APA California Conference Presentations

RRM Design Group presented two sessions at the recent APA California Conference:

Barn Raising in the Burbs
Link to document: barn-raising-in-the-burbs-small
Presented by Martha Miller and Josh Cross
Novel Strategies for growing food and cultivating community through urban farming.

Stimulating Urban Density and Managing Traffic Congestion Scenarios Post-CEQA Standards for Vehicle Miles Traveled
Link to document: urban-density-traffic-congestion-small
Presented by Lisa Plowman


Work starting on Twin Lakes beachfront improvements

From the Santa Cruz Sentinel:

Work starting on Twin Lakes beachfront improvements.


SANTA CRUZ >> As 75 people in cars, on bikes and on foot swarmed Twin Lakes State Beach on Thursday morning for the groundbreaking of a 10-month project to improve the beachfront, the scene was chaotic.

That’s what this $4.7 million investment is about, providing safe access to a short but very important piece of the 1,271-mile California coastline.

A sidewalk. Bike lanes. Organized parking spaces. Shoring up a street that is foundering as the sand erodes. All next to a picture-perfect beach location by the Santa Cruz Harbor, home to some of the city’s most popular restaurants, which by the way will stay open during construction.

Emcee for the event was county Supervisor Ryan Coonerty, whose father Neal started the project when he was supervisor.

The father’s advice to the son after his 2014 election: “Get Twin Lakes done.”

Working with homeowners in the area, finding funding and getting approvals from local, state and federal agencies, made the project complex. More than 80 individuals and agencies were involved, according to longtime county staffer Betsey Lynberg, who shepherded the project.

That took time — a lot of time.

“It’s been around 20 years,” said Terri Locke Carroll, 70, who lives around the corner and was new to the neighborhood when the discussions began.

Read more »

RRM Design poised for $300k city vision project

From the Los Altos Town Crier:

RRM Design poised for $300K city vision project

Los Altos city staff recommended that the city council award RRM Design Group of San Luis Obispo the contract to consult with the city on its downtown visioning process.

The contract – capped at $300,000 – was up for discussion at Tuesday’s council meeting, after the Town Crier’s press deadline.

City staff selected RRM after reviewing eight bids to consult on the visioning process that began in late February. Councilmembers stated at a Feb. 23 meeting that their goals were to develop at least three scenarios representing different levels of development in downtown Los Altos and to engage the community in the process.

RRM’s proposal includes a collaboration with M-Group to solicit community feedback and with Land Econ Group for economics consulting. RRM officials said M-Group conducted “extensive outreach effort” for a similar project in downtown San Mateo.

In documents sent to the city, RRM representatives defined the group as “devoted to community-based planning that engages the public in a meaningful way and produces a vision that all embrace.”

Familiar with city staff

Read more »

Join us on a historical tour of the Arroyo Seco

RRM Principal, Jami Williams, will be moderating an APACA Conference Mobile Workshop #22 – The Art, Architecture and History of the Arroyo Seco

Tuesday, October 25 from 7:45 to 11:45 am

If you have already registered you can go back and sign up separately for a mobile workshop via this link:

If you have not registered for the conference you can visit:, within the registration you will have the option to sign up for this mobile workshop.

Highland Park tour flyer

APWA 8th Annual Training Seminar

Register for this event:

Sale event flyer

Plan for West Newport improvements goes before Planning Commission on Thursday

From the LA Times:

Additional bike lanes, trees, shrubs, enhanced crosswalks, benches and lighting in West Newport Beach are among several improvements outlined in the area’s proposed master plan, which will be considered by the city Planning Commission on Thursday.

In January, the city began developing the West Newport Mesa Streetscape Master Plan in conjunction with San Juan Capistrano-based RRM Design Group, which specializes in surveying, architecture and urban planning. The idea is to unify elements of the neighborhood through sidewalk, parkway and landscape improvements that encourage pedestrian and bicycle use, according to a city staff report.

Read more »

Pismo Beach expected to move forward with blueprint for pier area

From the Santa Maria Times:

The Pismo Beach City Council will take more steps toward revitalizing the city’s downtown core when the elected officials meet Tuesday night.

Several years ago, the council took the initial steps to create a long-term vision for downtown and has since implemented a number of improvements in the area, including installing new benches and bicycle racks in the core, envisioned in that blueprint.

On Tuesday, the council is expected to enter into an agreement with RRM Design Group for consulting services to complete conceptual design drawings and preliminary cost estimates for upgrades to the pier plaza and parking lot, as well Price Street streetscapes, moving Pismo Beach closer to realizing implementation of the city’s Downtown Specific Plan.

Read more »

PBR Reviews West Newport Streetscape Plans

Newport Local News:

A plan to unify West Newport with cohesive street and sidewalk elements is in the works and the Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission weighed in on the design this week.

Staff presented the West Newport Mesa Streetscape Master Plan to PBR on Tuesday and asked for feedback from the commissioners.

“I think this is terrific, Commissioner Walt Howald said. “To my knowledge, this is the first time this section of Newport Beach has really been addressed.”

Read more »

RRM Design Group Earns Coveted Gold Nugget Honor

Judges for the 2016 Gold Nugget Awards have named RRM Design Group an Award of Merit winner in their annual competition, which honors architectural design and planning excellence, drawing entries from throughout the United States and internationally. RRM Design Group earned its Merit honor for Moylan Terrace in the category of Affordable Housing Community under 30 density units per acre. Chosen from the elite pool of Merit Award winners, Grand Awards will be announced on June 23 as a feature highlight of Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC®), the nation’s largest regional conference and trade show for the real estate development field.

The Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo (HASLO) and Innovative Housing Solutions hired RRM to design Moylan Terrace, a for-sale, multifamily residential project. The project represents the dream of HASLO’s former Director, the late George Moylan, to make home ownership a reality for low to moderate-income buyers. Of the 80 single-family attached units, all homes are built for buyers who meet the City of San Luis Obispo’s Affordable Housing Guidelines or County of San Luis Obispo Workforce Housing category. The units range in size 797 to 1,722 sf with one, two and three bedrooms and attached one or two-car garages. The project also provides accessible units and one mixed-use building with 750 sf of commercial space and a two-bedroom apartment.

“Gold Nugget Award winners reflect our industry’s best, brightest and most innovative architects, planners and builder/developers,” said Gold Nugget Awards Judging Chairman and Administrator Lisa Parrish. “We applaud them all, and we look forward to our June 23 celebration of Merit and Grand Award winners.”

Now in its 53rd year, Gold Nugget Awards is the largest and most prestigious competition of its kind in the nation. It honors design and planning achievements in community and home design, green-built housing, site planning, commercial, retail, mixed-use development and specialty housing categories. Winners this year were chosen from over 600 entries from around the world.

Gold Nugget Awards: Recognizing those who improve our communities through exceptional concepts in design, planning and development.



Low-Income Senior Housing Project Proposal Gains Santa Barbara Planning Commission OK

By Joshua Molina, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @JECMolina | Published on 02.21.2016 8:30 p.m

An 89-unit affordable housing project for seniors, proposed for a site next to a South Hope Avenue car dealership and alongside Arroyo Burro Creek, won approval last week from the Santa Barbara Planning Commission.

But the project proposal, from the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara, sparked a fierce debate over two of the community’s most prized collective values: housing and the environment.

Much of the debate during the nearly six-hour meeting centered on whether the mostly three-story project should be moved to at least 50 feet from the top of the creek bank along the 1.76-acre parcel. As proposed, the project at 251 S. Hope Ave. reaches a distance of 42 feet at its farthest.

“This is not the first affordable or migrating-out-of-foster-home or senior income housing project I have seen where it is put on a challenging site and we are literally forced to make decisions on very serious competing goals,” commissioner Michael Jordan said.

“There will be other people up here who will tell you that if it comes to people in an urban setting versus the creeks that the people will take priority, and I will contend that it is a reasonable stance. But eventually the erosion of the … watershed protections will affect the people, too.”

The commission voted 4-1 to allow the project to move forward, with Jordan in dissent. He said he is “weary” of seeing housing projects proposed on constrained sites with the implication that the commission has no choice but to approve them to satisfy the greater need for affordable housing.

Read more »

Click here for our latest news » Remodeling and Home Design Employee Portal

RRM Design Group - As professional problem solvers and designers, we are interested in the world around us, the people who live in it, and the places that inspire them. We are driven by a desire to help our clients achieve their dreams. That is why we are in business. RRM Design Group is an award-winning design firm of architects, civil engineers, landscape architects, planners, surveyors, and LEED® accredited professionals. Our work includes architectural rendering, mixed use development, community planning and development, and urban design and planning, among numerous other project types. Since 1974, RRM has been inspired by the power of Creating Environments People Enjoy®.