Ideally located on the Pacific Ocean south of Los Angeles, adjacent to Orange County, the City of Long Beach, California (population 470,000) is frequently described as a series of strong, diverse interwoven smaller communities within a large city. Enjoying an ideal Southern California climate, Long Beach is home to an abundance of cultural and recreational options. The Long Beach Convention Center, Aquarium of the Pacific, Queen Mary, and the annual Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, plus a wide variety of other attractions (two historic ranchos, three marinas, and I've golf courses), serve to draw 6.5 million visitors a year. The City is also home to California State University, Long Beach, and Long Beach City College. Cal State Long Beach is the second largest university in the state and was recently ranked the No. 3 best–value public college in the nation. Covering approximately 50 square miles, Long Beach is supported by a wide mix of industries with education, health and social services, manufacturing, retail trade, and professional services comprising the highest representation. Known for its livable and desirable neighborhoods, Long Beach was named by America’s Promise Alliance as one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People two years in a row. While it offers all the amenities of a large metropolis, many say Long Beach offers the added benefit of having maintained a strong sense of community and cohesiveness despite its growth. A superb climate, quality schools, a vibrant downtown, and a wide variety of neighborhoods help make Long Beach one of the most livable communities in the country.
Long Beach, a charter city formed in 1897, is governed by nine City Council Members elected by district and a city-wide elected Mayor. Other elected officials include the City Attorney, City Auditor, and City Prosecutor. The elected officials are elected to staggered four-year terms. The City Council appoints the City Manager and City Clerk. The City Manager is responsible for the efficient administration of all City departments, excluding those under the direction of a separately elected official, Board or Commission. Long Beach is one of only three cities in California with its own Health Department and one of the very few municipalities with its own Water and Energy Resources Departments. In 2019, the City of Long Beach and Plenary Properties Long Beach unveiled the completion of the new four-building Long Beach Civic Center, which includes a new City Hall and Port Administration Building. The tree-lined pedestrian plaza is reflective of an innovative public-private partnership and the Civic Center is designed to revitalize the civic core of downtown to serve residents, attract visitors, and provide safe and efficient city operations. The City is supported by a FY2024 total budget of $3.2 billion with a General Fund budget accounting for 22% of the total budget. Long Beach employs approximately 6,073 full-time equivalent staff. To learn more about the City of Long Beach, go to: www.longbeach.gov.
The Department of Community Development delivers a wide variety of programs and services to help create and maintain more safe, sustainable, and livable neighborhoods. The department is comprised of five bureaus: Building and Safety, Code Enforcement, Housing and Neighborhood Services, Planning, and Administrative and Financial Services.
Our staff of more than 180 works tirelessly to serve the community through an array of policies and programs, including land use and development, affordable housing, environment and historic preservation, neighborhood improvement, and construction standards and safety. We are dedicated to making a positive difference in our role to help transform Long Beach into a model urban community that honors its past and embraces the future.
Under general direction of the Planning Bureau Manager, the Project Planning Officer (a Current Planning Officer) is responsible for overseeing the operation of the Project Planning Division by providing day-to-day direction to and supervision of the professional and support staff within the division. The successful candidate will be a highly organized professional who is familiar with entitlement review processes, project management, zoning ordinances, coastal development requirements, site plan and design review and environmental compliance.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES
The Project Planning Officer will:
- Oversee a group of professional planners to review and process requests to develop and redevelop public and private property in the City. This includes reviewing proposals against relevant codes and plans; facilitating and coordinating review with other impacted city departments and public agencies; environmental review and disclosure requirements pursuant to CEQA; making recommendations as to whether such proposals should be approved based on appropriate analysis and findings; and crafting appropriate conditions of approval to ensure the public good.
- Provide guidance and training to aid staff in their review of development projects, entitlement requests, and to support effective project management.
- Provide information and answer questions from the public regarding general plan and zone designations (Zoning Maps), permitted land uses, entitlement processes, procedures and requirements.
- Provide professional planning advice to project applicants and members of the public seeking project information.
- Collaborate with the Advance Planning Officer to maintain, update, and implement the development standards within the City's certified Local Coastal Plan, General Plan, planned development districts, specific plans, and the zoning ordinance.
- Provide guidance and develop feasible solutions for complex, highly visible, sensitive, and/or controversial projects
- Participate in hiring, onboarding, training, and mentoring professional planning and support staff for the Planning Bureau.
- Improve systems for project review and for providing information to the public, including through development of new service delivery methods and by participating in developing, selecting, and implementing a replacement software system for the current land management system (Infor).
- Collaborate with the other Current Planning Officer (Zoning Administrator) on implementation of records management practices and procedures.
- Provide guidance for and administer various capital improvement plan projects, analyze planning issues and make appropriate recommendations
- Determine project priorities/schedules, and manage project resources to completion.
- Provide professional recommendations and information support to the City Council, Planning Commission and City Management.
- Interpret provisions of the City's land use plans, zoning ordinances and associated state and federal regulations for staff, City Council, Planning Commission, developers and the public.
- Regularly attend and staff Planning Commission meetings and attend City Council meetings and community meetings as necessary;
- May act as the Zoning Administrator at noticed public hearings, and
- Other related duties as assigned.
THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
The ideal candidate will have the following skill and abilities:
- Considerable knowledge of and experience reviewing and processing development projects
- Experience guiding others to process entitlements and planning permit applications
- Considerable knowledge in reading, interpreting maps, plans, and specifications.
- Considerable knowledge of reading, interpreting, applying, and writing Zoning Codes and Zoning Code Amendments.
- Knowledge of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
- Superior customer service and interpersonal skills.
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
- Lifelong learner.
- Ability to work independently and in a team environment.
- Strong ability to coach, empower, and develop staff and provide structure for the Division.
- Ability to communicate effectively in writing and orally.
- Ability to analyze information and consistently make sound decisions.
- Highly organized multi-tasker.
- Ability to efficiently and effectively interact, communicate, and coordinate work efforts within and across bureaus/departments.
- Always maintain a high level of professionalism and conduct business in an ethical manner.
- Committed to equitable planning and management practices.
- Creative, strategic thinker.
- Ethical and integrity based.
REQUIREMENTS TO FILE -
- Graduation from an accredited institution with a bachelor’s degree in Planning, Public Administration, or a closely related field.
Applicants without a bachelor's degree may substitute 4 years of directly related experience (in addition to the required years of experience) offering specific and substantial preparation for the duties of the position for the required education.
- Five years of increasingly responsible municipal planning/community development experience including at least three years of experience supervising professional staff involved in planning and zoning activities.
- A valid Class C driver's license and proof of auto insurance are required. Position will be required to attend evening meetings, such as Planning Commission meetings (twice a month) and occasional City Council and/or community meetings.
- American Institute of Certified Planners (ACIP) certification is desired.