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We are pleased to celebrate the release of the 2017 OPR General Plan Guidelines!

This is a major milestone for California planning that follows several years of work that has been led by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR).

The 2017 OPR General Plan Guidelines is the first comprehensive update to the Guidelines since 2003 and addresses numerous new laws, requirements, resources, and research that affects General Plans. This includes the following legislation:

  • Environmental Justice (SB 1000) – OPR guidance is pending,
  • Resiliency and Climate Change Adaptation (SB 379),
  • Sustainable Communities Strategies (SB 375),
  • Flood Management (SB 5),
  • Vehicle Miles Traveled (SB 743),
  • Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities (SB 244),
  • Tribal Consultation (AB 52),
  • Local Hazard Mitigation Plans (AB 2140), and
  • Many more!

Beyond State law requirements, the 2017 OPR General Plan Guidelines also provide direction on topics including:

  • Healthy communities
  • Equitable and resilient communities
  • Economic development
  • Climate change
  • Renewable energy

Additional new features include a statutory checklist for all mandatory elements and a General Plan Mapping Tool.

For more information on the OPR General Plan Guidelines, visit the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research website:

El Dorado County Mixed Use Design Manual wins the 2017 Planning Award of Excellence in Urban Design!

In collaboration with Orr Design Office, Inc., Mintier Harnish prepared an innovative Mixed Use Design Manual to guide the development of historically sensitive, mixed-use buildings in the communities of Camino, Diamond Springs, El Dorado, Georgetown, Pollock Pines, and Shingle Springs. The Manual features 28 pages of easy-to-use guidelines and standards grouped by categories that include project dimensions and building design. The team illustrated each set of standards and guidelines with images and diagrams that make it easy for users to understand their intent. To further illustrate the standards and guidelines, the Manual contains an entire chapter describing how they could be used in an example community designed to mirror communities in El Dorado County. The project won the 2017 Planning Award of Excellence in Urban Design from the Sacramento Valley Section APA.

The award nomination was submitted in memory of Ted Holzem, Principal Planner at Mintier Harnish, and Cameron Hockenson, Project Designer at ORR Design Office, who were both integral members of the planning team for this project.

Fresno Multi-Jurisdictional Housing Element wins two APA awards!

Mintier Harnish, in collaboration with Veronica Tam Associates, prepared a Multi-Jurisdictional Housing Element for Fresno County and 12 of the 15 cities in Fresno County. The project involved coordinating with staff from the 13 jurisdictions to gather local data and develop a consensus on a regional plan for addressing housing needs for all 13 jurisdictions. The result was a single certified housing element for all jurisdictions. The Fresno County Multi-Jurisdictional Housing Element represents an innovative approach to meeting State Housing Element law and coordinating resources to address the region’s housing needs. The following jurisdictions participated in the effort: Fresno County, Clovis, Coalinga, Fowler, Huron, Kerman, Kingsburg, Mendota, Parlier, Reedley, San Joaquin, Sanger, and Selma. The project won two APA awards: the 2016 Outstanding Planning Award for Best practices from the California Central Section APA and a 2016 Best Practice Award of Merit from the California Chapter of APA.

MH: The Ever-Evolving Firm

This last year at Mintier Harnish has been chocked full of change. Sometimes change can be unsettling but as planners we know that change is one of the few things we can say is inevitable. Last June Mintier Harnish celebrated 30 years in business and we certainly have seen a lot of change since 1985. Larry decided it was about time to slow down and is now a part-time project advisor on several of our important projects. As a result, Jim promoted himself to Principal/Owner. Judy Harnish, the first and only firm business manager, logged her 31st year with the firm. Chelsey Payne, our fabulous Project Manager, marked her 9th year with the firm and celebrated the event by having a beautiful little girl (Jacqueline). Our Graphic Production Manager, Ryan Lester, has now been with us for three years and is largely responsible for elevating the firm’s publication quality to new levels. Two of our favorite planners, Dave Amos and Dov Kadin decided they didn’t know enough about planning (they are wrong) and returned to graduate school (both to Cal); Dave for his PHd and Dov for his Masters. In their place we have four new planners: Brent, Amy, Renee, and Rosa (see below). Our long time Office Manager, Theda Justiniani, returned for a second tour of duty after a three year absence. And last but not least, Bob Lagomarsino, the first planner Jim and Larry hired in 1985, returned to the Mintier Harnish fold after wandering in the corporate wilderness for 18 years.  Through all this change we continue to have exciting projects, great clients, and interesting new challenges.

Mintier Harnish

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