Under general direction, plans, organizes, manages and directs the day-to-day operations and staff of the Planning Office in the Department of Planning and Development. This is an executive management position that reports directly to the Director, Department of Planning and Development and is responsible for providing leadership and direction for one of the two major divisions within the Department. The functions of the Planning Office include comprehensive planning, development review, zoning administration, and special projects and studies.


This recruitment is through an executive search firm, Koff & Associates, and it is continuous until filled. No paper applications will be accepted. Applicants must apply through Koff & Associates at and should include a compelling cover letter and comprehensive resume.

For further information or questions on the recruitment process, please contact Patricia Carrillo, Executive Services at (408) 299-5897 or .

This recruitment is open continuous but may close as early as 10 days after posting.

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Typical Tasks

Typical Management Responsibilities

  • Through subordinate managers, directs, assigns, and evaluates the work of the division;
  • Selects and appoints personnel, develops an office-wide team, provides coaching and mentoring, and evaluates performance in achieving the division goals and objectives consistent with County and Department goals and objectives;
  • Oversees the development and implementation of the division’s annual work plan, budget, performance measures and outcomes;
  • At the direction of the Director, serves as a spokesperson for the Department on planning issues and policies;
  • Ensures the delivery of quality, customer-focused services by a commitment to continuous work improvement and exemplary public service;
  • Refines organizational processes and structures, as necessary, with particular attention to efficiency, effectiveness and the delivery of customer-focused services;
  • Provides oversight for planning studies and special projects, and the development and implementation of the County’s General Plan;
  • Oversees land development activities to ensure projects are in conformance with the General Plan, zoning ordinances, environmental regulations and related planning policies;
  • Presents and/or facilitates the presentation of reports and studies to the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission concerning land use and development plans, policies and regulations, private development proposals within the unincorporated areas, and various other matters affecting land use or environmental quality in the County of Santa Clara;
  • Confers with elected officials, local government, regional agencies, related Boards and Commissions, and community groups in coordinating the work of the division;
  • Initiates and participates in the resolution of any intra-departmental or inter- departmental issues and concerns;
  • Promotes inter-agency and inter-jurisdictional coordination and cooperation on land use and development issues;
  • Serves as an educator on planning issues for citizens and community groups, and supplies information and reports to help residents better understand County policies.

Employment Standards

Sufficient education and experience in governmental planning to perform the above tasks and to demonstrate the possession and application of the required knowledge and abilities.

The qualified candidate would typically possess education and experience equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree in Planning, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Studies, Public or Business Administration or a closely related field and three (3) years recent managerial level experience in governmental planning. A Master’s degree in one of the above areas is highly desirable and would substitute for one (1) year of experience. AICP Certification is highly desirable.

Knowledge Of

  • Principles and practices of governmental planning necessary to plan, organize, direct, manage and evaluate the staff and functions of a planning division;
  • Current trends and statistics affecting governmental planning;
  • State Planning Act, California Land Conservation (Williamson) Act, Subdivision Act and California Environmental Quality Act;
  • Principles and practices of public administration, organization, management analysis, supervision, budgeting and personnel management;

    Ability to:

  • Effectively organize, coordinate, direct and evaluate the staff and functions of a governmental planning division;
  • Develop creative and practical solutions to complex problems;
  • Communicate effectively with individuals and groups;
  • Train, organize, supervise and motivate division staff;
  • Effectively represent the Department before the Board of Supervisors, County Executive, the public, and other entities and organizations;
  • Develop and maintain effective working relationships with all those contacted during the course of work;
  • Work within a complex environment with a diverse staff and community population;
  • Prepare clear and comprehensive correspondence and reports