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City of Torrance
Class Code: 3312

Class Designation: Civil Service

April 1988

Representation Unit: Engineers Association & Torrance Fiscal Employees Assoc.


Planning Associate


Under supervision, performs complex professional planning, redevelopment and housing work; interprets and explains zoning, redevelopment and housing regulations; and does related work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

The Planning Associate is distinguished from the Principal Planner in that an incumbent is not responsible for organizing and managing a major division of the Planning Department. The Planning Associate is distinguished from the Planning Assistant in that an incumbent performs complex professional rather than entry level planning work including exercising independent judgment in preparing projects.

Examples Of Duties

  • Collects, computes, records and interprets land use, demographic, economic and other data for planning purposes;
  • conducts studies which involve office and field research and the interpretation of data;
  • prepares maps, charts, and other graphic materials to be used in planning studies;
  • writes comprehensive reports on zoning variances, conditional use permits, redevelopment activities and other applications to be submitted to the Planning Commission and City Council;
  • makes oral presentations to the City Council, Redevelopment Agency, City Commissions, and committees;
  • processes zoning applications through the various departments, the Planning Commission, and the City Council;
  • reviews subdivision plans for conformity to ordinances and general planning procedures;
  • monitors the progress of specific development and components of redevelopment projects;
  • prepares initial studies and reviews environmental impact reports for conformance with the California Environmental Quality Act;
  • prepares and maintains base maps, zoning maps, land use maps, redevelopment maps and special block study maps;
  • responds to inquiries from the public over the telephone, in person and by mail;
  • performs field work in relation to planning, redevelopment and housing matters.
  • Minimum Qualifications

    Knowledge of
  • Fundamental principles and practices of City Planning;
  • Techniques and processes involved in the preparation and implementation of long-range plans and redevelopment plans;
  • Federal, state and local planning legislation;
  • California Redevelopment Law and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA);
  • Zoning and Redevelopment administration and Housing and Community Development trends, goals and objectives.
  • Ability to
  • Collect, analyze, and interpret planning, zoning and design/development data;
  • Read and interpret subdivision and redevelopment plans;
  • Interpret and explain planning, redevelopment and housing procedures, and related laws, rules and regulations;
  • Write effective reports;
  • Make oral presentations to the City Council, Redevelopment Agency, commissions, and committees;
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with a variety of people including City personnel, state and federal agencies, developers and the general public.
  • License Required

    A valid California Driver's License Class 3 is normally required.


    Two years of responsible professional urban planning experience which includes technical work in one of the following areas: General Plan preparation and maintenance, design/development review administration, CEQA administration, Redevelopment/Housing administration. A Master's Degree in Planning may be substituted for one year of the required experience.


    Graduation from an accredited college or university with a major in city or regional planning, architecture, geography, landscape architecture, engineering, public administration or closely related field.