5291 Planner III

Recruitment #TEX-5291-064876


Appointment Type

This is a Temporary Exempt (TEX) position and it is excluded by the Charter from the competitive civil service examination pursuant to San Francisco Charter Section 10.104 and shall serve at the discretion of the Appointing Officer.  


The candidate selected for this TEX position will be required to participate and be successful in the 5291 Planner III examination and then selected through an open competitive process in order to be considered for Permanent appointment.  



The San Francisco Planning Department has openings for multiple 5291 Planner III positions to join our Citywide Planning Division.  We are looking for candidates with a background in urban planning or a related field for a wide variety of the Division’s planning projects and related work. In addition to candidates with strong general urban planning and policy background and experience managing complex projects, we are seeking candidates with specific interest and ability in one or more of the following topic areas: transportation planning, urban design, land use planning, real estate finance, capital planning, data analysis, and sustainability and environmental policy. Candidates with particular interest, skills, or experience in one or more of these topic areas should specify as such in their application.  


The Citywide Division is responsible for the long-range planning of San Francisco. The Division develops policy, maintains and oversees compliance with the City’s General Plan, prepares and implements community plans, acts as the urban design resource for the city, and gathers and analyzes data in support of land-use policy. The Citywide Division develops plans and proposes policy on a wide range of topics, including housing, transportation, urban design, land use, and sustainability policy and development of long-range plans at a city-wide or neighborhood scale.  


This is an opportunity to work in a dynamic, inter-disciplinary, and innovative department and share in our vision to make San Francisco the worlds’ most livable urban place – environmentally, economically, socially and culturally. We work in a collaborative, team-oriented environment with opportunities to work on a wide variety of projects and topic areas, both individually and on project teams. In performing our planning work, we work closely with staff of other City and regional agencies, the development community, and the general public. Community outreach and engagement is a big part of our work, and we hold frequent public forums to present and get input on our work.  


General Description

Under general direction, the Planner III performs journey level planning work. The Planner III is responsible for conducting investigations and performing analyses to prepare reports and recommendations pertaining to complex planning issues and problems. The Planner III will provide project management or independent work on major planning projects.


The essential functions of the Planner III positions in the Citywide Planning Division include, but are not limited to:

  • Managing the development of long-range citywide or neighborhood plans and programs; 
  • Preparation, revision and updating of the General Plan and/or Planning Code; Leading Community outreach and engagement processes;
  • Preparing recommendations for Department, Planning Commission and other city Commissions/Boards actions;
  • Providing information orally and in writing to city agencies, property owners, developers, community organizations, the Planning Commission and the general public;
  • Interpreting and explaining legal, technical and procedural aspects of planning work to agencies and members of the public;
  • Conducting site and field inspections and conducting surveys and interviews to obtain data; Preparing computer based and hard copy graphic materials;
  • Designing and preparing graphic presentations to illustrate planning and development concepts;
  • Conducting research studies and formulating recommendations to assist in planning policies;
  • Provide zoning and permitting information to the general public, including shifts at the Planning Information Counter;
  • Processes relevant planning applications and referrals, including: General Plan Referrals, Preliminary Project Assessments, and Community Plan Exemptions

Specific Functions

The Citywide Division is seeking candidates to fit a variety of needed skills relating to the division’s work program.  In addition to the general work described above, we are seeking candidates with interest in or skills and experience in one or more of the following topic areas.


  • Land Use and General Policy. Examples of duties include preparing land use plans, area plans, General Plan updates, zoning regulations, housing or other policy strategies for the City.  Policy expertise in land use, zoning, community planning, General Plan development, and housing policy are all desired areas.  
  • Urban Design. Examples of duties include preparing urban design studies and concepts, developing and drafting urban design standards and codes for development, developing urban form models or other analyses related to building and city form, developing designs for streets and public spaces, and providing design review services for development proposals. Expertise in urban design, strong skills in city design and placemaking, street and public realm design, and an understanding of built form is desired. The ability to think and communicate spatially and excellent design abilities are critical.  
  • Transportation Planning. Examples of duties include assisting in development of long-range transportation policies and proposals, reviewing and analyzing transportation-related data, and assisting with transportation-related components of community planning work. Desired skills include strong understanding of transportation planning and design principles, including all travel modes, understanding of transportation demand management policy and best practices, ability to review and perform transportation analysis and modeling or simulation, and understanding of federal and state regulations and funding programs relating to transportation capital projects.  
  • Sustainability and Environmental Policy. Examples of duties include reviewing, developing and implementing policies and programs related to environmental sustainability (such as related to energy, water, waste, biodiversity), preparing and reviewing technical reports on climate change and sea-level rise and its impacts on the City, developing policy related to environmental performance, climate change and sea-level rise, and convening stakeholders. Expertise and knowledge of current issues and best practices nationally and internationally in sustainability, resiliency, and climate change is desired.  
  • Capital Planning/Public Finance. Examples of duties include managing the Division’s capital planning and plan implementation projects to help realize capital projects to serve new growth areas, including development of annual impact fee reports, coordination with the City’s capital planning, budget, and public finance staff, development of new public finance tools, staffing relevant community bodies (CACs), and proposing/developing innovative partnerships. This work requires understanding of public finance and capital planning.  
  • Real Estate and Public Finance. Examples of duties include developing, reviewing, and analyzing development pro formas for development schemes, understanding current market conditions and trends for residential and commercial development, performing financial feasibility analyses for development proposals, and developing, reviewing and analyzing land-related public finance mechanisms (eg assessment district, tax increment financing). This work requires detailed understanding of real estate development concepts and terminology, the ability to create and analyze development pro formas, and the ability to create and review models for estimating revenues from finance or tax mechanisms.  
  • Data Analysis. Example of duties include a range of research and analytical duties such as developing, designing and executing databases related to housing, employment, demographics, and land use; storing, maintaining and analyzing huge and complex datasets to predict and assess population and employment growth; accessing and manipulating datasets to simulate impacts of infrastructure investments, and land use and transportation policies; developing and maintaining local travel/traffic simulation models and coordinating and collaborating with regional travel modelling teams; designing and creating datasets for use in geospatial models; prepare effective data visualization and produce reports/studies. Knowledge of and experience in database design and land use modeling, and programming languages required.

Incumbents in this job code may be required to attend evening and weekend meetings, occasionally held in community locations.

Minimum Qualifications

Minimum Qualifications:  

  • Possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university AND four (4) years (8,000 hours) of verifiable full-time-equivalent experience in an urban, city, regional and/or other related planning environment (such as transportation planning, environmental planning, architecture or urban design); OR
  • 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 AND two (2) years (4,000 hours) of verifiable full-time-equivalent experience in an urban, city, regional and/or other related planning environment (such as transportation planning, environmental planning, architecture or urban design).

Desirable Qualifications:

The stated desirable qualifications may be used to identify job finalists at the end of the selection process when candidates are referred for hiring.

  • Knowledge, skills, or experience with urban planning, land use planning, transportation planning, urban design, data analysis, environmental science, architecture, real estate, public finance, capital planning and/or policy analysis
  • Strong written, oral, and graphical communication skills and the ability to interact effectively and maintain cooperative working relationships with peers, staff, outside agencies, and the community.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, professionalism, and responsibility and the ability to work collegially on team projects.
  • Ability to effectively handle multiple projects and demands within deadlines.
  • Excellent project management and organizational skills and 2+ years of experience managing complex projects, including leading or coordinating teams

How To Apply

Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are being accepted through an online process.

                    Click on "Apply" below.

                    Follow instructions given on the screen.

Computer kiosks 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.

Resumes may be attached to the application; however, resumes will not be accepted in lieu of a completed City and County of San Francisco application.

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).

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, Michael Eng, by telephone at (415) 575-9143 or by email at Michael.Eng@sfgov.org.

Selection Procedures

Selection Procedure

Applications will be reviewed for qualifying experience and education. Only those applicants deemed best qualified will be invited to participate in the selection process. Meeting the minimum qualifications does not guarantee an interview. Additional screening mechanisms may be implemented in the selection process.


Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point in the application and/or departmental selection process. 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.

Conviction History

As part of the selection process an image of your fingerprints will be captured and 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) history will disqualify you as a candidate based on the specific requirements of the position to which you are applying. If selected for fingerprinting, the hiring department will contact you to schedule an appointment.

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.

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.


Reasonable Accommodation Request:

Applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum eligibility requirements for this job announcement can find information on requesting a reasonable ADA Accommodation at:


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://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20 or hard copy at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103.

Terms of Announcement:

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. Clerical errors may be corrected by posting the correction on the Department of Human Resources website at: http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20#announcementsdefinitions

Copies of Application Documents:

Applicants are encouraged to keep copies of all documents submitted. Submitted documents become a permanent part of the exam records and will not be returned. The hiring department may require applicants to submit the same documents and/or additional documents at a later date.

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. http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20#identification

Micki Callahan
Human Resources Director
Department of Human Resources

Issued: February 17, 2015

Announcement No.: TEX-5291-064876

CPC/ME (415) 575-9143


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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