City of Manhattan Beach


The City of Manhattan Beach is seeking a knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and experienced Planning Manager with strong communication skills to lead the Community Development Department – Planning Division as a collaborative team player working in a boutique high-service-level community, a technical knowledge in the field of planning, and a predisposition to customer service. 

The Position
Under administrative direction, the Planning Manager plans, organizes, and manages the Planning Division of the Community Development Department as related to planning, zoning, and environmental assessments, and related Codes, policies and regulations; manages staff, projects, operations, and budgeting; and performs other related work as assigned.

The Department
The Manhattan Beach Community Development Department services a beach community in the South Bay area roughly 35,000 residents. The Department is responsible for reviewing all private development proposals, issuing permits, preparing ordinances related to land use and building regulations, code enforcement services as well as parking and transportation review/analysis. The Department’s five divisions that include Administration, Building, Planning, Traffic Engineering, and Environmental Sustainability are aligned and committed to providing exemplary municipal services. In addition, excellent customer service is a trademark of the Community Development Department and the City.



The duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the class.

  •  Establishes and monitors goals and the operations of the Planning Division; determines, manages, and evaluates division budget expenditures and service levels.
  • Selects, trains, plans, assigns, organizes, supervises, and evaluates the work of planning personnel; reviews and comments upon agendas, reports, resolutions, ordinances, and other presentations.
  • Reviews, assigns, and schedules plan checks and planning projects; develops policies and procedures; assists with the resolution of sensitive customer issues.
  • Manages the Division workflow process and records in accordance with the City and Department goals for technology advancement, records digitization and electronic organization. This includes ensuring that staff uses permitting system(s) actively, and monitors reports to ensure progress.
  • Manages large and complex projects such as environmental reviews, including environmental impact reports and mitigated/negative declarations, code amendments, General Plan Amendments, and Local Coastal Program amendments, and other City projects; completes site reviews.
  • Evaluates, administers, and recommends changes to the City General Plan, specific plans, and zoning codes.
  • Attends and participates in Planning Commission meetings, City Council meetings, and other task force and committee meetings; presents development reports and summarizes project activities and presents related recommendations.
  • Meets with intergovernmental agencies related to regional planning matters, including matters relating to regional transportation, housing, land use, coastal program, and environmental quality.
  • Reviews land use and development applications and make final recommendations for approval; develops and evaluates land use policies and programs as established by the City Council, City Manager, and Planning Commission.
  • Monitors consultant contracts for planning and environmental services.
  • Meets with developers, contractors, builders, architects, and business and property owners to establish, finalize, and implement land use and development projects and business operations.
  • Represents the Department at citizen advisory group meetings involving planning and development projects.
  • Attends various professional meetings and conferences and reports on planning trends and developments affecting the City.
  • Work cooperatively with Community Development staff, other City Department and staff to develop ideas and solutions to further City Goals.
  • May serve as Acting Director of Community Development in the director’s absence.




  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four-year college or university in Urban Planning, Architecture, or a closely related field is required.
  • Seven (7) years of responsible professional urban planning and environmental planning experience is required, preferably including two (2) or more years of project management and supervisory work.
  • Masters’ Degree in Planning can be substituted for one (1) year of professional planning experience; Masters’ in Public or Business Administration can substitute for one (1) year of supervisory work.
  • The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) accreditation is preferred.

Licenses/Certificates/Special Requirements: 

  • A valid Class C California driver’s license and have an acceptable driving record.
  •  Ability to work extended hours and attend City functions and evening meetings.
  • In accordance with California Government Code Section 3100, City of Manhattan Beach employees, in the event of a disaster, are considered disaster service workers and may be asked to protect the health, safety, lives, and property of the people of the State.

Knowledge of: 

General Plan, Specific Plans, Subdivision Map Act, California Coastal Act and Environmental Quality Act, Municipal Code, Zoning Code,; principles, practices and concepts of urban planning, zoning and environmental planning; broad knowledge of State, Federal and local laws, regulations, policies and practices governing land use, planning, community development and environmental management; environmental requirements, historic preservation and architectural design standards; principles of organization and project management; principles of supervision and evaluation; customer service practices.

Ability to: 

Select, train, plan, assign, organize, supervise, evaluate and recommend staffing for the Planning Division; develop and manage the division budget; research, evaluate and determine solutions to major planning and development issues; read, interpret and inspect plans and specifications for conformance with the General Plan, Zoning Code, California Environmental Quality Act, Municipal Code, and related planning and architectural design local Coastal Program standards; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; operate modern office equipment and computer hardware; use word processing, spreadsheet, graphics, and geo-based mapping software; review, evaluate and prepare division staff reports, including technical findings and policy recommendations; make presentations to City Council, Planning Commission, and advisory committees; establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, management, architects, contractors, developers, public and private representatives, and the general public.



Application filing deadline is Sunday, May 28, 2023.

All applicants will be screened in relation to the criteria outlined in this job announcement. Candidates will be reviewed and only those candidates determined to be most qualified on the basis of experience, training and education, as submitted, will be invited to participate further in the selection process. Meeting the minimum requirements listed in this job announcement does not guarantee advancement in subsequent phases of the selection process. The selection process may be changed as deemed necessary by the City Human Resources Department.

The selection process will consist of the following component and weight: Oral Interview (100%)
* The oral panel interview is tentatively scheduled on June 12, 2023.

If you need special assistance in the recruitment process please contact the Human Resources Department at (310) 802-5258.

NOTE: A drug test may be administered as part of the pre-employment medical exam. The provisions of this brochure do not constitute a contract, express or implied, and any provisions contained in this bulletin may be modified or revoked without notice.


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