City and County Planning ServicesPublic Planning Agency Support Services
Civic Solutions has provided talented professionals to support public planning agencies in California for over twenty-five years. We provide day-to-day staffing, project management for critical discretionary entitlements, environmental review and CEQA documentation. We serve our municipal clients with competent professionals that are knowledgeable of the agency’s unique development requirements, provide outstanding customer service, and meet agency performance standards without close supervision.
Public Agency Planning Services:
Our staff helps to educate and assist the public, often by offering alternatives that will allow a resident or local business owner to move ahead with their project consistent with city codes.
Extension of staff
Day to day in-house services
Short term services available for temporary workload demand
On-call contract – pay only for time used
Long term services available to support core in-house staff
Project management for critical large scale projects
Assign street names and addresses for projects as required
Review grading, building, and demolition plans
Provide backup counter staff whenever requested
Our Approach to Planning Services
We will manage discretionary case applications according to City standards
We will use City electronic and paper files to research previous approvals. We provide planning services for our municipal clients in such a way as to integrate completely into the City’s environment. Staff is familiar with the City’s processes related to technical assistance, required forms, regulations and procedures. Our staff assumes full responsibility to serve as project manager for each case, handling every aspect of the process from the initial screen check and analysis through final hearing and closeout documentation.
We will prepare CEQA documentation
Our staff is capable of preparing environmental documentation and environmental assessments, including initial studies, negative declarations, program EIR checklists and mitigation monitoring programs to ensure compliance with CEQA. We keep current with State planning and environmental laws to ensure that our service is constantly in line with changes in legislation. Our staff are experts in managing and preparing CEQA documentation, findings for zoning and subdivision approvals, Streamlining Act mandates, General Plan requirements, and similar documentation.
We will coordinate with other departments, agencies and the public
City planning is typically a collaborative effort. Often applications, plans or questions relate to more city functions than just planning. We work with other departments to ensure consistency of comments. Our planners are experienced at working with engineers, building officials, inspectors, and others to incorporate comments, corrections and conditions on projects that are submitted to the Planning Department. Civic Solutions believes that it is important to keep communication open and frequent among all interested parties. We have professional planners who are trained facilitators and mediators to assist where appropriate.
We will prepare screen check comments, letters to applicants, and staff reports
Every City planning department has a unique voice. Staff reports, general correspondence, and even emails need to reflect consistency in that voice. Our planners are exceptional communicators. They have strong written communication skills and are able to prepare technical information in a manner that is easy for users to understand. An added quality that we offer our clients is for our staff to integrate their writing style into that of the client that they serve.
We will prepare staff reports, written correspondence and other documentation
Our written work will reflect the character, quality and culture of our client and will be consistent with those received from other members of the City’s team. Our research and reports will clearly lay out the issues and provide well founded recommendations consistent with client direction.
We will attend staff and community meetings
Integration into the community and city function is important to the success of our services. The Civic Solutions team will be available to attend regular or special staff meetings to provide updates on status for cases as well as to gain insight into policy and direction for development cases in general. Furthermore, our staff is qualified and has strong experience in conducting or supporting City staff in community meetings related to development cases, environmental scoping sessions, and town hall type discussions.
We will respond to inquiries and maintain open, business-friendly communications with the public
Citizens who come into City Hall or phone the Planning Department typically are in need of help regarding the City’s development regulations. They require help from staff with a patient, positive approach to working with them. This requires listening carefully to their objectives or concerns, educating them regarding City requirements, and suggesting alternatives consistent with City standards that meet their needs. Civic Solutions’ staff approaches this responsibility with a positive and helpful posture, making it their objective to leave a positive impression of City Hall on the applicant as well as to ensure that City standards are met. Our staff finds much fulfillment in helping the public solve their issues. Our team will ensure proper communication by opening, maintaining, and closing electronic and paper files in accordance with City procedures.
We will attend public hearings
Our staff is experienced in presenting reports and recommendations to various City Commissions and to the City Council. We will also prepare public meeting and hearing notices in accordance with City and CEQA requirements. Our planners have solid oral presentation skills and have provided services to City Councils and Planning Commissions by presenting development application reports, preparing and holding study sessions on policy recommendations, and responding to the Council and Commission on zoning code and general plan amendments.
We will manage the project schedule in accordance with the City’s adopted time frames
Civic Solutions staff manages planning applications so that projects stay on schedule even with multiple assignments, despite the complexity of the regulations and regardless of the need to coordinate input from other departments or agencies. We work to ensure that deadlines are always met for all phases of the process including CEQA documentation, determination of completeness, public notices, notices of determination and final action and certainly the internal deadlines for staff reports, etc. Civic Solutions’ staff, through the experience of processing thousands of discretionary cases for many jurisdictions, have developed the systems and capability to manage multiple project deadlines, maintain responsiveness to applicants and interested citizens, prepare written reports, correspondence and CEQA documentation, make presentations at hearings, and keep all the project assignments on schedule.
We are thorough and comprehensive
A final key element is thorough review and comprehensive communication. Our staff is known for its attention to detail and for providing all the information that applicants need in order to make informed decisions for their applications.
About Civic Solutions Professional Planning Staff
The firm employs professional urban planners at all levels and all have extensive public agency experience. Our staff includes Planning Technicians, Assistant, Associate, Senior and Principal Planners in addition to the principals of the firm. The firm provides professional development training for our staff on a regular basis and all stay abreast of state of the art best practices in urban planning.
We also provide clerical services, including recording secretarial services for Planning Commission meetings. Our collaborating partners supplement our staff for environmental, economic and urban design services.