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Career Opportunity

5293 Planner IV

Recruitment: RTF0136509-01151585

Published: August 24, 2023


R Margarita Recinos -

Apply using SmartRecruiters, the City and County of San Francisco's application portal Learn More

Department: Recreation & Park Commission
Job class: 5293-Planner IV
Salary range: $139,932.00 - $170,040.00
Role type: Permanent Exempt What does this mean?
Hours: Full-time


Application Opening:  August 10, 2023

Note:  Applications not following the application procedure cannot be considered.

Application Deadline:  Apply immediately.  This announcement may close at any time after 5:00 p.m., Thursday, August 31, 2023.

Amid a dynamic and ever-evolving urban landscape, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department stewards one of the premier urban park systems in America.  San Francisco recently became the first city in the United States for which 100% of its residents live within a ten-minute walk of a park. Considered by San Franciscans to be one of the City’s most popular and effective public agencies, our department manages and maintains more than 225 parks, playgrounds, and open spaces in San Francisco, including two outside of city limits: Sharp Park in Pacifica and Camp Mather in the High Sierras. Our 4,100- acre system includes 25 recreation centers, 9 swimming pools, 5 golf courses and numerous athletic facilities, including sports courts, ball diamonds, soccer fields and gymnasiums. Included in the department’s responsibilities are Golden Gate Park, Coit Tower, the Marina Yacht Harbor, the Palace of Fine Arts, and TPC Harding Park golf course.

More than 2,000 talented individuals are part of our team, from gardeners, foresters, and recreation leaders to park rangers, custodians, electricians, painters and planners and capital project managers. Our core mission, as it has been throughout our history, is to provide opportunities for San Francisco residents and visitors alike to gather, play, learn, relax, and enjoy nature in the city.

Role description

Division Overview
The Capital & Planning Division is currently delivering a portfolio of over 80 Capital Improvement Projects with a value of approximately $800M. In addition to improvements to existing recreational facilities in the city, the division is also responsible for the acquisition and development of new facilities, as well as monitoring and raising funds for these improvements. The Division, including this position, supports other departmental divisions with regulatory compliance as it relates to park improvements and maintenance.

Position Description
Under general direction of the Deputy Director of Planning and the Director of Capital and Planning, the Planner IV plans, administers and directs the activities related to regulatory compliance for the department. This includes work pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and other regional, state, or federal permitting agencies.

Essential duties include, but are not limited to: 

  • Supporting EIR development and approval process for RPD projects including the Marina Improvement Project EIR and other future EIRs as needed.  
  • Leading Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program (MMRP) compliance for existing projects including India Basin, Portsmouth Square and Lake Merced West.
  • Leading the Department’s Environmental Review and Compliance process, procedures, and coordination around these topics, both internal and external, and serving as the authority on environmental review and compliance issues.
  • Developing a holistic approach for environmental review and compliance, including capturing and implementing lessons learned from previous projects, liaising with other divisions within RPD, tracking and reporting on compliance, and right sizing the team to support these functions.
  • Reviewing park improvement projects to identify environmental issues relevant to the design and construction of park projects.
  • Facilitating coordination with SF Environmental Planning Division liaisons, other agencies, and consultants regarding identification and resolution of environmental issues related to capital improvement delivery and communicating departmental priorities.
  • Reviewing and providing meaningful comments on environmental review documents, cultural landscape reports, historic resource evaluations, and similar reports prepared to support evaluation of environmental resources on RPD projects and other projects that could impact RPD facilities. Ensuring the department and project are accurately represented, potential impacts are clear, and mitigation or avoidance measures are feasible.
  • Supervising environmental technical consultants and the preparation of technical analyses and documents for projects, including intra- and inter-agency coordination, public interaction, meetings with applicants, consultants, and other staff members.
  • Reviewing planners’, interns’ and project manager’s work on various environmental compliance topics and ensuring compliance with federal, state and local laws/regulations and city approaches and procedures for CEQA analysis.
  • Inter-agency coordination to establish thorough and efficient implementation of capital project avoidance and mitigation measures within the bid and construction processes.
  • Interpreting and explaining legal, technical, and procedural aspects of environmental review, land use, the RPD park code, and other local, state or federal laws/regulations to colleagues within the department, the public, and boards and commissions (potentially in controversial situations or under a high-level of public interest).
  • Preparing and directing the preparation of technical reports and correspondence.
  • Performing selected administrative and technical functions such as development of procedures and process improvements.
  • Supervising and evaluating personnel including workload management, performance evaluations, mentoring and recruitment.
  • Reviewing and commenting on legal documents and agreements with other City, State, and Federal agencies and private and non-profit entities. 
  • Other duties as assigned.

Planner IVs may be required to attend meetings or participate in work-related activities outside of normal working hours (evenings and weekends) in various community locations. Some positions may require possession of a valid driver license or may require specialized experience in order to perform department specific planning duties. 

How to qualify


These minimum qualifications establish the education, training, experience, special skills and/or license(s) which are required for employment in the classification. Please note, additional qualifications (i.e., special conditions) may apply to a particular position and will be stated on the exam/job announcement.

Education:  Possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.

Experience:  Six (6) years of experience in city, urban, and/or regional planning, and/or related planning environment (such as transportation planning, environmental planning, architecture or urban design.

License and Certification:

Substitution:  Possession of Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in City, Regional or Urban Planning, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Geography, Urban Studies or Environmental Sciences may substitute for one (1) year of the required experience.

Special Condition:  Valid CA Driver's License


  • Experience with CEQA, particularly a leadership role in Environmental Impact Report (EIR) processes.
  • Experience with other environmental policy regulations and permitting entities, such as NEPA, Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA), State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), etc.
  • Experience reviewing or applying the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
  • Experience with inter-agency coordination of program implementation.

Verification of Experience and/or Education

Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience, at any point in the application, examination or departmental selection processes. Verification of work experience typically must be on the employer’s letterhead, and must include the applicant’s name, job title, description of job duties, dates of service, and signature of the employer. San Francisco City and County employees do not need to submit verification of their City employment, but must submit verification of outside experience. San Francisco City and County employees will not receive credit for experience obtained outside of their classification unless recorded in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Rule 110.9.1.

For information on how to verify education requirements, please visit How to Verify Education Requirements.

What else should I know?

Appointment Type:  This is a Permanent Exempt appointment. This position is excluded by the Charter from the competitive Civil Service examination process, is considered “at will” and serves at the discretion of the Appointing Officer with appointment duration of up to three (3) years. 

Compensation:  $139,932 - $170,040 annually

Application Procedure:  Please include a cover letter describing why you are interested in this position, why you are interested in working at SF Recreation and Parks, and how you meet both the Minimum and Desirable Qualifications.

Note:  Applications not following the application procedure cannot be considered.

Applications will be screened for relevant qualifying experience.  Additional screening mechanisms may be implemented in order to determine candidates’ qualifications.  Applicants meeting the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement in the selection process.   Applicants selected to advance will interview Friday, September 15 and if further advanced, also on Friday, September 29.  Please be prepared to submit the required verification of qualifying education and experience.

Contact: For questions about this position or how to apply, please contact Margarita Recinos at

Additional Information Regarding Employment with the City and County of San Francisco

Candidates for positions with the Recreation and Park Department may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under California Public Resources Code 5164.

Race and Social Equity Statement
We believe that parks and open space in San Francisco provides the opportunity to model equitable access for all.  With this belief, San Francisco became the first city in the United States for which 100% of its residents live within a ten-minute walk of a park. The Recreation and Park Department’s goal is to close the gaps and improve equity and access to quality parks and open space, and recreation activities for historically marginalized communities.  

We envision a department that proactively infuses racial and social equity in its internal operations.  With a multi-disciplinary team of talented individuals - gardeners, recreation leaders, park rangers, custodians, craft shop personnel, park and recreation managers and more, the department is committed to doing its part to provide equitable access to parks and programs for all the communities we serve to enjoy, as well as foster a work environment where our differences are celebrated, and everyone has what they need to thrive regardless of their race, age, ability, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or country of origin.


The City and County of San Francisco encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to apply. Applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (associated with cancer, a history of cancer, or genetic characteristics), HIV/AIDS status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category under the law.