Assistant Chief Building Official Job at Palo Alto, Santa Clara County, California

Assistant Chief Building Official

City of Palo Alto , California

Job Information 


Planning and Development Services

Senior Level


$103,750.40 - $155,604.80 Annually

Application Deadline 


03/09/2021 11:59 PM PST

Recruitment Type 

Open Competitive


The City of Palo Alto is a fast-paced, dynamic, and innovative environment that is focused on providing exceptional service. The Planning and Development Services department reviews private and public development proposals, enforces municipal regulations and provides policy analysis to elected and appointed officials.
Development Services is a program within the department that is principally responsible for reviewing and issuing building permits, conducting inspections and providing customer service to our residents, business owners, developers, and trade professionals. This work is largely carried out in the City’s Development Center, which is a one stop permitting center. Our staff is knowledgeable and professional. We strive for consistency in our work, predicable review times, adherence to local and state laws while facilitating applicants through the review and construction process.  

About the Opportunity:
This is a critical leadership position that reports directly to the Chief Building Official (CBO). The CBO relies on this leader to take ownership of the permitting and plan review operations. The CBO also expects this leader to take responsibility for ensuring the thorough and efficient issuance of building permits.
The Assistant Chief Building Official (ACBO) directly oversees several integral components of the Development Services Division which include:
Online Permit Services System - Oversee and manage the Online Permit Services system (OPS); an essential platform that allows for business continuity, customer service, and the issuance of building permits in a remote setting. Responsibilities include training, developing protocols, and resolving customer issues.
Plan Check Services – Oversee and manage consultant team and staff responsible for reviewing plans; ensure structures meet all applicable building codes prior to permit issuance. This individual will oversee all plan check services, including the distribution of work to consultants, contract management for the consultant team, and perform internal plan review for quality control.
Customer Service - Support the Chief Building Official in problem solving and resolving higher level challenges with a customer-oriented approach. Collaborate with the Development Services Permit Manager to be a resource for staff at the Development Center, including technical and customer service training.
Green Building & Sustainability – Provide leadership and expertise to the City’s Sustainability Committee, which supports the achievement of City-wide climate change and sustainability goals. Manage the Green Building program and its projects in collaboration with partner departments such as Public Works and Utilities.
Professional Organizations - The ACBO serves as our City representative for building-related professional organizations.  This person acts as liaison and intermediary to the Insurance Services Office (ISO) Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS), which scores the city based on technical expertise, quality control, and proper management.
Public Policy Development - Manages and informs special projects such as ordinance changes and code adoptions.

Ideal Candidate: 
The ideal candidate is a motivated and experienced building professional, with knowledge and experience spanning the development process. The ideal candidate is dedicated to public service and providing excellent service while taking seriously the discharge of their duties on behalf of the public. The ideal candidate would be a   team-oriented professional that demonstrates a strong work ethic. In this leadership role, the candidate will communicate effectively and be able to build strong teams through strong interpersonal skills. This person must enjoy engaging with the public and delivering excellent service. This person will foster cooperative working relationships between City staff, property owners, and the wider development community.
The ideal candidate will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Coordinate multiple projects and complex tasks simultaneously. 
  • Read and interpret applicable building plans, specifications and building codes for compliance with adopted City codes, ordinances, and state statutes. 
  • Perform plan check of industrial, commercial, public, and residential structures for compliance with all codes and ordinances to ensure completeness and accuracy. 
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing. 
  • Coordinate public information and customer service for all matters pertaining to Building Division operations. 
  • Foster cooperation between other city departments such as Fire, Utilities, Planning and Public Works.
  • Recommend and administer divisional operations and programs and assist in preparing the department budget. 
  • Assign, coordinate, supervise, and evaluate staff and manage consultant contracts. 
  • Provide periodic training programs for departmental staff. 
The ideal candidate will also demonstrate knowledge and ability to :
  • Of commercial and residential building construction, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems and related equipment, components, materials, instruments, and systems, including their design, installation, testing, uses, repair or maintenance. 
  • Learn City policies and procedures related to the development process, including building, site development, mapping, and permit application procedures.
  • Proficient in the use of office equipment including copiers, faxes, scanners, computers, mobile devices, including software applications.
  • Of customer service principles and City/department customer service goals.  
  • Of and experience using automated information management system. The City currently uses Accela and DigEplan.  
Minimum Qualifications

Sufficient education, training and/or work experience to demonstrate possession of the following knowledge and skills, which would typically be acquired through:

Education: Bachelor’s degree in civil or structural engineering and/or architecture or equivalent and;
Experience: Three years of increasingly responsible experience capable of managing staff and resources.

 Licensing Requirements:
 At time of hire must have possession of:

  • State of California Engineering and/or Architectural license. 
Possession of the following certifications are highly desirable:  
  • ICC Master Code Professional ICC  
  • ICC Certified Building Official  
  • ICC Plans Examiner 
  • ICC Green Building Plans Examiner 
  • ICC Residential Energy Plan Examiner 
  • ICC Commercial Energy Plans Examiner 
  • California Accessibility Specialist Certification (CASp)  
  • California Safety Assessment Certification


250 Hamilton Ave

Palo Alto, CA 94301