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Agricultural Land Use Planner

Salary: $36.80-$44.93 hourly / $6,401-$7,814 monthly / Range: 6562

DEFINITION: Under direction, performs a variety of tasks in support of agricultural land use planning and resource protection; and performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Incumbents in this single-position job class function at the advanced journey level in agricultural land use planning and may supervise other professional and clerical staff. This classification is distinguished from classifications in the Planner job series by its focus on agricultural land use.


  1. Reviews existing laws, ordinances, community plans, and other regulations governing the use of agricultural lands; holds public meetings to obtain input on policy development, and makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors or its appointed commissions regarding amendments to regulations placed on the use of agricultural lands
  2. Helps the public understand the laws, ordinances, plans, and policies governing land use in Santa Barbara County and explains the County's development review process for agricultural lands.
  3. Conducts meetings with representatives of other County departments in order to review development projects.
  4. Analyzes proposed uses of agricultural land for compliance with State and County goals, policies, plans, ordinances, and relevant governing regulations related to agriculture; negotiates mitigation measures and proposed permit conditions.
  5. Serves as a technical resource and provides public outreach for businesses, landowners, the general public, and other County departments on sustainable agriculture, agricultural/urban interface, agricultural resource protection, and related issues.
  6. Plans, researches, analyzes, and writes a variety of complex reports related to special studies and assignments; computes descriptive statistics in preparing reports.
  7. Prepares and presents staff reports on complex and controversial cases to the Agricultural Advisory Committee, Planning Commission, and the Board of Supervisors in public hearings.
  8. Serves as project manager for special planning studies including the review of proposals, work products, and billings by outside consultants.
  9. Collaborates with other County land use planners from the Comprehensive Planning and Development Review divisions, works as part of the team of planners analyzing and evaluating projects and proposals.
  10. Provides professional staff support to the Agricultural Advisory Committee by coordinating and attending meetings, supplying technical assistance, preparing advisory reports, and helping the committee present its proposals to shape or modify County policies and ordinances.


  1. Possession of a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, preferably including course work in agricultural, biological, life, physical, or social sciences; urban and regional planning; geography; environmental studies; natural resource management; economics; public administration; political science, or government; and two years of advanced journey-level professional land use planning experience related to resource management of agricultural lands; OR developing land use policies or regulations for designated areas that included agricultural lands, OR applying zoning regulations, community plan policies, CEQA, NEPA, and other ordinances or policies in a land use planning environment that included agricultural lands; or,
  2. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to the employment standards listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Knowledge of: principles and practices of agricultural resource protection and agricultural land use planning; general agricultural practices and operations; urban and regional planning, land use development review, resource management, and environmental review; state and federal laws, policies, and regulations related to planning and environmental issues including CEQA and NEPA; urban and rural development and conservation; inter-agency and intra-agency relationships related to planning projects; principles and practices of project management; principles and practices of contract management to monitor work of consultants; basic math and statistics; public relations, public meeting processes, and community outreach.

Ability to: carry out work independently; read, understand, and interpret regulations and policies; compile and analyze relevant information including statistical data, applicable laws and polices, and regulations in order to draw valid conclusions and develop recommendations to resolve issues; communicate effectively orally and in writing; write and review staff reports, policies, ordinances, and correspondence using correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation; prepare and give public presentations before decision-making bodies; conduct and facilitate group meetings to obtain input on policy development and planning decisions; establish and maintain cooperative working relationships; clarify and mediate conflicts among groups of stakeholders; negotiate agreements; work effectively with boards and commissions; record information and maintain for future access; organize work and set priorities to meet deadlines; establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers and the public; use personal computers including standard office applications such as word processing, spreadsheet, database, and multimedia presentation software; read and understand site plans, architectural drawings, and topographic maps.

In addition to the minimum educational requirements, it is highly desirable for applicants to have completed a master's degree in a related field with emphasis on:

  • public administration,
  • land use planning and policy,
  • agricultural economics,
  • environmental planning and policy, or
  • regional economic development.

American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification is also highly desirable.

Possession of a valid California Class C Driver's License may be required.

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