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Principal Planner – Los Angeles County

HELIX is seeking an experienced Principal Planner for our Los Angeles County office, located in Pasadena. HELIX offers environmental, biological, landscape architecture, regulatory permitting, cultural resources, acoustical, air quality, habitat restoration, and GIS services to both the public and private sectors. Our environmental planning staff prepare CEQA/NEPA compliance and related environmental documents for a wide range of projects including federal, state, and locally funded transportation projects; private sector residential, commercial, and industrial development; water/wastewater, storm water, and energy/utilities facilities; public plans and programs; educational facilities; and military facilities. Our Environmental Planning Groups also encompass our noise and air quality/greenhouse gas (GHG) services.


This will be a senior position reporting to our Southern California Planning Division Manager, and with direct responsibility for business development, maintenance of client relationships, recruitment and mentoring of staff, and project management, working with environmental planning staff and specialists in other disciplines throughout HELIX’s five Southern California offices.


General scope of responsibilities for the Principal Planner:

  • Take a strong leadership role in corporate business development. Build relationships with key clients. Identify, target, and develop preferred new clients with significant opportunities. Play an active role in strengthening key client relationships. Work with other HELIX groups to bring in multi-disciplinary projects. Participate in negotiation and closing of high-priority contracts.
  • Work with the Southern California Planning Division Manager, Environmental Planning Discipline Leader, and Human Resources to recruit and mentor environmental planning staff.
  • Manage large CEQA/NEPA compliance projects and on-call contracts, and assist others in the completion of environmental documents as needed, completing high-quality work products on time and within budget, to HELIX standards, and to the satisfaction of lead agencies/HELIX clients.
  • Prepare proposals/qualifications submittals and manage or participate in interviews to help the company win contracts and meet sales and profit goals.
  • Successfully represent HELIX in communications, meetings, and contract interviews with existing/prospective clients and public agencies in support of project, proposal, and business development efforts.
  • Coordinate with environmental planning, GIS, word processing, graphics, biology, cultural resources, habitat restoration, accounting, and other HELIX staff and managers, as well as subconsultants, as necessary for the completion of proposals and projects.
  • Ensure the quality of the work products that you prepare, and assist in quality control reviews of work products produced by others.
  • Develop, maintain, and update professional knowledge in CEQA and NEPA compliance and related environmental services topics.
  • Work as a team member and collaborate with other HELIX employees to help to foster a positive and professional work atmosphere.
  • Complete required administrative tasks on time and to the satisfaction of the administrative managers.


The ideal candidate must possess strong project management and leadership skills, with the proven ability to complete projects within time and budget constraints.  They will have strong interpersonal skills with the ability to build strong, collaborative relationships among team members, staff, clients, and agencies.


Minimum Requirements for Principal Planner:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in environmental studies, environmental science, environmental engineering, public planning, or a related field.
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience managing CEQA and NEPA compliance programs and preparing high-quality CEQA and NEPA documents, including at least 5 years of experience as a CEQA/NEPA consultant.
  • Strong business development experience, with existing productive client and agency relationships in Southern California.
  • Excellent writing, verbal communication, and presentation skills.
  • Knowledge of Southern California environmental and regulatory settings, with related environmental/planning work experience within that setting.
  • Proven experience managing large-scale, multi-disciplinary projects.
  • Ability to commute to, and work from, our Pasadena office an average of at least two days per week (and up to five days per week if that is your preference). If choosing to work remotely, you will be responsible for your home office and need to maintain high-speed internet service capable of supporting video conference calls and handling large documents.


Additional qualifications considered a plus:

  • Master’s degree or higher in environmental studies, environmental science, environmental engineering, public planning, business, or a related field.
  • American Institute of Certified Planners or Certified Environmental Planner certification.
  • Experience managing direct reports.



Dependent on experience (DOE)

To Apply:

Qualified candidates must send both a cover letter and resume by clicking “Apply Now” below.

Apply Now


HELIX is an equal opportunity employer that is committed to diversity and an inclusive work environment. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply regardless of gender, race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), parental status, national origin, disability, age, genetic information (including family medical history), political affiliation, military service or veteran status. These protections extend to all management practices and decisions, including recruitment and hiring, appraisal systems, promotions, training, and career development programs.