Planner III

  • Part Time
  • Anywhere
  • Applications have closed

County of Santa Barbara


Notice of change: Continuous, open until filled. For consideration, apply by 5:00 PM PST, Monday, April 6, 2020.

The Planning & Development Department is currently accepting applications to fill three full-time vacancies for a Planner III position in the Development Review Division. We have two openings in the Santa Barbara office and one in the Santa Maria office. The Planning and Development Department has a wide variety of planning projects and programs. Candidates will also be considered for future opportunities in the Cannabis Permitting, and the Energy, Minerals and Compliance Divisions.

The established employment list may also be used for future Full-Time, Part-Time, and Extra-Help Planner III vacancies in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Carpinteria, and Lompoc. This position is utilized by two departments in the County of Santa Barbara. Each Planner III’s duties vary from one department to another depending on the needs of the department and the nature of the work that you will be performing.

DEVELOPMENT REVIEW DIVISION: This Division is responsible for reviewing and processing applications for development related projects. These projects consist of subdivisions and a variety of residential, commercial, and agricultural development projects. In addition, the Division is responsible for preparing environmental documents in accordance with the CEQA Guidelines and also coordinating with consultants on more complex environmental documents. The Division is the lead in providing support to the recovery and rebuilding process following the Montecito Debris Flow disaster as well as other natural disasters throughout the County. The Division supports a team that is the lead in processing permits for cannabis cultivation and related operations. More information on the Development Review Division may be found at

CANNABIS PROGRAM: The position will be assigned to work in the Cannabis Program, which is part of the Development Review Division. An opportunity to work in the new cannabis industry in California. Santa Barbara County has a long history of agriculture and is now positioned to be a leader in the cultivation of cannabis in the State. This position will work with industry representatives, members of the public, and a wide array of state and local agencies in permitting cannabis activities in the County. More information on the Cannabis Program may be found at

ENERGY, MINERALS AND COMPLIANCE DIVISION: The Energy, Minerals and Compliance Division oversees oil and gas activities offshore Santa Barbara County, the onshore facilities that support those offshore operations, onshore oil and gas development, surface mining, and renewable energy projects. Our oversight includes planning, policy development, permit processing, environmental review, permit compliance, and public outreach. More information on the Energy, Minerals, and Compliance Division can be found at

For more information on the Planning and Development Department, please visit us at:

Ideal Candidate Qualities
Skilled in land use permitting of complex discretionary projects with CEQA and or coastal regulatory requirements. Knowledge and experience in the practices and principles of current or development review, ideally a knowledge of Santa Barbara County land use regulations. Successful track record of establishing effective working relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders with divergent interests. Experience working in a multi-jurisdictional land use regulatory environment. Excellent written and oral communication skills. Ability to analyze complex projects. Knowledge of agricultural practices and trends relevant to cannabis cultivation and operation would be beneficial for the Cannabis Program position. Individuals with degrees in geological sciences, geology or earth science are encouraged to apply for the position in the Energy, Mineral, and Compliance Division. Knowledge of conducting annual surface mining inspections in accordance with the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) (Energy, Minerals, and Compliance Division). Examples of Duties
Reviews applications to determine whether they meet legal submission requirements and to determine the potential significant environmental impacts of the proposals; studies supportive materials necessary for initial environmental assessments of projects and analyzes the projects in conjunction with environmental documents to determine consistency with adopted State and County goals, policies, plans, and ordinances; meets with applicants to negotiate proposed permit conditions. Aids in the selection and management of consultants by developing contracts, monitoring performance and billings, and reviewing technical analyses and documents. Reviews comments from the public and county departmental staff; prepares project reports with analysis and comments for public distribution; states environmental impacts and recommendations for mitigating measures and disposition of the projects. Makes oral presentations of reports before decision-making bodies. Confers with County staff to ensure compliance with conditions of approval and proper implementation of the project. Researches land use, transportation requirements, community design, resource constraints, environmental thresholds, and other development or environmental issues; analyzes data to compile reports on development policies; computes descriptive statistics from data to incorporate in reports; interprets adopted State and County policies, guidelines, ordinances, and zoning regulations for the public. Serves as project manager for complex projects or participates in teams undertaking highly complex projects for special planning studies or environmental-related policies that are required to implement, amend, or revise the Comprehensive Plan. Compiles, develops, and indexes a wide variety of environmental resource data using a computerized data base; develops or supervises the development of reference materials, brochures, and computer information systems to clarify and streamline the permit process and to make public information available concerning zoning and land use permit requirements. Assigns work to and provides training for entry level planning and support staff; responds to questions related to general processes and specific cases; reviews and edits staff reports and recommendations. Develops and processes amendments to County zoning and subdivision ordinances by conferring with advisory committees and holding public workshops to obtain public input on the development of new policies and programs. Employment Standards
Possession of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, preferably including course work in urban and regional planning, environmental studies, or life, physical, or social sciences; AND two years of journey-level professional experience developing land use policies or regulations or applying zoning regulations, community plan policies, CEQA, NEPA, and other ordinances or policies in a land use planning environment; Two years of experience performing duties equivalent to the class of Planner II with Santa Barbara County; OR An advanced degree in urban and regional planning, AND one year of journey-level professional experience developing land use policies or regulations or applying zoning regulations, community plan policies, CEQA, NEPA, and other ordinances or policies in a land use planning environment; OR A combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to one of the employment standards listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.
Additional Qualifications: Possession of a valid California Class C Driver’s License may be required.

Knowledge of: urban and regional planning and environmental review; understanding of comprehensive planning, and/or development review; state and federal laws, policies, and regulations related to planning and environmental issues including CEQA; principles and practices of public contract administration; ability to research grant sources, prepares grant applications and assists in the administration of grant programs.

Ability to: plan, organize, and carry out work independently; set priorities to meet deadlines; read, understand, and interpret regulations and policies; compile and analyze relevant information, draw valid conclusions, and develop recommendations to resolve issues; explain policies and regulations to others; write staff reports, policies, ordinances, and correspondence using correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation; prepare and give public presentations before decision-making bodies; record, create, and maintain records information for future access; establish and maintain effective working relationships with coworkers and the public; use personal computers and software to prepare reports, create presentations, and manage projects; read and understand site plans, architectural drawings, and topographic maps.

Desirable Qualifications

Knowledge of: redevelopment; basic techniques of supervision; contract administration to monitor completion of work specified, examine expenditures, and approve payments; database software, and statistical analysis.

Ability to: plan, assign, and evaluate work of staff; plan and present training for staff; conduct and facilitate group meetings to obtain input on policy development.