5291 Planner III

Historic Preservation Technical Specialist

Recruitment #TEX-5291-060279


Appointment Type: Temporary-Exempt Appointment. This position is excluded by the Charter from the competitive civil service examination process and shall serve at the discretion of the appointing officer.

Length of Appointment: This position is being filled as “Temporary” due to lack of an available eligible list from which a Permanent appointment can be made. A 5291 Planner III Civil Service examination is currently in development and will be administered within the next several months in order to produce an eligible list. It is the intent of the Planning Department to fill this position as Permanent when the eligible list is available. The candidate selected for this Temporary position must 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.

Under direction, the Planner III performs difficult and responsible planning work in land use, zoning, development, code enforcement, historic preservation and real estate; supervises or assists in the preparation and design of research surveys and projects and conducts the more difficult investigations; prepares or assists in the preparation of reports and planning studies; processes applications; provides information on planning policies and procedures; conducts limited environmental reviews and may also coordinate environmental review processes; and supervises professional staff.  Provides preservation, urban design and architectural expertise in support of the Department’s work to strengthen the City’s sense of place and livability through concern for the city’s physical qualities.  Assists in the development and implementation of planning policies and procedures; reviews difficult & complicated building and land use development proposals and permit applications; prepares, checks, and reviews important technical records and plans; has considerable contact with representatives of government, community groups, developers, business organizations and the general public; and performs related duties as required.

Within the Current Planning Section, this position will serve as a historic preservation technical specialist.  In addition to the core work of the Current Planning team, the primary tasks of the Preservation Technical Specialist (Tech Spec) are to review applications for changes to historic properties.  The Tech Spec reviews discretionary permits and case applications in conformance with the City’s long-range planning goals, as regulated by Articles 10 and 11 of the Planning Code.  This work includes the review of building permit applications that entail the alteration of historical resources for compliance with the Planning Code, the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); the review of land use applications such as Certificate of Appropriateness, Permits to Alter, Landmark Designations, Environmental Review Evaluations, Mills Act contracts; and the review of cases associated with San Francisco’s role as a Certified Local Government (CLG), for example Section 106 reviews, and nominations to the National Register of Historic Places.  The Preservation Coordinator, the Preservation Technical Specialists, and Commission Secretary are staff to and support the work of the Historic Preservation Commission and the Major Environmental Analysis Division of the Planning Department.

Other primary tasks may involve all phases of the Citywide Historic Resource Survey including research, documentation, and evaluation of architectural resources, which include buildings, structures, objects, and districts.  This position may perform and review fieldwork, including architectural photography, and completion of field survey forms.  Also conducts primary research in San Francisco based research institutions.  Work may involve delivering presentations to the Historic Preservation Commission and Planning Commission as well as other government agencies.  Informs the general public on the Planning Department’s preservation policies and a variety of topics related to the preservation of historic resources and performs related duties as required.  This position requires considerable contact with representatives of government, civic and neighborhood organizations and the general public.

Minimum Qualifications

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

2) The qualified candidate must meet at least one of the three Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualifications Standards (History, Architectural History or Historic Architecture), used by the National Park Service, and previously published in the Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR Part 61.  In the following definitions, a year of full-time professional experience need not consist of a continuous year of full-time work but may be made up of discontinuous periods of full-time or part-time work adding up to the equivalent of a year of full-time experience.

A) History
The minimum professional qualifications in history are a graduate degree in history or closely related field; or a bachelor's degree in history or closely related field plus one of the following:
• At least two years of full-time experience in research, writing, teaching, interpretation, or other demonstrable professional activity with an academic institution, historic organization or agency, museum, or other professional institution; or
• Substantial contribution through research and publication to the body of scholarly knowledge in the field of history. OR

B) Architectural History
The minimum professional qualifications in architectural history are a graduate degree in architectural history, art history, historic preservation, or closely related field, with coursework in American architectural history, or a bachelor's degree in architectural history, art history, historic preservation or closely related field plus one of the following:
• At least two years of full-time experience in research, writing, or teaching in American architectural history or restoration architecture with an academic institution, historical organization or agency, museum, or other professional institution; or
• Substantial contribution through research and publication to the body of scholarly knowledge in the field of American architectural history. OR

C) Historic Architecture
The minimum professional qualifications in historic architecture are a professional degree in architecture or a State license to practice architecture, plus one of the following:
• At least one year of graduate study in architectural preservation, American architectural history, preservation planning, or closely related field; or
• At least one year of full-time professional experience on historic preservation projects.
• Such graduate study or experience shall include detailed investigations of historic structures, preparation of historic structures research reports, and preparation of plans and specifications for preservation projects.

Desirable Qualifications:
1. Considerable knowledge of research methods and techniques pertaining to local historical developments and ability to complete National Register of Historic Places and California Historical Resources documentation that has resulted in properties listings or Determination of Eligibility.
2. Ability to plan and carry out historical research effectively and prepare survey reports assessing the significance of historic properties.
3. Considerable knowledge of the sources and availability of current information in the field of historical preservation.
4. Studies and makes recommendations on the more difficult historic preservation issues, makes recommendations to the appropriate decision-making boards, and coordinates required notification and other processes.
5. Ability to: Collect analyze and interpret complex data; assess information in a variety of forms from various sources and make judgments and recommendations; prepare written reports and make oral presentations of findings and recommendations in public hearings; and work effectively in a team environment.
6. Working knowledge of the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
7. Ability to use judgment, tact, diplomacy, and experience in dealing with controversial public issues and to communicate well orally and in writing; ability to instruct and assist others in the work of the Department; and ability to maintain effective working relations with all levels of the City government and the general public.
8. Ability to plan, conduct and manage a multi-year historic research and evaluation project.  Experience with the incorporation of survey findings into long range planning efforts, and developing policies and objectives as needed. Comprehensive knowledge of scientific methods of research, research facilities, publications, and past and contemporary philosophical currents underlying the documentation of history and culture to be able to educate professionals, concerned citizens and officials in the application of traditional historical documentation and principles of historic preservation.
9. Familiarity with San Francisco History, historic properties types and associated architectural styles and resource sources.
10. Experience managing historic resources projects and working with consultants.
11. Ability to develop an achievable work plan and meet or exceed project deadlines as determined.
12. Higher-level degree or certificate, or 4+ years of professional experience in urban design, place making, or related field concerning the design of the urban environment
13. Registered Professional Architect in the State of California
14. Practical experience in the design of residential and commercial buildings
15. Knowledge of urban design principles, site and master planning, and transit-oriented design.
16. Knowledge of best practices in building design, building materials, and structural requirements
17. Strong technical skills in GIS/Database management.
18. Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, verbally and in writing.
19. Ability to physically perform the duties, walking long distances, and sitting of long periods of time.
20. Skill in: establishing and maintaining cooperative relationships with government agencies, community groups, special interest advocates, permit applicants, and the general public; designing and carrying out complex studies or projects; working in collaboration with staff and others; presenting technical information to a general audience.
21. Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, verbally and in writing.

How To Apply

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

- Click on "Apply" above.
- 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 will be prompted to submit a resume as part of the online employment application. Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of a completed City and County of San Francisco application. Please ensure that you are attaching the correct materials to your employment application, as materials cannot be deleted once they are uploaded/attached.

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 accept CCSF mail from “@sfgov.org”.

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 application process, please contact Anne Marie Monroe by telephone at (415) 557-4914 or by email at AnneMarie.Monroe@sfgov.org. If you have any questions regarding this position and/or the San Francisco Planning Department, you may contact Tim Frye at (415) 575-6822 or Tim.Frye@sfgov.org.

Verification of Education and Experience:
Verification of education and qualifying experience may be required at a later date. Failure to submit the required verification when requested may result in rejection of application.

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.

Selection Procedures

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.

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: June 3, 2013
Announcement No.: TEX-5291-060279




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, typically 7.5% 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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