Services we offer

Responsible for due diligence research and costing of discretionary and ministerial real estate entitlements; preliminary cost estimates and determination if the conceptual project is financially feasible; and the management of the architects, civil engineers, geologists, environmental consultants, and specialty consultants in the preparation of all governmental and municipal approvals necessary for discretionary/ministerial entitlements, utilities (utility), and all other approvals/permits required by city, county, state, federal governmental agencies holding permit/approval jurisdiction over projects, such as:

  • Due Diligence Research Study or Studies – Due diligence is an investigation of a business or person prior to signing a contract, or an act with a certain standard of care. It can be a legal obligation, but the term will more commonly apply to voluntary investigations. A common example of due diligence in various industries is the process through which a potential acquirer evaluates a target company or its assets for an acquisition. The theory behind due diligence holds that performing this type of investigation contributes significantly to informed decision making by enhancing the amount and quality of information available to decision makers and by ensuring that this information is systematically used to deliberate in a reflexive manner on the decision at hand and all its costs, benefits, and risks.
  • Feasibility Study – An assessment of the practicality of a proposed project. A feasibility study aims to objectively and rationally uncover the strengths and weaknesses of an existing business or proposed venture, opportunities and threats present in the environment, the resources required to carry through, and ultimately the prospects for success. In its simplest terms, the two criteria to judge feasibility are cost required and value to be attained. A well-designed feasibility study should provide a historical background of the business or project, a description of the product or service, accounting statements, details of the operations and management, marketing research and policies, financial data, legal requirements and tax obligations. Generally, feasibility studies precede technical development and project implementation. A feasibility study evaluates the project’s potential for success; therefore, perceived objectivity is an important factor in the credibility of the study for potential investors and lending institutions. It must therefore be conducted with an objective, unbiased approach to provide information upon which decisions can be based.
  • Advocacy – Advocacy is an activity by an individual or group which aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions. Advocacy can include many activities that a person or organization undertakes including media campaigns, public speaking, commissioning and publishing research or conducting exit poll or the filing of an amicus brief. Lobbying (often by lobby groups) is a form of advocacy where a direct approach is made to legislators on an issue which plays a significant role in modern politics.
  • Zoning Research and Changes – The primary purpose of zoning is to segregate uses that are thought to be incompatible. In practice, however, zoning is used as a permitting system to prevent new development from harming existing residents or businesses. Zoning is commonly exercised by local governments such as counties or municipalities, although the state determines the nature of the zoning scheme with a zoning enabling law. Federal lands are not subject to state planning controls. Zoning may include regulation of the kinds of activities that will be acceptable on particular lots (such as open space, residential, agricultural, commercial, or industrial), the densities at which those activities may be performed (from low-density housing such as single family homes to high-density such as high-rise apartment buildings), the height of buildings, the amount of space structures may occupy, the location of a building on the lot (setbacks), the proportions of the types of space on a lot (for example, how much landscaped space and how much paved space), and how much parking must be provided. Some commercial zones specify what types of products may be sold by particular stores. The details of how individual planning systems incorporate zoning into their regulatory regimes varies although the intention is always similar.  Most zoning systems have a procedure for granting variances (exceptions to the zoning rules), usually because of some perceived hardship due to the particular nature of the property in question. If the variance is not warranted, then it may cause an allegation of spot zoning to arise. Most state zoning-enabling laws prohibit local zoning authorities from engaging in any spot zoning because it would undermine the purpose of a zoning scheme.
  • Land Use Studies and Changes – Land use involves the management and modification of natural environment or wilderness into built environment such as settlements and semi-natural habitats such as arable fields, pastures, and managed woods. It also has been defined as “the total of arrangements, activities, and inputs that people undertake in a certain land cover type.Federal, state, and local governments regulate growth and development through statutory law. The majority of controls on land, however, stem from the actions of private developers and individuals. Three typical situations bringing such private entities into the court system are: suits brought by one neighbor against another; suits brought by a public official against a neighboring landowner on behalf of the public; and suits involving individuals who share ownership of a particular parcel of land. In these situations, judicial decisions and enforcement of private land-use arrangements can reinforce public regulation, and achieve forms and levels of control that regulatory zoning cannot.
  • Preliminary City and County Planning Review of Concept Site Plan
  • Tentative Parcel Map, Tentative Tract Map, Final Parcel Map, Final Parcel Map approvals
  • Environmental Review under CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) and NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act), including ND (Negative Declaration), MND (Mitigated Negative Declaration), EIR (Environmental Impact Report), & technical studies such GHG (Greenhouse Gas), Noise Study, Traffic Study, Air Quality Study
  • Inclusionary (low cost) Housing Requirements
  • MSHCP – Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan & Endangered Species Studies & Management
  • Negotiation & Management of Mitigation Measures
  • Storm Water Management Systems, Hazardous Materials, SWPP & BMP’s
  • County Flood Control, Airport Authority, and FAA Approvals, Federal Aviation Administration
  • Traffic Studies & Transportation Design Issues, Review, & Approvals
  • Zone Change, General Plan Amendments, Specific Plans, Annexation
  • Discretionary Approvals including Design Reviews and CUP (Conditional Use Permit)
  • Dedications, Variances, Easements, & Lot Line Adjustments
  • Community Facility Districts &Subdivision Agreements
  • Street Lighting & Landscape Maintenance Agreements
  • Environmental Health Permitting
  • State Child Care Center Licensing
  • Offsite and Street Improvements & Fire Department Review
  • Approved Water (potable & recycled) and Sewer Plans, New Bus Connections & Will Serve Letters
  • OSHPD (Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development) Plan Check/Permitting for Acute Care Medical Facilities
  • Dry Utility Plans & approvals for electrical, telephone, internet, cable, and natural gas
  • Neighborhood Outreach Programs
  • Grading and Building Plan Check and pulling Grading and Building Permits
  • State and federal agency approvals/permits including Army Corps of Engineers (404 permit), Regional Water Quality Control Board (401 Water Quality Certification), the California Department of Fish and Game (Wildlife permits and Streambed Alteration Notifications), and the Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • Owner Representative Construction Manager responsible for oversight of general contractors & weekly on-site construction management meetings with general contractors, subcontractors, engineers, & architects. Coordinating all construction permits including Certificate of Occupancy
  • Development of Master Plans and Feasibility Studies
  • Substantial Conformance Review
  • Responsible for management of all client architectural and engineering interactions with governmental agencies holding land use, planning, and permit jurisdiction over projects such as cities, counties, state, municipal agencies, Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Water Quality Control, Department of Fish and Game; and water, electric, telephone, cable, and gas utilities. Provide coordination between developer, permitting agency and engineers/consultants; developing timelines/schedules to keep all entities (both the project design team and governmental personnel) accountable to goals, timelines and receivables; and documenting all key communications, commitments and non-compliance.
  • Discretionary approvals = project approvals that require or may require a public hearing before a government entity that has authority to exercise discretion in reaching a decision. The Discretionary Entitlement Process is a negotiation, subject to legal limits. The parties involved may include:
    • Applicant/property owner/agent
    • Public agencies
    • Community planning groups
    • Other special interests groups or agencies
    • Different Discretionary approvals are the following:
      • CUP – Conditional Use Permit
      • Variance
      • Major Use Permit
      • Minor Use Permit
      • Zone Change
      • General Plan Amendment,
      • Specific Plan,
      • Annexation
      • Substantial Conformance Review
    • Ministerial approvals are a government action performed according to legal authority, without exercising any individual judgment.