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City of Torrance
Class Code: 3319
Class Designation: Civil Service
August 2003
Representation Unit: Executive and Management Employees

Community Development Director


Under general administrative direction, plans, organizes and directs the activities of the Community Development Department which include the design of a comprehensive general plan for the physical development of the City, zoning administration, redevelopment efforts, housing programs, transportation planning and traffic engineering, and civil engineering development and review. Represents the Department to the City Council and the community; and performs related work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

The Community Development Director is distinguished from other department heads in the specific areas of responsibility as described in the Definition section and is distinguished from division heads in that the incumbent is responsible for managing the entire department rather than a specific division. The incumbent is directly responsible to the City Manager for the performance of duties. Work is accomplished within a broad framework, with sole authority and responsibility for a broad service area. Discretion is involved in applying goal and policy statements and in resolving complex organizational and service delivery problems.

Supervision Exercised/Received

Receives general administrative direction from the City Manager: exercises direct supervision over Division Managers, professional-level positions and office support personnel.

Examples of Essential Duties

The following duties represent the principal job duties; however, they are not all-inclusive.
  • Plans, directs and reviews professional planning work in the research, analysis and design of a comprehensive general plan for the physical development of the City.
  • Directs professional staff in the review, analysis, and assessment of development proposals pursuant to processing applications for zoning permits (i.e. zone changes, conditional use permits, variances, waivers etc.).
  • Directs the research, analysis and design of the transportation plan and traffic engineering projects to ensure consistency with the general plan for the physical development of the City.
  • Directs and implements planning, zoning, and community development goals, objectives, policies and priorities.
  • Directs the negotiation and management of consultant contracts for the preparation of environmental impact reports, special planning studies, implementation of grant functions.
  • Administers the City's zoning ordinances; interprets zoning and related ordinances.
  • Confers with property owners, public officials and civic leaders concerning zoning and other special planning problems.
  • Plans, directs and reviews professional engineering work in the areas of development review, geographic imaging systems (GIS), permits and records, subdivisions, public works water inspection and utility standards review.
  • Directs the development, implementation, and evaluation of plans, policies, procedures to achieve annual goals, objectives and work standards.
  • With managers, develops, implements and monitors long-term plans, goals and objectives focused on achieving the City's mission and City Council's priorities.
  • Plans, organizes, directs, and evaluates the performance of managers and their assigned staff as well as coaches for improvement and development.
  • Establishes performance requirements and personal development goals; takes disciplinary action to address performance deficiencies.
  • Provides leadership and works with managers to develop and retain highly competent staff through selection, compensation, training and management practices which support the City's mission and values.
  • Confers with the City Manager, City Council, governmental agencies, regulatory boards and various public groups on proposed projects and improvements.
  • Prepares and presents various regular and special reports, analyses, correspondence.
  • Prepares and administers annual Department budget.
  • Attends various City, Council, staff and community meetings as required.
  • Keeps abreast of current planning principles and practices, technology, regulations and literature that apply to City planning projects.
  • Participates on internal and external committees, boards, and task forces, as appropriate.
  • Examples of Other Duties

    The following duties represent duties that are generally performed by this position, but are not considered to be principal job duties:
  • Responds to public inquiries regarding planning projects and plans.
  • Participates in EOC operations as needed.
  • Performs related duties as required.
  • Qualification Guidelines

    Knowledge of
  • Principles and practices of municipal planning.
  • Professional, technical, legal and financial problems involved in municipal planning programs.
  • Methods and techniques for determining community, planning and development priorities.
  • Land use planning and zoning concepts and regulations.
  • Applicable local, State and Federal regulations and procedures concerning community development and housing, environmental practices and zoning issues related to municipal planning and transportation planning.
  • Principles and practices of transportation planning, traffic engineering, transit planning, and transportation demand management.
  • Principles and practices of civil engineering related to public works planning, development, design, construction, inspections and GIS.
  • Professional, technical, legal and financial problems involved in municipal engineering programs and projects.
  • Project management methods and practices, including methods of preparing designs, plans, specifications, estimates, reports and recommendations.
  • Management and supervisory principles and practices.
  • Employee relations including the meet and confer process, grievance procedures and contract interpretation and administration.
  • Budget preparation principles.
  • Hazards and generally accepted safety standards.
  • City ordinances and administrative rules and regulations affecting departmental operations and personnel matters.
  • General City operations.
  • Ability to
  • Plan, direct, and integrate broad, comprehensive planning projects.
  • Develop complex strategic plans and programs, and methods to evaluate programs.
  • Develop and administer a departmental budget.
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing.
  • Present proposals and recommendations clearly and logically in public meetings.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with the City Council, public officials, other department heads, staff, private and community organizations, and other encountered in the course of work.
  • Interpret and apply Memoranda of Understanding, City ordinances, and administrative rules and regulations affecting departmental operations and personnel matters.
  • Understand the applicability of existing Federal and State laws and regulations and to keep abreast of current developments in legislation and trends.
  • Utilize a computer and other office equipment.
  • Understand and carry out oral and written directions.
  • Read and understand technical reports, drawings, contracts, etc.
  • License or Certificate

    None required.

    Education and Experience

    Any combination of education and experience that provides the required knowledge and skills is qualifying. A typical way of obtaining the necessary knowledge and abilities would be:

    Graduation from a college or university with a Bachelor's degree in City or regional planning, public administration, engineering or a related field; and six years of increasingly responsible professional planning experience, at least three years of a supervisory experience, one year of which included management responsibility for a major function in Community Development (e.g., general plan development, redevelopment, zoning, transportation planning, engineering etc.). Master's degree in business or public administration preferred.

    Special Requirements

    Performance of the essential duties of this position includes the following physical demands and/or working conditions:

    Requires the ability to exert a small amount of physical effort in sedentary to light work involving moving from one area of the office to another; requires sufficient hand/eye coordination to use standard office equipment. Tasks require color and visual perception and discrimination, as well as oral communications ability; may require the ability to operate a motor vehicle. Tasks are regularly performed without exposure to adverse environmental conditions.

    Career Ladder Information

    Experience gained in this classification may serve to meet the minimum requirements for promotion to City Manager.