Planner III-Environmental Review (#5298)

  • 49 S Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
  • Full-time
  • Exam Type: Position Based Test
  • Eligible List Type: Combined Promotive and Entrance
  • Certification Rule: Rule of 7
  • Fill Type: Permanent Civil Service
  • Work Hours: Regular
  • Job Code and Title: 5298-Planner III-Environmental Review

Company Description

This exam announcement has been amended to extend the filing period of this recruitment.

This is a Position Based Test conducted in accordance with Civil Service Rule 111A.

  • Application Opening - August 15, 2022
  • Deadline to Apply:  September 12, 2022, 11:59 PM PST
  • Recruitment ID:  REF6665Q
  • Exam Type: Combined, Promotive and Entrance
  • Exam AnalystMichael Eng
  • Annual Salary:  $115,128 - $139,906/Yearly

The Department
The San Francisco Planning Department (CPC) plays a central role in guiding the growth and development in our City. The Department works with other City agencies and the community to help achieve great planning for a great city.   

The Division
Staff in the Environmental Planning Division review projects for potential environmental impacts on the City of San Francisco and its residents, a process known as environmental review. Reviews are conducted pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as well as Chapter 31 of the San Francisco Administrative Code, which provides local guidelines for implementing the CEQA process.

Our Mission
The mission of the San Francisco Planning Department, under the direction of the Planning Commission, shapes the future of San Francisco and the region by: generating an extraordinary vision for the General Plan and in neighborhood plans; fostering exemplary design through planning controls; improving our surroundings through environmental analysis; preserving our unique heritage; encouraging a broad range of housing and a diverse job base; and enforcing the Planning Code. 

Our Racial and Social Equity Vision 
The Department’s racial and social equity vision is: 

We envision inclusive neighborhoods that provide all with the opportunity to lead fulfilling, meaningful, and healthy lives. We envision a city where public life and public spaces reflect the past, present, and future of San Franciscans. We envision a city where a person’s race does not determine their lives’ prospects and success. 

We envision an inclusive Planning Department and Commissions that represent and engage the communities we serve. We envision a department that proactively infuses racial and social equity in both internal operations and external Planning work. Together, we are reimagining what the Planning field is and can be – inclusive, diverse and one that centers racial and social equity both as a practice and as an indicator of success. 

To achieve this broader city vision, we must do our part and address racial and social equity within the Planning Department’s policies and practices. 

Job Description

Under direction, the Planner III – Environmental Review performs difficult and complex environmental review work pursuant to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and participates in all phases of environmental review.

Essential duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Reviewing and directing the work of consultants and/or other internal staff in the preparation of various environmental impact documents, including Exemptions, Negative Declarations, and Environmental Impact Reports according to CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) and other applicable laws; maintaining project schedules while meeting requirements for adequate review;
  • Analyzing, evaluating, and preparing reports and environmental impact documents on  complex projects, in coordination with Current and Citywide division staff, related to General Plan policies, area plans, project plans, land use, housing programs and other development proposals requiring analysis of impacts related to technical issues such as historic preservation, archeology, transportation planning, air quality, noise, geology and seismology, wind, shadow, biological resources, and hazardous materials contamination;
  • Keeping abreast of current case law and applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.; coordinating with the City Attorney’s Office for legal advice;
  • Interpreting and explaining legal, technical and procedural aspects of environmental review to the public, boards and commissions (potentially in controversial situations or under a high-level of public interest); preparing technical reports, correspondence, and the Planning Department responses to appeals of environmental review determinations;
  • Performing other project management duties related to the preparation of environmental documents and public notices consistent with the Environmental Planning Division’s standard operating procedures. These duties include public interaction, intra and inter-agency coordination, meetings with consulting specialists and presentation of reports to the Planning Commission, Board of Supervisors and other agencies;
  • Understanding of planning code requirements and other permitting processes;
  • Coordinating specific administrative functions related to case intakes, case tracking, and
  • collections of appropriate fees; maintaining projects’ administrative records consistently with the Planning Department’s document retention policy; responding to information requests from the public; and
  • Coordinating specific areas of technical functions of the environmental review process (or the Environmental Planning Division's responsibilities), such as functions related to historic preservation, archaeology, transportation planning, air quality, noise, geology and seismology, wind, shadow, biological resources, hazardous waste contamination, etc.

This position requires someone who is highly organized, works effectively with others, can successfully prioritize competing deadlines, thinks critically, knows when to use independent judgment, and possesses excellent written and verbal communication skills to work effectively within a multi-cultural workforce serving diverse constituents.

Planner IIIs 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 specific department planning duties.


Minimum Qualifications

1.  Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university AND four (4) years (8000 hours) of verifiable full-time equivalent experience either:     

A. performing environmental review functions OR     

B. in a city/regional/urban planning environment preparing documents for entities such as California   Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Water Quality Control Board, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).


2.  Master's degree from an accredited college or university in city/regional/urban planning, environmental studies, architecture, law, earth sciences, geography, economics, landscape architecture, civil engineering, urban studies or public administration AND two (2) years (4000 hours) of verifiable full-time equivalent experience either:        

A. performing environmental review functions OR      

B. in a city/regional/urban planning environment preparing documents for entities such as California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Water Quality Control Board, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

Desirable Qualifications

The stated desirable qualifications may be used to identify job finalists at the end of the selection process when candidates are referred for hiring. 

  • Knowledge of and fluency in racial and social equity principles, concepts and practices, and can use this knowledge and fluency to address systemic racism and the intersectional impacts of race, class, and privilege. 
  • Commitment to an organizational culture of racial and social equity, inclusion and belonging, including advancing the department’s racial and social equity vision; calling attention to patterns of inequity in outcomes; and working with diverse and multi-cultural colleagues.  
  • Ability to communicate, verbally and in writing, and to work effectively and compassionately across cultures (within a multi-cultural workforce and serving a diverse customer base), including the ability to problem-solve and help build consensus with divergent groups, and to translate complex and sensitive issues to members of the public and City staff.
  • Excellent rapport-building skills, including maintaining and building relationships and communicating compassionately and effectively with diverse people in diverse environments, including community organizations, government institutions, and in particular communities of color and other historically marginalized communities.  
  • Familiarity with community outreach methods; experience or interest in developing community-meeting facilitation skills and public participation and communication plans; knowledge of San Francisco's racially and socially diverse communities; and experience working or engaging with diverse cultures, historically marginalized and other underserved populations including Black, American Indian, Latinx/ae, Asian and Pacific Islander, and other communities of color; low-income; people with disabilities; seniors; families and youth; LGBTQ+; and/or, unsheltered residents.

Note: Applicants must meet the minimum qualifications requirement by the final filing date unless otherwise noted.

Verification of Education and Experience:  Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point during the recruitment and selection process. If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at

Additional Information

Selection Procedures

After application submission, candidates deemed qualified must complete all subsequent steps to advance in this selection process, which includes the following:

1. Minimum Qualification Supplemental Questionnaire (MQSQ) - Candidates will be required to complete MQSQ as part of the employment application. This MQSQ is designed to obtain specific information regarding an applicant's experience in relation to the Minimum Qualifications (MQ) for this position. The MQSQ will be used to evaluate if the applicant possesses the required minimum qualifications.

2. Supplemental Questionnaire Exam (weighted 100%) - Candidates will be required to complete the Supplemental Questionnaire Exam (SQ) as a part of the selection process. The Supplemental Questionnaire is designed to measure the knowledge, skills and abilities required for the position. 

The SQ Exam will be emailed to the email address listed on the candidate's online job application approximately 3 – 4 weeks after the close of the exam announcement.  Candidates will be required to respond to the SQ in the time frame indicated and must submit the completed questionnaire as directed in order to have it evaluated.  Responses cannot be changed once submitted.  Candidates will be evaluated based solely on their SQ responses.

Eligible List/Score Report:
A confidential eligible list of applicant names that have passed the civil service examination process will be created, and used for certification purposes only. An examination score report will be established, so applicants can view the ranks, final scores and number of eligible candidates. Applicant information, including names of applicants on the eligible list, shall not be made public unless required by law. However, an eligible list shall be made available for public inspection, upon request, once the eligible list is exhausted or expired and referrals resolved. The eligible list/score report resulting from this civil service examination process is subject to change after adoption (e.g., as a result of appeals), as directed by the Human Resources Director or the Civil Service Commission.

Certification: The certification rule for the eligible list resulting from this examination will be Rule of Seven (7). Additional selection processes may be conducted by the hiring department prior to making final hiring decisions.

The duration of the eligible list resulting from this examination process will be six (6) months, and may be extended with the approval of the Human Resources Director.

Upon approval of the Human Resource Director (see Civil Service Rule 111A.26.5), the eligible list/score report resulting from this announcement may be used by other departments that also use this classification or a similar classification. To find other Departments which use this classification, please see:  Position-Counts-by-Job-Codes-and-Department-FY-2021-22.pdf (

Terms of Announcement:

This is a Position Based Test conducted in accordance with Civil Service Rule 111A. Applicants must be guided solely by the provisions of this announcement, including requirements, time periods and other particulars, except when superseded by federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations.  Clerical errors may be corrected and, if so, an amended note will be posted on this official job announcement.

The terms of this announcement may be appealed under Civil Service Rule 111A.35.1. The standard for the review of such appeals is ‘abuse of discretion’ or ‘no rational basis’ for establishing the position description, the minimum qualifications and/or the certification rule.  Appeals must include a written statement of the item(s) being contested and the specific reason(s) why the cited item(s) constitute(s) abuse of discretion by the Human Resources Director.  Appeals must be submitted directly to the Executive Officer of the Civil Service Commission within five business days of the announcement issuance date.

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

Questions:  If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the exam analyst, Michael Eng, by telephone at 628-652-7522, or by email at [email protected].

CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT:  All City and County of San Francisco employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Someone is fully vaccinated when 14 days have passed since they received the final dose of a two-shot vaccine or a dose of a one-shot vaccine. Any new hire must present proof of full vaccination status to be appointed. Any new hire who will be routinely assigned or occasionally enter High-Risk Settings, must provide proof of having received a COVID-19 booster vaccine by March 1, 2022, or once eligible.

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.