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Mintier Harnish

About Us

Mintier Harnish is a consulting firm specializing in planning, development, land use, and environmental issues. Since our founding in 1985, we have served more than 160 public agencies, law firms, organizations, and companies.

Our mission is to help public agencies, residents, businesses, and other stakeholders plan their communities and improve their quality of life through solid research, community involvement, innovation, and policy leadership.

About Us

“I want to personally thank you for your hard work, effort and guidance to get these documents ready for release.  While this is an initial step towards adoption, I want to express my gratitude for this milestone.  The documents, including the RHNP, not only look great, but they are the culmination of an exemplary planning process and outreach effort which was improved from previous efforts.”

Jaylen French, Associate Planner/Project Manager, StanCOG RTP/SCS and Regional Housing Needs Plan

 Our Services

General Plans

Housing Plans


Regional Plans

Our Services

 Our Staff

Jim Harnish, Principal/Owner

Jim has been a planner and manager for many large public agencies and private consulting firms since 1970. He is also an attorney with extensive experience in land use and CEQA. He specializes in project management for general plans, specific plans, and large private planning projects; CEQA compliance and environmental document peer review; zoning and regulatory ordinance preparation; and public outreach and consensus building. His broad experience, in both the public and private sectors, in land use planning, regulatory codes and ordinances, permit processing, environmental analysis, toxics and hazardous materials, wetlands and endangered species, and legal analysis enables him to bring a wealth of experience to every project. He holds a Juris Doctor from McGeorge School of Law (University of the Pacific) and a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the University of California, Davis.

Rick Rust, AICP, GISP, Principal Planner

Rick Rust, AICP, GISP has more than 33 years of experience in the management and preparation of general and comprehensive plans, housing elements, specific plans, zoning codes and environmental compliance documents. His work is based on a comprehensive set of skills in community planning, downtown planning, urban design, economic development, environmental compliance, and community engagement. He also has an extensive background in the application of GIS technologies to planning.

For general and comprehensive plans, Rick brings extensive experience managing successful projects in California and nationwide. This mix of experience gives Rick insight into a wide range of issues and solutions developed in consultation with dozens of communities.

Brent Gibbons, AICP, Project Manager

Brent has been a planner in both the public and private sectors since 2013. He specializes in architectural applications, urban design, site design, land use planning, public policy, geographic information systems, regulatory code and ordinances, CEQA analysis, and community engagement.

Prior to working for Mintier Harnish, Brent worked for several San Joaquin Valley jurisdictions including Madera County and the City of Turlock where he gained experience in zoning ordinance development and the formation of community/area plans, as well as community park planning and design in conjunction with public health agencies. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Amy Yang, Associate

Amy Yang specializes in community development, healthy communities planning, international development, and geographic information systems. Prior to joining Mintier Harnish, she has been involved with projects concerning transit-oriented development, public park financing, and retail mix. She has also led efforts to analyze health care facility accessibility in Lower Manhattan, New York, and created an interactive online mapping tool for an emergency management agency in Ohio.

Currently, Amy is involved with the Union City General Plan Update, Folsom General Plan Update, Ventura County General Plan Update, and Sunset Industrial Area Plan Update, while also providing writing, editing, research, and GIS support for a variety of other projects.

Ryan Lester, Planner

Ryan is a planner with an eye for design. A skilled user of industry-standard graphic design software, Ryan specializes in preparing accessible, user-friendly materials that present planning concepts to the public in concise, easy-to-understand, and engaging ways. Ryan applies these skills while crafting existing conditions and trends analyses, objective design standards, land use alternatives analyses, and general plan elements for cities and counties throughout the state.
Additionally, Ryan specializes in objective design and development standards. In these projects, Ryan conducts stakeholder interviews, analyzes current guidelines, drafts objective standards, and produces informative graphics to illustrate key standards.
In seven years with Mintier Harnish, Ryan has worked on over a dozen General Plans and has contributed to nearly fifteen Housing Elements, including both 5th and 6th cycle updates. Ryan is currently drafting Objective Design and Development Standards for a half dozen cities/towns.

Michael Gibbons, Planner

Michael is a Planner with Mintier Harnish. He provides project support to a variety of long-term planning projects including zoning code updates, general plans, and housing elements. He has experience in land use planning, zoning regulations, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), urban design, architectural applications, historic preservation, real estate development, regulatory code, and public policy. Michael has worked in both the public and private sectors, most recently as a Planner for the City of Napa. Michael also has experience in public service where he served the community in which he lived as a law enforcement officer for the City of Napa.

Michael graduated with honors with a bachelor’s degree in City and Regional Planning, and minors in Sustainability and Real Estate Development from California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), San Luis Obispo.

RaĂşl Tovar Gonzalez, Assistant Planner

RaĂşl is an Assistant Planner with Mintier Harnish. He specializes in existing conditions research, disadvantaged unincorporated communities identification and analysis, GIS, and community engagement. Additionally, RaĂşl has experience in developing bicycle and pedestrian improvement recommendations, conducting site analysis, and planning and executing community engagement events. RaĂşl has contributed to general plans for the City of Livingston and the counties of Fresno and Kern, as well as the City of Carlsbad housing element update, and is currently serving on the Sacramento Valley Section American Planning Association Board as the News and Information chair.

Judy Harnish, CFO, Business Manager

Judy has been with Mintier Harnish since it began in 1985. As Chief Financial Officer and Business Manager, she supervises the administrative staff and oversees daily operations. She handles all accounting and financial duties for the firm. She is also the final editor of planning reports and documents. Her previous experience includes various administrative positions in commercial real estate and executive suite companies.

Theda Justiniani, Office Manager

Theda has been the office manager for Mintier Harnish for over 15 years. Her roles include project billing and maintenance, contract review, budget analysis, human resource manager, and managing everyday office activities. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of Phoenix, Sacramento.

Our Staff

“I wanted to congratulate you on a job well done. You handled this project very well. In addition to your great skills in planning and processing you brought a very high degree of professionalism and service. I will recommend you highly to anyone that asks.”

Ben Kimball, Deputy Executive Director, TCAG Regional Housing Needs Plan

Join our Team

Mintier Harnish continually seeks people who are enthusiastic about planning and who want to have a positive impact on communities. We pride ourselves in cultivating a work environment that is inclusive, team-oriented, and collaborative, while promoting accountability and self-growth through opportunities to work closely on all aspects of a variety of projects. Our values and commitment to hiring driven people who share similar goals, principles, and outward focus lead to lasting relationships.

Mintier Harnish seeks to be the place where individuals grow personally and professionally, as opposed to simply providing a job to a person seeking employment. The interests and passions of our staff lead and direct the firm’s activities, whether it’s venturing into new areas of planning and public policy or using state-of-the-art technologies and practices in our work. We look for creative, ambitious, and technical staff who embrace opportunities and create new ones for others. Because of our commitment to the growth of our team, many employees stay with Mintier Harnish for years and become leaders in the planning field.

As part of Mintier Harnish’s dedication to the planning profession, we offer internships to college students. If you are interested, email your resume, cover letter in PDF, and any work samples/links to with “Internship Application” in subject line. Limit email attachments to 5 MB. No phone calls or office visits please.

Join Our Team

Mintier Harnish

1415 20th Street | Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 446-0522