistance to the Community Development Director, other departments, and the public in areas of expertise.  They perform a variety of studies and prepares and presents staff reports.


Assistant Planner: This is the entry-level classification in the Planner series. Initially under close supervision, incumbents with basic planning experience perform professional and technical planning work in current, advance, and/or environmental planning activities. As experience is gained, assignments become more varied and are performed with greater independence. Positions at this level usually perform most of the duties required of the positions at the Associate level but are not expected to function at the same skill level and usually exercise less independent discretion and judgment in matters related to work procedures and methods. Work is usually supervised while in progress and fits an established structure or pattern. Exceptions or changes in procedures are explained in detail as they arise.

Associate Planner: This is the full journey-level class in the Planner series. Incumbents are expected to perform the full range of professional and technical planning work in all the following areas: current, advance, and/or environmental planning activities and daily departmental operations, in addition to providing project management and administration. Positions at this level are distinguished from the Assistant level by the performance of the full range of duties as assigned, working independently, and exercising judgment and initiative. Positions at this level receive only occasional instruction or assistance as new or unusual situations arise and are fully aware of the operating procedures and policies of the work unit.



Specific responsibilities of this position include but are not limited to:

  • Reviews routine to complex commercial, industrial, and residential development proposals, plans, and applications for issuance of zoning clearance and for compliance with appropriate codes, ordinances, standards, laws, rules, regulations, and policies.
  • Provides interpretations of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Subdivision Map Act, and local environmental guidelines; identifies corrective actions to be taken by owners; recommends improvement and rehabilitation programs; conducts follow-up and re-check and approves or denies submittals.
  • Reviews and signs off on plans submitted for Building Plan Check and permits.
  • Assists the public at the front counter and on the phone, answering questions and providing information regarding zoning, land use, development standards, approved development proposals, and the Town’s entitlement process; performs plan check functions for various projects; receives and reviews applications for building permits for completeness; receives and records zoning and code compliance complaints, establishes appropriate files, performs inspections of document violations, coordinates actions with those of other agencies, and implements appropriate procedures to correct or resolve each complaint and violation.
  • Serves as project manager on planning and development projects, which includes application and plan review, coordination with project applicants and other Town departments, preparation and posting of legal notices, background research, environmental review, preparation of staff reports, scheduling meetings and hearings, and monitoring of project implementation to verify substantial conformance with approved plans, conditions, and mitigation measures; suggests revisions to site plans and architecture; inspects project development sites.
  • Compiles information for a variety of studies and reports; researches, analyzes, and interprets social, economic, population, and land use data and trends; researches and reviews previous entitlements and Town records; develops recommendations and prepares written reports on various planning matters and the Town’s General Plan; participates in the implementation and administration of the Town’s General Plan and development regulations.
  • Researches, collects, records, analyzes, interprets, and summarizes statistical and demographic information; prepares spreadsheets and establishes and maintains a comprehensive database.
  • Prepares and presents staff reports for the Town Council, Planning Commission, Design Review Committee, Zoning Administrator, Staff Review Committee, and various other committees and advisory boards as directed; prepares research, reports, maps, and conducts briefings and meetings.
  • Refers to and applies numerous documents including the General Plan, Zoning Ordinance, California Environmental Quality Act, Subdivision Map Act, State Planning laws, Municipal Code, Specific Plans, Redevelopment Guidelines, emergency operations manual, historical preservation guidelines, County tax assessor’s maps and records, building and architecture plans, etc.


Knowledge of:


  • Geographic, socio-economic, transportation, political, and other elements related to Town planning.
  • Comprehensive plans and current planning processes and the development process.
  • Site planning and architectural design principles.
  • General concepts of architecture, landscaping, grading, drainage, and traffic and transportation engineering as they relate to the process of urban planning.
  • Operational characteristics, services, and activities of a comprehensive environmental planning program.
  • Researching and reporting methods, techniques, and procedures.
  • Recent developments, current literature, and sources of information related to planning, zoning, and environmental review.
  • Practices of researching planning and land use issues, evaluating alternatives, making sound recommendations, and preparing and presenting effective staff reports.
  • Principles of advanced mathematics and their application to planning work.
  • Techniques for providing a high level of customer service by effectively dealing with the public, vendors, contractors, and Town staff.
  • The structure and content of the English language, including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Modern equipment and communication tools used for business functions and program, project, and task coordination.

Ability to:

  • Interpret planning and zoning programs to the general public; identify and respond to issues and concerns of the public, Town Council, and other boards and commissions.
  • Read plans and specifications and make effective site visits.
  • Assess, monitor, and report environmental impact on and of various Town programs and services.
  • Analyze site design, terrain constraints, land use compatibility, utilities, and other urban services.
  • Conduct routine research projects, evaluate alternatives, and make sound recommendations.
  • Prepare and present clear, concise, and logical written and oral reports, correspondence, policies, procedures, and other written materials.
  • Establish and maintain a variety of filing, record-keeping, and tracking systems.
  • Understand, interpret, and apply all pertinent laws, codes, regulations, policies and procedures, and standards relevant to work performed.
  • Learn and understand the organization and operation of the Town and of outside agencies as necessary to assume assigned responsibilities.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing, using appropriate English grammar and syntax.

Education and Experience:

Equivalent to a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university with major coursework in urban planning, community development, business or public administration, or a related field.

Assistant Planner: One (1) year of professional experience in planning, zoning and related community development activities.


Associate Planner: Three (3) years of professional experience in planning, zoning and related community development activities, or two (2) years of experience as an Assistant Planner at the Town of Paradise.

Salary: $63,960 to $81,640 Annually

Licenses and Certifications:

Possession of, or ability to obtain, a valid California Driver’s License by time of appointment and a satisfactory driving record.



To apply for this opportunity, please visit Koff & Associates; website at and submit a cover letter and resume.  As an alternative, you can mail the cover letter and resume to this address:

Koff & Associates

2835 Seventh Street

Berkeley, CA 94710

The Deadline to Apply is Monday, January 13th 2020

The Town of Paradise is an equal opportunity employer encouraging workforce diversity.

Koff & Associates