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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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.

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RRM Named as a “Best of Houzz 2016 – Design” Winner

Remodeling and Home Design

Description of the award from Houzz:
The people have spoken. Or in the case of the Best of Houzz awards, the people have clicked. We recently counted how many times the more than 25 million monthly Houzz users clicked to add a photo to an ideabook in 2014. The professionals with the most popular of those photos — the most added to user ideabooks — earned a Best of Houzz 2015 badge that they can display on their profile pages. If you see a badge on a professional’s profile page, that means one of his or her designs generated a lot of buzz in the Houzz community last year.

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Santa Barbara Housing Authority Proposes 16-Unit Studio Project for Veterans

By Joshua Molina, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @JECMolina |  Published on 01.05.2016 6:46 p.m.
Local war veterans may soon have a new place to call home

The Santa Barbara Housing Authority has proposed 16 affordable studio units at 813 East Carrillo St., a block from Santa Barbara High School and the Santa Barbara Bowl.

The Housing Authority would demolish a two-story, 1,482-square-foot house currently on the site to build the studios, along with a 589-square-foot community center, a manager’s unit, manager’s office and laundry facility. The units will be available only to war veterans.

The project, which is proposed under the city’s Average Unit Density Incentive Program, received favorable reviews from the Santa Barbara Architectural Board of Review on Tuesday.

Members of the public, however, raised concerns about the parking portion of the proposal. The Housing Authority, and architect RRM Design, has proposed eight parking spaces for the 16 studio units.

The site plan for the 16-unit studio housing project includes a community center and manager’s unit.

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Sapwi Trails a priority for CRPD chair









From the Thousand Oaks Acorn:
By Andy Nguyen,

Longtime American Youth Soccer Organization coach and referee Chuck Huffer is eager to kick off his first term as chair of the Conejo Recreation and Park District’s board of directors.

Huffer was selected chair by his fellow board members at their Dec. 17 meeting. The term lasts one year.

“I’m excited about doing this. I’ve been on the board now for 3 ½ years and had the chance to work with some really fine board members,” said Huffer, who takes over for departing chair Ed Jones.

A priority under his chairmanship will be the continued progress of Sapwi Trails, Huffer said.

Although the 145-acre park in the Lang Ranch area isn’t expected to fully open until 2018, a disc golf course and an area for flying motorless glider planes is planned to be in operation sometime in 2016.

In November the CRPD approved a contract amendment with San Luis Obispo-based RRM Design Group to begin drawing up construction plans for the parcel of land that’s bordered by Erbes Road, Avenida de Los Arboles and Westlake Boulevard. Once the park is completed it will include miles of multi use trails, a track for mountain bikes and a playground area.

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Developers respond to aging workforce with senior housing

2014-07-31 Front Perspective

By Alex Kacik / Friday, December 18th, 2015
Link to article:

The Tri-Counties are preparing for the silver tsunami.

The oncoming wave is the surge of the country’s aging workforce. Nearly one-fifth of the U.S. population will be 65 or older come 2030, according to the U.S. Census.

There are dozens of housing developments in the pipeline throughout the Tri-Counties that aim to accommodate the rapidly growing demographic.

“The demand for senior housing is pretty significant and will likely continue,” said Winton Berci, an associate at the real estate brokerage company Marcus & Millichap’s Oxnard office.

The city of Santa Barbara’s Architectural Board of Review approved on Dec. 14 a 58-unit affordable senior housing development at 3869 State St. spearheaded by RRM Design Group Principal Detty Peikert.

Peikert is also behind another senior housing development at 251 S. Hope Ave. in Santa Barbara. That project would provide 89 studio apartments for low-income seniors.

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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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Santa Barbara High-Density Rental Housing Supported by ABR


A high-density rental-housing project on Santa Barbara’s Westside won support from members of the city’s Architectural Board of Review, despite objections from some neighbors of the proposal.

Architect Detlev Peikert brought a scaled-back proposal for 1818 Castillo St. to the ABR last week after the City Council rejected the previous project on appeal in July.

The new project addresses some of the concerns expressed during the first go-around. It has been separated into two separate buildings instead of one long rectangular mass, with eight uncovered parking spaces on site instead of below the building, inside garages.

Much of the three-story elements have been reduced, and the largest portions of the building have been pushed to the back of the property. The tallest part of the building is 35 feet instead of 37 feet.

“What we are looking at today is nothing like the previous project that was successfully appealed,” said ABR chairman Kirk Gradin. “If I were a neighbor, I would be very pleased with the changes that are now being proposed.”

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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®.