Regional Planner

  • San Diego Association of Governments - SANDAG
  • San Diego, CA, USA
Full Time Government Transportation

Job Description

Regional Planning and Development

The Department of Land Use and Transportation Planning (LUTP) provides the regional framework to connect land use to transportation systems, respond to population growth, preserve the environment, and sustain economic prosperity. SANDAG developed a Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) as part of the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and was the first Metropolitan Planning Organization to adopt an RTP that meets specific statutory requirements. This strategy focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and guiding the growth of the region in a sustainable way by developing sustainable planning practices that promote the integration of land use, housing, and transportation to create walkable, transit-oriented, and compact communities.

The sixteen-person Transit Planning and Land Use Coordination team provides leadership for transit related activities by developing and evaluating operating plans for new services funded by TransNet, coordinating social service transportation, administering and monitoring transit grant and funding programs, ensuring project level civil rights compliance, and conducting corridor and station planning studies as part of the project development process for new rail and bus capital projects. Planners work closely with the region’s transit operators, Caltrans, local jurisdictions, and community groups to implement these plans and programs.

Regional Planner Role

The Regional Planner will support projects and programs that further the development of smart growth, sustainable development, and public transit in the San Diego region as well as participate in a variety of long and short-range transit planning activities.

Job Responsibilities

This position is ideal for an entry to mid-level planning professional with a strong interest in furthering their expertise. We anticipate significant career development will occur while working on the types of duties and responsibilities described below and through mentoring and close collaboration with senior staff. Examples of primary responsibilities include:

  • Participate in projects and programs that support development and implementation of San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan, with an emphasis on activities that support public transit and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Participate on inter-departmental and inter-agency project teams assembled for mid- and long-range planning studies; conduct technical and policy analyses on various public transit plans and projects, including first and last mile connections, complete streets, evaluation of alternatives, assessment of trade-offs, and development of capital and operating cost estimates and cost benefits.
  • Assist in coordinating with transit operators, local jurisdictions, and other stakeholders on operational planning for rail and bus projects including schedules, station maintenance, transit priority treatments, and customer amenities.
  • Participate in the review of proposed state and federal legislation in support of the agency’s programs, objectives, and plans.
  • Conduct research, collect and compile information, and assist in the preparation of reports, technical studies, surveys, and analyses related to regional transit planning.
  • Foster collaborative working relationships with local jurisdictions, various transit and transportation agencies, and other stakeholders to ensure coordination on regional transit planning issues and projects.
  • Participate in public outreach and community involvement activities related to SANDAG planning efforts.
  • Support the development of Requests for Proposals (RFPs) including scopes of work, project budgets; consultant selection criteria; assist with monitoring consultant performance and ensure projects are completed on schedule and within the prescribed budget; maintain grant or contract files and prepare project status reports.
  • Assist in the preparation of written reports, agendas, and supporting materials for committees and working groups.

Experience and Qualifications

Numerous factors contribute to an individual’s ability to be successful in any given role. For this position, we are searching for a candidate with an aptitude for analytical thinking and problem solving who is organized, flexible, and can be relied upon to meet deadlines while working on multiple projects. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, the ability to work collaboratively, and the use of sound judgment are important.

The minimum education, training, and experience qualifications include a bachelor’s degree with major course work in urban, regional, or transportation planning, or a related field, and one to four years of recent career development in the field of land use, transportation, smart growth, sustainable development, and/or transit oriented development planning.

The following information describes the specific types of career experiences that are most relevant to this position.

  • Working knowledge of the principles, practices, and current trends related to comprehensive regional planning, familiarity with regional transit planning and operations is desirable.
  • Working knowledge of federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and requirements pertaining to regional transportation policies, programs, and plans.
  • Experience participating in technical research and planning studies, performing analysis, and preparing preliminary recommendations for decision-makers; experience compiling and synthesizing information into written summaries and reports.
  • Ability to support and participate in public outreach efforts designed to inform, educate, and engage the public in a planning process.
  • Ability to establish and maintain productive working relationships with local jurisdictions, various transit and transportation agencies, and other stakeholders.
  • Experience assisting and supporting the development of RFPs, scopes of work, budgets, and schedules, consultant selection, and grant or contract administration.
  • Ability to provide staff support for committees and/or working groups, through the preparation of agendas, reports, meeting summaries and minutes.
  • Effective time management and organizational skills and the ability to support concurrent projects at various stages of completion; ability to exercise good judgement and work independently.
  • Demonstrated computer software proficiency using various programs from the Microsoft Office Suite and other PC-based applications.
  • Experience with GIS software to integrate, display, and analyze transportation, land use, and transit information.
  • Strong writing skills and the ability to communicate technical information effectively, both orally and in writing; ability to prepare clear and concise reports that present research results and recommendations.
  • The selected candidate can anticipate a driving record check upon hire, and approximately annually thereafter. The results of the check may determine whether the selected candidate will be permitted to drive for SANDAG business.

Salary and Benefits

SANDAG rewards the efforts of its employees with a comprehensive compensation package. Competitive salaries are supplemented with a flexible offering of health, financial security, and time-off benefits to meet the work and life needs of employees and their families.

This Regional Planner position will be filled at the Planner I, II, or Associate level depending on qualifications and experience of the selected candidate. Positions at the Planner I and II level are considered entry-level with job duties primarily related to learning and supporting program activities. At the Associate level, employees are expected to independently coordinate more complex functions. The annual salary ranges are: Planner I - $45,741 to $76,113 per year; Planner II - $50,429 to $83,915 per year; Associate Planner - $55,598 to $92,516 per year.

Our benefits include traditional health, dental, and vision insurance as well as employee assistance, wellness, and work/life balance programs. Retirement and financial security benefits are provided through a pension plan and deferred compensation program. And to support the need to rest and rejuvenate, employees are provided with a bank of paid time off in addition to paid holidays.

How to Apply

We encourage all interested candidates to apply for this position by completing a SANDAG Employment Application form. Resumes, cover letters, and work samples may be submitted in addition to the Employment Application but are not a substitute for this document.

The Employment Application can be downloaded in PDF format from the SANDAG website. Alternatively, a copy can be requested by calling (619) 699-1900 or emailing Completed applications and related materials can be submitted via email, fax, regular mail, courier, or delivered by hand. See our Careers / How to Apply webpage for additional information.

This position is open until filled. The first review of applications will begin on Friday, February 15, 2019.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), SANDAG will accommodate persons who require assistance in order to apply for a position at SANDAG. Applicants requiring an accommodation due to a disability during any stage of the recruitment and selection process, including requesting this document and related application materials in an alternative format, should make their needs known by contacting Human Resources at (619) 699-1900, (619) 699-1904 (TTY), fax (619) 699-6905, or

Application Supplement

To help us further evaluate the skills and experience of individuals interested in this position, applicants are asked to respond to the Supplemental Question below. The information can be up to 500 words and should be submitted with the Employment Application. This is considered a required component of the application; applications received without a response will be screened out of the selection process.

Supplemental Question

Describe a planning project you have been involved in. What was your role in this project and what would you consider your biggest contribution to the project?

Candidate Selection and Notification

Following the first review date for applications, all candidates will receive written confirmation that their application has been received. The hiring manager will begin reviewing and evaluating applications within a few days of the first review date. Based on this evaluation, the best qualified candidates will be invited to continue in the selection process. All candidates will receive written notification as to the final outcome of their application.

Further Information

The SANDAG website contains a wealth of information about our various project and program areas. The Careers section of the site lists all of our current Job Openings as well as information on how to apply for positions and Frequently Asked Questions about our recruitment process.

In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, applicants hired by SANDAG must show acceptable proof of identity and evidence of authorization to work in the United States.

SANDAG is an Equal Opportunity Employer


City Planning

Education Requirements

Bachelor's Degree


Planner I - $45,741 to $76,113 per year; Planner II - $50,429 to $83,915 per year; Associate Planner - $55,598 to $92,516 per year.