Working for Us
Menu Button
City Logo
Search Button

Job Descriptions

Principal Planner



Under general supervision from the Deputy Director of Development Services (Planning), performs the difficult and complex planning duties related to urban planning and the coordination of planning and development projects to ensure compliance with Federal, State and local regulations governing planning and the environment; to coordinate activities with citizens, applicants, community groups, other agencies and other divisions/service areas of the City of Turlock; to provide highly complex staff assistance to the Deputy Director of Development Services (Planning). The incumbent may serve as team leader for special projects and supervise subordinate staff as assigned. This classification is assigned to the Miscellaneous Bargaining Unit for labor relation purposes.


Receives general direction from the Deputy Director of Development Services (Planning). The incumbent in this classification is expected to work with minimal direct supervision, exercising independent judgment and initiative in a number of complex, responsible and sensitive duties.

Exercises direct supervision of professional, technical and clerical staff within the Planning Division as assigned by the Deputy Director of Development Services (Planning).

EXAMPLE OF DUTIES Ė Duties may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Prepares and submits reports and recommendations to the Planning Commission and City Council on planning, zoning and subdivision issues in the form of staff reports, surveys, studies, resolutions and ordinances.
  • Prepares complex and sensitive reports for State and Federal regulatory agencies; analyzes and develops recommendations on complex planning, zoning and development proposals.
  • Assists with activities relating to public assistance and code compliance for miscellaneous land use permits including business licenses, administrative permits and home occupation permits.
  • Coordinates the evaluation of development applications and issues with other city service areas to ensure input is included in the processing of projects which impact their operations.
  • Confers with engineers, developers, architects, a variety of agencies and the general public in acquiring information and coordinating planning and zoning matters; provides information regarding the Cityís development policies, procedures and requirements.
  • Directs the development, maintenance and enforcement of the Cityís General Plan, zoning, subdivision and environmental ordinances.
  • Participates in the formulation and recommendation of policies and procedures.
  • Supervises, trains and evaluates Planning Division personnel as assigned.
  • Manages the activities of consultants in regards to division and department activities including selection, evaluation and contract administration.
  • Attends and participates in meetings of legislative and advisory bodies, City and non-City, as required.
  • Coordinates activities of the Planning Division with other Department work projects including redevelopment, annexation, building & safety, development engineering, housing programs and other special studies.
  • Performs other professional/administrative duties as required.

Knowledge of:

  • Advanced principles, practices and theories of urban planning, land use environmental review and zoning.
  • State Planning Law, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and Local Agency Formation Commissionís annexation.
  • California State laws affecting the planning, development, subdivision and zoning processes.
  • Research methods and sources of information related to urban growth and development.
  • Recent developments, current literature and sources of information related to municipal planning administration.

Ability to:

  • Interpret complex laws, rules and regulations as they pertain to the field of urban planning, land use, environment and community organization.
  • Analyze policy issues and develop sound recommendations regarding land use planning, environmental and operational organizational issues.
  • Represent City goals and objectives effectively in meetings with governmental agencies, the public, staff and public officials.
  • Set priorities and organize work as necessary to meet deadlines and achieve Division and City goals as established by policy makers.
  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with diverse groups including large public audiences and small developmental teams.
  • Supervise, train, evaluate and empower personnel to work efficiently and effectively.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.



Four years of full-time, professional level work in planning, public administration or a related field that includes two years of progressively responsible experience in a lead or supervisory capacity, preferably in a municipal setting. A Masters Degree in Planning, Public Administration, or a related field may be substituted for two years of work experience and one year of lead/supervisory experience.


A Bachelors Degree in City or Planning, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Civil Engineering, Public Administration, Urban Studies, Social Science, Geography or a related field. Four years of experience in urban, land use, or regional planning, OR completion of an accredited certificate program in land use planning approved by the City of Turlock may be substituted for this requirement.


Possession of a valid California Driverís License in the category necessary to perform essential duties of the position may be required at the time of appointment. Maintenance of a valid California Driverís license and proof of automobile liability insurance is a condition of continued employment.

  • Bilingual (Spanish).
  • A.I.C.P. Certificate.


Vision adequate to operate vehicles and office equipment, read instructions and follow directions; hearing adequate to converse on the telephone and in person; body mobility adequate to drive and perform required office duties including reaching and bending for files and related office items; use of hands and fingers adequate for operating vehicles, writing, typing, computer, copier, and fax machine and related functions; ability to lift office files, binders and small office equipment, as needed.

      For questions about City employment, please contact:

      Human Relations
      156 S. Broadway, Ste. 235
      Turlock, CA 95380-5454
      (209) 668-5150
      Monday - Friday, 8AM - 5PM

      Icons made by Freepik from is licensed by CC 3.0 BY