Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation

  • 298 Garden Hill Drive, Los Gatos, CA 95020, United States
Principal Planner – Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation
$94,446.56 - $138,919.04 Annually
If you are interested in joining a group of dedicated, collaborative, passionate professionals with a commitment to public service, we hope you will consider joining our team.  The County of Santa Clara Parks and Recreation Department is recruiting for a Principal Planner. This is an outstanding opportunity to bring your leadership and organizational skills to bear with a focus on providing world-class parks and recreation programs and services to the Santa Clara County community.
Santa Clara County
Santa Clara County, one of the original counties of California, was established in 1850, the same year California became a state.  Once promoted as the "Valley of the Heart's Delight”, after two centuries of an agricultural economy started by the Spanish missionaries, the focus has shifted to technology.  The term ‘Silicon Valley’ was coined in 1971.  The valley is currently home to approximately 6500 high technology companies and 2 million residents.
Parks & Recreation Department
Santa Clara County Park’s five decade legacy of providing outstanding recreational opportunities in beautiful natural locations has resulted in one of the largest regional park systems in the California.  Our mission is to provide, protect and preserve regional parklands for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations.  Since the first County parkland was acquired in 1924; the Santa Clara County park system has grown to include 28 regional parks encompassing nearly 60,000 acres of land.  You will find hundreds of miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails; campgrounds, yurts, lakes, cultural & historic site/buildings and a wide array of outdoor recreation opportunities, including:  archery ranges, a Velodrome, visitor centers, shooting range, off road courses, dog parks, golf courses and special event venues.
Our dedicated ranger, maintenance, resource management, administrative and interpretive staff are indispensable complements to your overall park experience, taking an active role in the stewardship of the County’s finest natural resources and waterways.  With the assistance of our 3,000 volunteers, who selflessly donate more than 75,000 hours of labor each year, staff is dedicated to providing an excellent park visitor experience 365 days a year.  Situated just south of the San Francisco peninsula, the county park system enjoys visitation of over 2 million park visitors annually. The Department’s main funding source for operations, development and acquisition is the Park Charter Fund, which is a fixed set aside of the County’s property tax revenue.
Principal Planner Responsibilities and Ideal Candidate Profile
The Principal Planner oversees a professional team of planners and GIS professionals responsible for developing system-wide and site specific plans for one of the largest regional park systems in California.  This position works closely with the construction project management unit, real estate staff, and field staff. 
Key projects in the near future include developing: a long range vision plan to guide the department, a strategic plan that will establish priorities for the mid-range, completing conceptual use, recreation, or park master plans for several major regional parks and trails.
The ideal candidate will be an enthusiastic, innovative leader with excellent interpersonal and stakeholder relationship skills, with a solid portfolio of significant planning and design projects, plus a positive track record in organizational development, and staff management.  Successful candidates will possess a customer service orientation and a demonstrated ability to lead effectively in a collaborative environment.  He/she must be an excellent communicator who is politically astute and has the demonstrated ability to work effectively with elected officials, state and local agency representatives, other County departments, community stakeholders, and the public.
 See the formal position description and apply online at
Minimum qualifications include required knowledge and abilities attained through training and experience equivalent to possession of a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university in city and regional planning, architecture, engineering, social science or related field; and AND five years of progressively responsible, professional experience in planning, including at least one year of responsible project supervision experience.  Candidates must demonstrate parks or natural resource specific planning experience.
A Master’s Degree in in city and regional planning may be substituted for two years of required experience.  A Master’s Degree in a closely related field may be substituted for one year of the required experience.
This recruitment requires the submission of an online application. No paper applications will be accepted.

Applicants must apply online at   

Computers are available at the County Government Center, 70 West Hedding Street, 8th Floor, East Wing, San Jose, CA, 95110, during normal business hours, for applicants to apply online. All applicants are required to complete the supplemental questionnaire. Applications received without the completion of the supplemental questionnaire will be rejected.

Recruitment ends on August 30, 2015 at 11:59PM.

County of Santa Clara,
Department of Parks and Recreation
298 Garden Hill Drive
Los Gatos, CA 95032
Michael Ferry, Interim Deputy Director