City of Costa Mesa

The City of Costa Mesa is a General Law City operating under a Council/Manager form of government. The City Council consists of six members, elected from Districts, and a Mayor who is elected at large. The City Council appoints the City Manager. Costa Mesa is a full-service city supported by approximately 588 full-time staff. The FY 2023- 24 operating budget is approximately $180.3M and proposed Annual Capital Improvement Program for FY 2023-24 is approximately $31.1M.

The Planning and Sustainability Manager will function as the Division Manager for the Department’s Planning Division. This position is responsible for oversight of the administrative and professional work of 12 planners and will organize and direct the Division’s programs, services, and day-to-day operations. This position will report to the Department’s Assistant Development Services Director and function as liaison to the City’s Planning Commission.

Costa Mesa’s Development Services Department is responsible for long-range community planning, guiding and permitting new development, promoting economic development City-wide, administering grant funded housing programs, ensuring building safety, and upholding quality of life standards in the community. These functions are carried out by over 50 full-time professional staff who are responsible for providing excellent customer service to our residents and businesses. The Development Services service counter is the busiest in the City and serves 1000s of customers each year. The Planning Division is responsible for implementing the City’s Zoning Code and General Plan, guiding land use and administering other land use related to City Council goals and objectives; including the Council goal to, diversify, stabilize and increase housing to reflect community needs, and to advance environmental sustainability and climate resiliency.


  • EXPERIENCE: Five (5) years progressively responsible professional experience in urban planning preferably encompassing both Advance and current planning activities. Two (2) years supervisory experience is preferred.
  • EDUCATION: Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with major course work in urban planning, public administration, or a related field.
  • CERTIFICATION: Class C California Driver’s License. Revocation of license during employment may result in disciplinary action or reassignment. Certification by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) is also preferred.

The ideal candidate is a strong leader, and effective communicator with critical thinking skills and good judgement who will thrive in a fast-paced environment where expectations are high and creativity is valued. The successful candidate will have broad experience in all areas of planning with extensive expertise managing and mentoring staff and creating an organizational structure with a sense of team and purpose. As the manager interacts with a variety of internal and external stakeholders, exceptional interpersonal skills and political acumen are of the utmost importance. The successful candidate will have a proven track record of creating efficiencies, implementing best practices, establishing clear procedures and policies, modeling professionalism and responsiveness, and promoting a positive team environment.

Salary Range: $141,000 to $188,964 Annually. Please follow this link to view the Planning & Sustainable Development Manager Brochure. To apply for this exciting career opportunity, please send a compelling cover letter and your detailed resume electronically to by Friday, October 6, 2023. Please contact Bob Hall at (714) 309-9104 should you have any questions regarding this position or the recruitment process.