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Plan for downtown Pismo Beach includes Ferris wheel, parking changes

From the San Luis Obispo Tribune:

Imagine taking a trolley ride to the downtown core of a classic seaside town and walking toward the pier, where a Ferris wheel awaits. Nearby, children play in a public fountain or use a slide to reach the beach below.

Others climb or pose for photos on huge letters spelling “Pismo Beach.”

These are a few ideas contained within a strategic plan for downtown Pismo Beach, which was recently approved by the Pismo Beach City Council.

The strategic plan is both the culmination of several months of community outreach, including multiple workshops and a survey of tourists, and the starting point for change in this key part of Pismo Beach.

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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!

SLO-Skate-Collage


Bike Happenings

RRM is excited to be participating in bike month, we are having a company-wide competition as well as local teams participate in their regional events!

So far this month…

Our group using www.mapmyride.com  has ridden 726 miles!! That is the same distance as Eureka to San Diego!! Way to go to Kayla in our San Clemente office with a total of 308 miles ridden and Mike in our Santa Barbara office with a total of 19 rides, very impressive numbers!

The Amgen tour went through the Central Coast yesterday, including a start at the RRM designed Pismo Beach Pier and Promenade:

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RRM also hosted an energizer station for SLO Regional Rideshare’s bike to work day event with our neighbor, GH Sports! We had a great turnout with around 30 bikers pedaling through:

DSC_0152 DSC_0147

For more information on local bike month happenings visit:

San Luis Obispo http://www.rideshare.org/BikeMonth2014.aspx
San Clemente: http://www.octa.net/Share-the-Ride/Bike/Bike-Month/
Santa Barbara: http://cyclemaynia.ning.com/


On-call planning–from big to small!

By: Diane Bathgate, AICP

As the economy continues to recover, cities and counties across California are seeing more development applications and planning activity. And as perceived activity increases, decision-makers’ expectations grow for planning staff to be more responsive and make progress on planning initiatives, better capturing the economic upswing. Back burner projects are now becoming front burner projects. However, rising expectations do not necessarily match still-downsized staff resources. Is this an understatement? Well, we can help!

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Project News: Proposal for boardwalk, bike path in Morro Bay moves forward

From the San Luis Obispo Tribune:

Pathway as well as new bridge would link up existing Harbor Walk with north Morro Bay

By Nick Wilson

nwilson@thetribunenews.comJanuary 20, 2014

The Morro Bay City Council has given its go-ahead for a bike and pedestrian trail, along with a new bridge, that will offer beach vistas and connect the city’s Harbor Walk to north Morro Bay.

The council voted 4-1 last week, with Councilwoman Nancy Johnson dissenting, to approve a conditional use permit for the project, which now must be approved by the state Coastal Commission before construction can begin.

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RRM announces new Principal

RRM Design Group recently named Susan Whalen a Principal of their firm. As the Chief Operations Officer and an Associate of RRM, Susan has a unique skill set that blends her extensive experience with business strategy and planning with her background in human resources and operations management.

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Happy Holidays from RRM Design Group

May your holidays be artful by design, and inspired by creativity.

Happy Holidays and best wishes in 2014 from all of us at RRM Design Group!

Please enjoy this slideshow of art submitted by our own staff members:

  • By: Marisa Peltier, Planning & Landscape Architecture Associate
  • By: Amanda Klemaske, Senior Planner
  • By: Aileen Manley, Marketing Coordinator
  • By: Gordon Brewer, Design Director
  • By: Kevin Kirkwood, Designer
  • By: Kayla King, Designer www.tinyinklings.com
  • By: Gordon Brewer, Design Director
  • By: Aileen Manley, Marketing Coordinator
  • By: Amy McKay, Planning & Landscape Architecture Associate www.amy-mckay.com
  • By: Nici Stephens, Sr. Marketing Coordinator
  • By: John Moyer, Designer www.lawnmoyer.com
  • By: Kayla King, Designer www.tinyinklings.com
  • By: Tyler Stark, Designer
  • By: Marisa Peltier, Planning & Landscape Architecture Associate
  • By: Amanda Klemaske, Senior Planner
  • By: Tyler Stark, Designer
  • By: John Moyer www.lawnmoyer.com
  • By: Kevin Kirkwood, Designer
  • By: Gordon Brewer, Design Director
  • By: Kayla King, Designer www.tinyinklings.com
  • By: Kayla King, Designer www.tinyinklings.com
  • By: Amy McKay, Planning & Landscape Architecture Associate www.amy-mckay.com
  • By: Tyler Stark, Designer
  • By: Marisa Peltier, Planning & Landscape Architecture Associate
  • By: Amy McKay, Planning & Landscape Architecture Associate, www.amy-mckay.com
  • By: William Strand, Manager of Engineering Services

What’s to Become of Small Towns?

By: John Wilbanks, AICP, CNU-A

This article first appeared on Planetizen at www.planetizen.com.

By most accounts, demographic trends indicate that a larger percentage of Americans live in urban areas than ever before. Further demographic predictions suggest a reduction in family size and the increasing desire for the urban lifestyle. As a result of this increasing urbanism, a city-centered growth model continues to gain momentum in the philosophical and lifestyle preferences of both the shapers and occupiers of our urban environments. As America urbanizes and planning and development tools based on increased density (such as new urbanism, transit-oriented development, mixed use, infill, regionalism and regional blueprints and “greenprints”) gain in their application, what does this mean for planning efforts focused on small towns? Is the era of small town living as a preferred choice over or near ending? Are we to cease devising strategies to improve small town living?

A starting point may be to alter our perception of what it means to be urban. When we think of urban areas we typically conjure up an image of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, New York and other large metropolitan areas. In contrast, small towns are more mentally and emotionally connected to rural environments. However, the Census Bureau defines “urban” as a population cluster of 1,000 people or more. The EPA, in federal assistance legislation, has defined a “small town” as a city or town with a population of 2,500 or less. Ask anyone on the street, or in the planning profession, and the answers will range widely. I’ve lived or worked in towns ranging from 5,000 to over 65,000 that were clearly considered “small towns.” So, I would suggest that even small towns can be considered urban in character, which supports my premise that city-centered growth can be a model for sustainability, even for small towns. From my own intuitive and practical life experiences, small towns will continue to attract a portion of the population as a lifestyle choice and as such we small town planners should double down on the effort to protect the very essence of what makes small town living desirable. But doing this takes diligence and patience.

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KCOY Wake Up Central Coast: Your Home

RRM Architect, Randy Russom, was featured on the “Your Home” segment of the KCOY morning show, Wake Up Central Coast.  Randy talks about when to bring an architect on board for your remodel or new home project.

KCOY Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo – News


How to Have a Difficult Conversation

By: Susan Whalen, Chief Operations Officer

Resolving a disagreement with your co-worker, clarifying a misunderstanding with your manager—these are difficult conversations to have, and most people would rather avoid them. But by communicating clearly and listening well, you can have productive conversations with successful outcomes.

Most people struggle with clear communication; we can be concerned with hurting someone’s feelings, sending the wrong message, or personalizing the issue. People often imply what they want to say and fail to clearly state their objective(s). When the issue is implied, it leaves room for error and misinterpretation. Clear and direct communication is not rude or aggressive.

Read more »


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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®.