5278 Planner II

Recruitment #CBT-5278-902435



The purpose of this examination announcement is to establish an eligible list for the job classification 5278-Planner II.  The 5278-Planner II is a citywide classification that is used in, but not limited to the following agencies:

Planning Department: http://www.sf-planning.org

The San Francisco Planning Department, under the direction of the Planning Commission, shapes the future of San Francisco and the region by: generating an extraordinary vision for the General Plan and in neighborhood plans; fostering exemplary design through planning controls; improving our surroundings through environmental analysis; preserving our unique heritage; encouraging a broad range of housing and a diverse job base; and enforcing the Planning Code.  The Planning Department's vision is to make San Francisco the world's most livable urban place, environmentally, economically, socially and culturally.

Port of San Francisco: http://www.sfport.com

The Port of San Francisco is governed by a five member Board of Commissioners, The Port Commission is responsible for the 7.5 miles of San Francisco Waterfront adjacent to San Francisco Bay, which the Port develops, markets, leases, administers, manages, and maintains. Its jurisdiction stretches along the waterfront from Hyde Street Pier on the north to India Basin on the south. The Port’s operating portfolio is composed of over 550 ground, commercial, retail, office, industrial and maritime industrial leases, including many internationally recognized landmarks such as Fisherman’s Wharf, PIER 39, the Ferry Building, and AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team. With some of the most unique and historic properties, the Port is home to a variety of tenants and uses.

The Port Commission over the last five decades has led a remarkable transformation of the Port; maintaining its industrial maritime heritage while developing new uses, including commercial and public activities, that have helped San Francisco remain one of the most visited and popular cities on the globe.

Public Utilities Commission:  http://www.sfwater.org

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is a department of the City and County of San Francisco that provides retail drinking water and wastewater services to San Francisco, wholesale water to three Bay Area counties, and green hydroelectric and solar power to San Francisco's municipal departments.

Our mission is to provide customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that is inclusive of environmental and community interests, and sustains the resources entrusted in our care. We are comprised of three essential 24/7 service utilities: Water, Wastewater, and Power. Headquartered in San Francisco, we have about 2,300 employees working in seven counties with a combined annual operating budget of over $900 million.

SFPUC Planners are assigned to offices in San Francisco as well as other areas including Millbrae/Burlingame, Sunol, and Moccasin.  SFPUC positions may require periodic field work.  For example, Planners in the Natural Resources Division may be required to perform site visits and field work within watersheds, along streams and rivers and in sensitive habitat areas as well as urban and suburban settings.

Recreation & Parks: http://sfrecpark.org

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department manages and maintains more than 220 parks, playgrounds, and open spaces in the city, including two outside of city limits: Sharp Park in Pacifica and Camp Mather in the High Sierras. Our 4,100-acre system includes 24 recreation centers, 9 swimming pools, 5 golf courses and numerous athletic facilities, including sports courts, ball diamonds, soccer fields and gymnasiums. Included in the department’s responsibilities are Golden Gate Park, Coit Tower, the Marina Yacht Harbor, the Palace of Fine Arts and Lake Merced.

More than 2,000 talented individuals are part of our team, from gardeners, foresters, and recreation leaders to park patrol officers, custodians, electricians, painters and more. Our core mission, as it has been throughout our history, is to provide opportunities for San Francisco residents and visitors alike to gather, play, learn, relax, and enjoy nature in the city.

San Francisco International Airport: http://www.flysfo.com

SFO is a world-class, award-winning airport that served more than 53 million guests in 2016. SFO offers non-stop flights to 46 international cities on 39 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport also connects non-stop with 79 U.S. cities on 13 domestic airlines. In fiscal year 15/16, the Airport, an enterprise department of the City & County of San Francisco, accounted for $7.8 billion in business activity and supported nearly 39,400 direct jobs.

SFO’s mission is to provide an exceptional airport in service to our communities and is committed to redefining air travel. SFO has embarked on the renovation of Terminal 1, the largest project in the Airport’s 10-year, $6.1 billion Capital Improvement Plan.


Under general supervision, the Planner II performs difficult city planning work and participates in all phases of city planning; assists in the preparation of planning, research, surveys and projects; conducts investigations, collects and analyzes data on zoning, subdivision design, transit and other land use problems; assists in the conduct of environmental impact reviews; assists in the preparation of written and graphic reports; may supervise subordinate survey, clerical and office personnel; and performs related duties as required.  Requires responsibility for: carrying out and interpreting city planning policies and procedures; making continuing personal contacts with representatives of government, civic and business organizations, and the general public in the explanation and interpretation of laws, ordinances, policies, rules and regulations relating to city planning activities; preparing, checking and reviewing important technical records involving the master plan, capital improvement program, zoning and other technical city planning records

Examples of essential functions of this job include:

  1. Performs complex review of applications, permits, entitlements, and other planning documents; records appropriate data and prepares recommendations for department or commission action; conduct site and/or survey, field inspections of land, economic activities, transportation, buildings and streets; conducts surveys and interviews to obtain data required for planning, zoning and environmental review; designs and prepares citywide, neighborhood and other area plans including transportation, land use, open space, and multi-modal streetscape plans using principles of urban design, storm water management, sustainability, economic development and placemaking; investigates, review and/or refer alleged violations of Local, State and/or Federal regulations, codes, ordinances and/or guidelines to the appropriate authority and/or jurisdiction; assists in the preparation, revision and update of local regulations, codes, ordinances and/or guidelines; prepares and coordinates requests for proposals; negotiates consultant contracts and review consultant reports.
  2. Prepares computer based and hard copy graphic materials:  drawings, maps, diagrams, graphs, charts, photographs, videos and other display materials related to planning analyses and reports.
  3. Assists in and performs complex research and assists in formulating recommendations by collecting, recording, organizing and analyzing technical, physical, economic, social and statistical data; attends public hearings, meetings or conferences or various city departments, takes notes and prepares summary reports; communicates information orally and/or in writing to City agencies, Commissions, property owners, developers, community organizations, the public and/or relevant stakeholders; and, facilitates stakeholder engagement, answering questions, providing assistance, responding to complaints, presenting reports and plans, and explaining policies. 
  4. May process various zoning applications and permits; interprets and explains zoning ordinances and other city planning problems to the public.
  5. May assist in the analysis and review of environmental impact reports, consistent with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and/or local regulations and procedures; interprets and explains legal, technical and procedural aspects of environmental review to the public.


This is the journey-level position in the Planner series. Planner IIs perform more progressively complex planning assignments. Planner II is distinguished from the Planner I in that the latter performs entry-level, less complex planning assignments. Planner II is distinguished from Planner III in that the latter is responsible for more difficult and complicated programs or projects, and the supervision of professional staff.

Planner II’s may be required to attend meetings or participate in work-related activities outside of normal working hours (evenings and weekends) in various community locations.  Some positions may require possession of a valid driver license, and may require specialized experience in order to perform department-specific planning duties.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university AND two (2) years (4,000 hours) verifiable full-time-equivalent experience in city, regional, urban or transportation planning, urban design, historic preservation, architectural or environmental review or other related field;

  • Possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in City, Regional, or Urban Planning, or a closely related field such as Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Geography, Urban Studies, Public Administration, Physical Sciences, Historic Preservation, or Environmental Studies AND one (1) year (2,000 hours) verifiable full-time-equivalent experience in city, regional, urban or transportation planning, urban design, historic preservation, architectural or environmental review or other related field;

  • Possession of a Master's degree from an accredited college or university in City, Regional, or Urban Planning, or a closely related field such as Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Geography, Urban Studies, or Environmental Studies.

Verification:  http://sfdhr.org/information-about-hiring-process#verification.  Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point during the recruitment and selection process. If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at http://sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=456

Note: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco.

How To Apply

Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit www.jobaps.com/sf to register an account (if you have not already done so) and begin the application process.

  • Select the desired job announcement
  • Select “Apply” and read and acknowledge the information
  • Select either “I am a New User” if you have not previously registered, or “I have Registered Previously”
  • Follow instructions on the screen

Computers are available for the public (from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday) to file online applications in the lobby of the Dept. of Human Resources at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco.

Applicants may be contacted by email about this announcement and, therefore, it is their responsibility to ensure that their registered email address is accurate and kept up-to-date.  Also, applicants must ensure that email from CCSF is not blocked on their computer by a spam filter.  To prevent blocking, applicants should set up their email to accept CCSF mail from the following addresses (@sfgov.org, @sfdpw.org, @sfport.com, @flysfo.com, @sfwater.org, @sfdph.org, @asianart.org, @sfmta.com, @sfpl.org, @dcyf.org, @first5sf.org, @famsf.org, @ccsf.edu).

Applicants will receive a confirmation email that their online application has been received in response to every announcement for which they file.  Applicants should retain this confirmation email for their records.  Failure to receive this email means that the online application was not submitted or received.

All work experience, education, training and other information substantiating how you meet the minimum qualifications must be included on your application by the filing deadline.  Information submitted after the filing deadline will not be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

Applications completed improperly may be cause for ineligibility, disqualification or may lead to lower scores.

If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the exam analyst, Donna Ho, by telephone at 415.557.4943, or by email at Donna.Ho@sfgov.org.

Selection Plan

Training & Experience Evaluation (Qualifying):

Applicants are required to complete a Qualifying Questionnaire as part of the online application process. The purpose of the Qualifying Questionnaire is to allow candidates to self-certify their qualifications for the position. Applicants must also complete the Supplemental Questionnaire and the official application.

Planner Core Exam (Weighted 35%):

Candidates self-certifying meeting the Minimum Qualifications will be invited to participate in the online Planner Core exam. Candidates will be sent a web link via email that will allow them to take the online Planner Core exam that is designed to measure basic knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with a Planner II position, which may include but not be limited to: knowledge of basic planning principles including land use, zoning, municipal regulation, environmental review, community development, transportation as they relate to planning programs; and knowledge of graphic presentation methods, systems and techniques required for preparation of maps, charts, illustrations and other complex graphics.

This computer-administered test can be taken at home or at a time and location of one’s convenience, but only within a 3-day time period specified on the test notification.  Candidates must have access to a computer and reliable internet connection to participate in this exam. The test consists of 44 questions and it must be completed within 45 minutes. Questions are presented one at a time on the computer screen. There is no penalty for guessing. Candidates may skip questions and return to them later. A passing score must be attained on this test in order to continue further in the selection process. Test questions and answers are not available for public inspection or review. The Planner Core Exam will account for 35% of the total weight of the final score.

Supplemental Questionnaire (Weighted 65%): 

Applicants are required to complete a Supplemental Questionnaire as part of the online application process. Only candidates who receive a passing score on the Planner Core Exam will have their Supplemental Questionnaire scored. The Supplemental Questionnaire is designed to determine relative knowledge, skills and ability levels in job related areas which may include, but not be limited to:  knowledge of basic planning principles including land use, zoning, municipal regulation, environmental review, community development, transportation as they relate to planning programs; written communication skills; interpersonal communication skills; and project and time management skills. All relevant experience, education and/or training must be on the supplemental questionnaire in order to be reviewed in the rating process. The Supplemental Questionnaire will account for 65% of the total weight of the final score.

Your application and any attachments to the application must be submitted at the time of filing, are complete, accurate and include details on all experience, education, training and other information that qualifies you for this recruitment.  Failure to submit a complete and accurate application at the time of filing may result in your ineligibility for this recruitment or inability to receive full credit for scoring purposes.  Any new information concerning work experience, education, training and other information that is submitted after the filing deadline may not be used for scoring or considered to determine whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

Eligible List:

The eligible list resulting from this examination is subject to change after adoption (e.g., as a result of appeals), as directed by the Human Resources Director or the Civil Service Commission.  

The duration of the eligible list resulting from this examination process will be six (6) months, and may be extended with the approval of the Human Resources Director.

Candidates will be placed on the eligible list in rank order according to their final score.


The certification rule for the eligible list resulting from this examination will be Rule of Seven (7) Scores. Additional selection processes may be conducted by the hiring department prior to making final hiring decisions.

Conviction History

As a finalist for a job, you will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints will be sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The resulting report of your conviction history (if any) will be used to determine whether the nature of your conviction (or arrest, in limited circumstances) conflicts with the specific duties and responsibilities of the job for which you are a finalist. If a conflict exists, you will be asked to present any evidence of rehabilitation that may mitigate the conflict, except when federal or state regulations bar employment in specific circumstances, such as:

  • Candidates applying for positions with the Unified School District and the Community College District may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under the California Education Code.
  • Candidates applying for positions with the Recreation and Park Department may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under California Public Resources Code 5164.

Having a conviction history does not automatically preclude you from a job with the City.

If you are selected as a finalist, the hiring department will contact you to schedule a fingerprinting appointment.

Disaster Service Workers

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.


Terms of Announcement and Appeal Rights
Applicants must be guided solely by the provisions of this announcement, including requirements, time periods and other particulars, except when superseded by federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations.  [Note: The correction of clerical errors in an announcement may be posted on the Department of Human Resources website at www.jobaps.com/sf.] The terms of this announcement may be appealed under Civil Service Rule 110.4.  Such appeals must be submitted in writing to the Department of Human Resources, 1 S Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103-5413 by close of business on the 5th business day following the issuance date of this examination announcement.  Information concerning other Civil Service Commission Rules involving announcements, applications and examination policies, including applicant appeal rights, can be found on the Civil Service Commission website at http://sfgov.org/civilservice/rules.

General Information concerning City and County of San Francisco Employment Policies and Procedures:
Important Employment Information for the City and County of San Francisco can be obtained at http://sfdhr.org/information-about-hiring-process or hard copy at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor.

Copies of Application Documents:
Applicants should keep copies of all documents submitted, as these will not be returned.

Right to Work:
All persons entering the City and County of San Francisco workforce are required to provide verification of authorization to work in the United States.

Applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum eligibility requirements for this job announcement can find information on requesting a reasonable ADA Accommodation at: http://sfdhr.org/information-about-hiring-process#applicantswithdisabilities
Information regarding requests for Veterans Preference can be found at: http://sfdhr.org/information-about-hiring-process#veteranspreference

Seniority Credit in Promotional Exams: 
Information regarding seniority credit can be found at: http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20#senioritycredit

Issued: January 3, 2018
Micki  Callahan
Human Resources Director
Department of Human Resources
Recruitment ID Number: 902435
HRD/DH/ 415.557.4943


All employees hired on or after January 10, 2009 will be required (pursuant to San Francisco Charter Section A8.432) to contribute 2% of pre-tax compensation to fund retiree healthcare. In addition, most employees are required to make a member contribution towards retirement, ranging from 7.5%-13.25% of compensation. For more information on these provisions, please contact the personnel office of the hiring agency.
For more information about benefits, please click here.

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