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

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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Pacific Beach planners prepare for Balboa Avenue trolley station

The first public meeting of the Balboa Avenue Station Area Specific Plan will take place at the Pacific Beach Library Community Room on Monday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m.

The planning area surrounds the Mid-Coast Trolley Station proposed on Balboa Avenue and includes Mission Bay Drive, the neighborhood between Rose Creek and Mission Bay Drive and the area east of Mission Bay Drive to I-5 in Pacific Beach as well as area east of I-5 in Clairemont. This encompasses all land between Rose Creek in Pacific Beach and Morena Boulevard in Clairemont.

“The City of San Diego Planning Department is working with RRM Design Group and Circulate San Diego to engage the Pacific Beach and Clairemont communities to prepare the Balboa Avenue Station Area Specific Plan,” said senior city planner Michael Prinz. “The specific plan will guide the design of future development and identify streetscape and multi-modal improvements to enhance bicycle, pedestrian, and transit access to the planned trolley station.”

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RRM Design Group hires well known San Luis Obispo planner

RicciRRM Design Group hires well known San Luis Obispo planner, Pam Ricci. Pam brings with her extensive planning experience, having worked for the City of San Luis Obispo’s Community Development Department for the past 30 years. Her perspective from the other side of the desk will add value to theirr private and public clients, enriching RRM’s multidisciplinary team of architects, landscape architects, planners, civil engineers, structural engineers, and surveyors.

As a senior planner for the City of San Luis Obispo, Pam oversaw many major projects, including Chinatown, Garden Street Terraces, Court Street, Railroad Square, SLO Promenade, Serra Meadows, Madonna Plaza redevelopment, SESLOC, and MINDBODY. At RRM, Pam will be working with project teams, offering insights into site planning, land use, ordinance requirements, policy analysis, and project entitlements.

“RRM is very fortunate to have the skills, experience, and passion that Pam has brought to her work in planning over the last 30+ years. She brings to our team a level of strategy, commitment to quality, and knowledge of the local planning environment that is rare to find and will be of great value to our clients,” Erik Justesen, President + CEO of RRM stated.

Pam Ricci, AICP

RRM in the news: Boulevard ad hoc committee gets down to business

From the Thousand Oaks Acorn:
Boulevard ad hoc committee gets down to business
By Anna Bitong

City leaders began discussions about how to jump-start the revitalization of Thousand Oaks Boulevard this week.

One idea: to allow more onstreet parking along the thoroughfare.
Councilmember Andy Fox presented the idea June 22 at City Hall during the first meeting of an ad hoc committee formed to help guide the redevelopment of the boulevard according to the Thousand Oaks Boulevard Specific Plan, adopted by the council in 2011.

Also at the meeting: Councilmember Al Adam, City Manager Scott Mitnick, Community Development Director John Prescott, Economic Development Manager Haider Alawami and City Attorney Tracy Noonan.

Fox asked the committee to observe what other cities have done to create a pedestrian-friendly downtown and how they manage traffic. A goal of the specific plan is to create a thriving downtown with mixed use that encourages people to walk, shop and eat at businesses along the boulevard.

“We want a neighborhood feel right on the 50-yard line, across from the Civic Arts Plaza,” Fox said, adding, “The misnomer was this (downtown) was going to be three miles of the boulevard, and that’s clearly not what’s going to happen.”

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Balboa Village Revitalization Program wins APA Award

The City of Newport Beach won a 2015 Award of Merit in Economic Planning and Development for the Balboa Village Revitalization Program from the Orange Section of the American Planning Association (OC APA).

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RRM Design Group hires new planner and bolsters zoning code experience

Miller-FinalRRM Design Group recently welcomed Martha Miller, AICP to their team of professionals. Martha is a Principal Planner who specializes in zoning regulations and community planning. Her other experience includes coastal planning, TOD planning, healthy communities, urban agriculture, and environmental planning.

Martha brings over 15 years of experience as a planner, working with public and private clients throughout California. She takes a holistic approach to planning, integrating policies, regulations, and environmental considerations, so the final product reflects innovative land use policies and urban design concepts. With an increased demand for modern, user-friendly, well-illustrated zoning and development codes, along with her passion for zoning, Martha will lead these efforts in RRM’s Urban Planning Group.

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RRM in the news: Laetitia winery to build homes

Laetitia winery wants to build up to 101 homes in rural Nipomo

From the San Luis Obispo Tribune (
By: Kaytlyn Leslie
April 27, 2015

A new housing development is in the works on the Laetitia Vineyard and Winery property in rural Nipomo, though it will likely be three to five years before any homes are built.

According to planning documents submitted to the county, Laetitia’s owners are proposing to build an agricultural cluster — similar to the Biddle Ranch and Edna Ranch housing projects elsewhere in San Luis Obispo County — that would potentially bring up to 101 new homes to the area.

About 1,802 acres out of the 1,910-acre property would be preserved with open space agreements, with the homes and other development taking up the remaining 108 acres.

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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®.