Welcome to Mike Hamilton

SANTA BARBARA, January 2015 – Mike Hamilton recently joined RRM’s Civil Engineering Group, as Manager of Engineering of their Santa Barbara office. As a licensed civil engineer, Mike has over 15 years of local experience in municipal, commercial, institutional, and residential project types. Mike’s diverse project experience will complement RRM’s multidisciplinary team of professional architects, engineers, planners, landscape architects, and surveyors.

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Celebrating 40 Years

On November 26th, RRM Design Group celebrated our 40th year in business. Starting with just four employees, we have since grown to a professional staff of over 100 in offices in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and San Juan Capistrano. We capped off a year of celebrations with a party at our San Luis Obispo office for our clients, consultants, special guests and staff. Thank you to all who attended, and  to all who have helped to make the last 40 years a success.

Please watch this video which was created to celebrate the people, projects, places and culture of RRM Design Group:

San Luis Obispo Skate Park Breaks Ground

After many years of planning, design and collaboration with the city and community of San Luis Obispo, RRM is very proud to attend the groundbreaking for the SLO skate park!


The Vistas at Pismo Village

RRM recently attended the groundbreaking ceremony for The Vistas at Pismo Village. This lively mixed-use project sits in the heart of the town of Pismo Beach and captures the “village theme” for the residential and commercial components of the development. Pismo’s eclectic styles are a trademark of this Central Coast community and this project draws from its surrounding coastal beach neighborhood. The Vistas’ architectural styles of California craftsman, seaside modern and early California all contribute to an overall project theme of past, present and future to bring to life the concept of various structures being developed over time. The Vistas includes 32 townhome residential units; half of these are detached on individual lots, the other half attached on individual lots. The three-story townhomes average +/- 1,500 sf of living space. Residence parking is both attached and detached. In addition the commercial component along busy Wadsworth Avenue provides 5,800 sf of retail space and parking with a 1,000 sf residential manager’s apartment above.


Hermosa Beach nationally recognized for its commitment to create safe, accessible streets

From The Beach Reporter:

The National Complete Streets Coalition ranked Hermosa Beach among the top cities in the nation for its “exceptional work” in developing and adopting “Complete Streets” policies to ensure its streets are safe for users of all ages and abilities, provide easy pedestrian and transit access, incorporate sustainable features and create an attractive and inviting environment, said Mayor Kit Bobko.

The National Complete Streets Coalition, which researches and advocates for improved community development through the adoption and implementation of Complete Streets policies, ranked Hermosa Beach No. 2, behind Indianapolis, out of nearly 130 cities that adopted Complete Streets policies last year.

Low-Impact Development and Why It’s Important to Your Project

by: William Strand, PE, QSD

Whether you are a developer or a public agency, your upcoming project will likely be required to comply with the State Water Resources Control Board’s (SWRCB) new site design, runoff reduction, numeric treatment, retention and hyrdromodification requirements. These requirements are being implemented through local Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permits.

The requirements call for the use of low-impact development (LID) techniques such as bio-retention, flow-through planters, infiltration trenches, grass filter strips, downspout disconnection, cisterns, green roofs and other methods that have space and cost impacts on your project. The RWQCBs are also beginning to implement hydromodifictaion controls. Hydromodification occurs when drainage patterns are modified, pervious surfaces are paved and vegetative cover is removed. Hydromodification tends to reduce base flows in streams and rivers, increase peak flows and alter sediment supply. In controlling hydromodification, the RWQCBs are attempting to mitigate the impacts of development on streams and rivers.

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Adapt, Rebuild and Carry On: Coastal Cities Face a Rising Tide

by: Tony Keith, RLA

Viewing news footage of the devastation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy this past winter and witnessing firsthand the recurring storm damage from El Nino conditions here on the West Coast, it is clear to me that our coastal cities are increasingly at risk. Whether you accept the science of global warming, or the premise that we are just in a natural cycle, the answer is the same: we must prepare in advance and implement strategies to address a new set of criteria for planning and building along our shoreline or suffer devastating consequences.

Development along the waterfront is set in an extremely dynamic context that is dramatically changing within our lifetime. Few coastal locations host more diverse activities in one place than along our coastal city waterfronts; commerce, industry, recreation, man-made environments and natural beauty all intersect in this unique setting. With critical infrastructure increasingly at risk, we have clear choices to make, new questions to ask and new solutions to seek.

Sea levels have risen about 8 inches in the past 100 years and are projected to rise as much as 55 inches by the end of the century as stated in an analysis prepared for three California state agencies. The Pacific Institute estimates that 480,000 people, a wide range of critical infrastructure, vast areas of wetlands and other natural ecosystems, and nearly $100 billion in property along the California coast are at increased risk from flooding due to sea-level rise if no adaptation actions are taken.

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Round 2 of Proposition 84 Storm Water Grants: Coming to a City Near You in Summer 2013

With the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) currently executing agreements with approximately 24 agencies for a total grant amount of approximately $42 million, Round 2 is just around the corner and it is  time to start planning ahead. The SWRCB anticipates opening applications for Round 2 of the Proposition 84 Storm Water Implementation Grants in the summer of 2013. It is time to start thinking about potential projects which reduce and prevent storm water contamination of rivers, lakes and streams. Eligible project types include Low Impact Development (LID) and projects which comply with Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements.

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RRM Recieves Prestigous Awards on Recent Projects

RRM Design Group was recently honored with multiple prestigious awards for the following projects:

  • American Public Works Association (APWA), Honorable Mention for Surfer’s Point located in Ventura
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Outstanding Sustainability Project  Award (also for Surfer’s Point in Ventura)
  • American Planning Association (APA), Los Angeles Chapter, Public Outreach Award for RRM’s work on the West Boulevard Community Linkages and Revitalization Plan in Los Angeles
  • American Planning Association (APA), Central Cost Chapter and on the State Level, Planning Achievement Award: Hard Won Victories for the Thousand Oaks Boulevard Specific Plan
  • American Planning Association (APA), Orange County Chapter, Planning Achievement Award: Hard Won Victories Award for the Yorba Linda Town Center Specific Plan
  • American Planning Association (APA), Orange County Chapter, Outstanding Planning Award for a Project Outside Orange County by an Orange County Firm, El Corazon Specific Plan

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RRM in the News: Surfer’s Point Takes the Shoreline Approach

From Storm Water Solutions online:

Sustainable solution offers flood control and water quality improvement for a popular beach spot.

For more than 20 years, challenging storm water conditions and continued erosion have been a problem at Surfer’s Point, a popular surf break near Santa Barbara, Calif. Beach erosion, degraded water quality and flooding issues have caused tremendous damage. Coastal development, unsustainable water management practices and runoff from urban and agricultural areas further exacerbated the problem.

A collaboration of community stakeholders from government, businesses, non-profits and residents, spent years debating options, and eventually chose the innovative “managed retreat”—or shoreline retreat—approach as their long-term solution to effectively manage the storm water and stall erosion.

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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®.