Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell Seeks New Planning Director

Los Angeles City Hall


The Office of Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell is seeking a smart and competent candidate with experience in planning and land use to fill the Planning Director position serving the 13th Council District. We’re looking for a dedicated professional who loves working with constituents, and is driven to do good in our communities. We need someone who is emotionally mature with a highly critical and analytical eye, as well as an effective communicator. We want the person who is ready and eager to join a very busy, hard-working team focused on getting things done for the District.

The Planning Director advises the Councilmember on planning and land use matters & policy for the District.  In this capacity, he/she will serve as a direct contact to constituents, applicants, businesses groups, homeowners and tenant associations, and neighborhood councils. This individual should demonstrate strong knowledge of the City’s zoning laws, administrative policies/procedures, and a general understanding of the communities within 13th District.

The ideal candidate would: have a degree in planning and/or comparable experience handling planning issues in a government or legal office;  be comfortable with public speaking; maintain professional composure and a presence; demonstrate an excellent ability to communicate in writing and in-person; be extremely thorough and detailed-oriented; possess sound judgment; be a great team player; and be adaptable to any situation while possessing the determination to achieve established goals.  

The ideal candidate will have done some of the following:

  • Represented an elected official, political candidate, or a business or community organization to a group of community stakeholders, where it was her/his responsibility to effectively interact with the public.

  • Successfully delivered a project in a challenging setting, with stakeholders and project applicants, from start to completion.

  • Reviewed environmental documents, negotiated development agreements, consulted community & specific area plans.

  • Worked with other related professionals in government departments

                 (e.g. City Planning, Building & Safety, CA ABC, Police, Fire, Public Works,

    City Attorney, etc.).

  • Prepared comprehensive briefing memos for a public official analyzing background, issues, stakeholder opinions, political implications, and making recommendations or developing a plan for action, including developing talking points.

Main duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Monitoring all land use matters in the District; understand ing the City’s zoning laws, procedures and processes and applying them to project proposals in the District.

  • Representing the Councilmember and his position at public hearings (Citywide Planning Commission, Area Planning Commissions, Zoning Administrator, Council’s PLUM committee, etc.).

  • Attending meetings of local government and community groups (before, during, and after business hours), speaking on behalf of the Councilmember, explaining complex planning matters clearly, and reporting back with recommendations for action on planning issues/policies.

  • Tracking district priorities as identified by the Councilmember, recommending strategies for achieving those priorities, and executing a plan.

  • Preparing the Councilmember with talking points, preparing background information, and staffing him at events as necessary.

  • Maintaining an awareness and involvement in district affairs and their impact on the built environment of the neighborhoods within the District by establishing communication and relationships with key stakeholders.

  • Assisting the CD13 Communications/Legislative/Field/Administrative Teams with information regarding projects and policies affecting the District.

  • Leading the CD13 Design Review Committee meetings.

  • Managing the CD13 Planning Team.

  • Reports to the Councilmember and his Chief of Staff.

The selected candidate must be willing to work non-standard hours as needed, including evenings and weekends, and perform tasks outside of his or her primary work assignments as necessary.

The position is full-time and exempt from civil service.  Compensation will be based on experience.  Excellent benefit package.

Application deadline - September 1, 2017.

To apply, please email a resume and a cover letter to Jeanne Min, Chief of Staff, at  No phone calls.