The Planning and Community Environment Department is seeking a Planner to focus on the City's Historic Preservation and Current Planning projects review program. The City of Palo Alto is a dynamic community with a strong connection to its historic resources. Palo Alto has four historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Ramona District in the thriving downtown. Palo Alto began in the 19th century as Mayfield to serve Stanford University; the Stanford Research Park in Palo Alto has been called the birthplace of Silicon Valley and Council recently adopted the Professorville Historic District Design Guidelines for the National-register listed residential neighborhood that originally provided housing for Stanford professors. The City of Palo Alto also has the largest number of Eichler-built, mid-century housing tracts; two of these Eichler tracts are listed on the National Register of Historic Places; an effort underway for 2017 is the development of Eichler Design Guidelines for new homes and additions within these tracts.
The ideal candidate will have training and experience in historic preservation, including public agency experience. Preparation of grant applications and administration of grants for historic preservation project is a plus. This position, under the guidance of the City's Chief Planning Official, may perform any planning functions within the department, but will be the primary planner assigned to assess projects for consistency with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation (SISR), serve as the staff liaison to the City's Historic Resources Board (HRB), prepare special historic studies and projects, contribute to advance planning efforts, make progress on work program items including guidelines and other updates, act as the primary point of contact for the community on historic matters of the City, including serving as the Certified Local Government (CLG) Coordinator, preparing annual reports and coordinating with the State Office of Historic Preservation. Current planning project work includes providing pre-application customer service; reviewing Historic Resource Evaluations and discretionary projects having historic components; making public presentations; processing historic resource listings/de-listings; developing scopes and working with historic consultants; and reviewing CEQA document cultural resources reports. Position may be 'under-filled' at the Associate Planner level, DOQ.
Purpose of Classification
Under minimal supervision, performs professional planning functions required in the Planning and Transportation Divisions. These functions include: environmental review, project review, special planning and transportation study preparation, assistance in Community Development Block Grant and other federal, state and local housing programs, comprehensive plan element preparation and maintenance of planning and transportation data files. Position may act as project manager on assigned projects.
The Planner classification is found in the Planning and Community Environment Department. It is distinguished from the Associate Planner classification in that the latter handles less complex assignments under closer supervision.
Essential and other important responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Prepares environmental assessments and environmental impact reports on projects submitted for City approval.
- Evaluates the design of projects submitted for Architectural Review Board (ARB) review.
- Oversees the preparation of packet material for the ARB.
- Evaluates and prepares reports on projects submitted for Planning or Transportation Division approval including projects requiring variances, conditional use permits, site and design approval, nonconforming use extensions, subdivisions and other types of projects requiring some form of discretionary Planning or Transportation Division approval.
- Prepares reports on special planning transportation studies for the ARB, Planning Commission, City Council, appointed committees and other City staff.
- Assists in plan preparation, coordination, monitoring and other activities related to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and other federal, state and local housing programs.
- Prepares revised elements to the Comprehensive Plan.
- Makes public presentations before appointed boards, commissions, committees, and the City Council.
- Oversees maintenance of Planning and Transportation Division data files.
- As needed, assigns and monitors work of technical and temporary personnel who may assist in the above tasks.
- Perform related duties and responsibilities as required.
Sufficient education, training and/or work experience to demonstrate possession of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities which would typically be acquired through:
- Bachelor's degree in Urban Planning or related field from an accredited college or university. and
- Three years of suitable professional experience in urban or transportation planning.
Possession of a valid California Driver's License.