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73-710 Fred Waring Drive Suite 219
Palm Desert, CA 92260
29970 Technology Drive
Murrieta, CA 92563
6265 Greenwich Drive Suite 215
San Diego, CA 92122
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During the planning phase of a project, a decision is made to prepare either an EIR, to address over 25 issues to establish the significant impact on the project, or a negative declaration (ND) indicating mitigation of focused issues such as sensitive biology, archaeology, slope density, view sheds, roads, drainage, needed public facilities, endangered species. All issues must be addressed and mitigated before any entitlements will be approved for the project.
Generally, the project manager will select a team of specialists that have expertise in the specific issues related to each individual project.
Assignments are given, draft reports and studies are submitted for review to the project manager and filed with the city, county, state and/or federal agencies where the project is located.
After review and comments by the jurisdictional agency, the EIR or ND is put out for public review and public hearings.
When all of the reviews and comments have been addressed, and mitigation can be found for all of the issues, a negative declaration is issued and a final public hearing is scheduled for acceptance by the City Council, or County Board of Supervisors.
The EIR or NDs mitigation requirements are generally written into the Conditions of Approval for the project.
A map which accurately plots all existing features within the boundaries of a parcel of land.
Plot all exsisting trees, listing type and diameter of their trunks.
Show drainage areas, streams, and storm drains.
Show rock out croppings.
Identify wells, septic systems, and structures.
Indicate adjacent improvements such as Streets, Alleys, Utilities, Drainage, etc.
Properties which consist of an area larger than the Land Use element of the General Plan, are subdivided into several lots or parcels for sale or development.
Some rural tracts have more than one zone designation and land use category. As part of the subdivision process, the developer may file a specific plan to establish an overall density, land use designation, minimum lot sizes, etc. to maximize density and/or achieve the desired end product.
A proposed subdivision of land is scrutinized by many public and private agencies looking at access, water use, density, environmental constraints, public improvements required to serve all proposed units, and required open space to protect sensitive habitat and wildlife.
The subdivision process takes from two to five years for the processing and preparation of reports, public hearings, and improvement plans before one shovel of dirt is moved to begin building.
Most developers retain a Civil Engineering, Surveying, Planning and Environmental Studies firm to prepare several conceptual plans, cost estimates and environmental constraints maps before an application can be filed with the local agencies. A major subdivision of land consists of five or more lots. A minor subdivision, known as a Parcel Map, consists of four or less parcels.
Development projects generally have portions of the land which contain sensitive flora and fauna and/or archaeological sites whose types, quality and limits need to be mapped and quantified before the project is designed.
Steep slopes which would require extreme cutting or filling also need to be mapped.
Water courses such as streams, storm basins, areas subject to indundation, wetlands (seasonal or not), all need to be mapped prior to project design.
The development of an on-site mitigation plan and/or a listing of off-site mitigation options, based upon the findings for the items listed above, is mandated on every project.
During the planning phase of a project, the sensitive Project Limits
Environmental Constraints Map
Land Use Designations
Slope Density Analysis
Public Sewers or Area for Septic Systems
Public Water or Groundwater Analysis for Wells
Schematic or Master Plan
Site Development Cost
Regulatory Processing Sequence and Fees
Identify Property Boundary
Verify Legal Access
Surface Drainage Patterns
Potential Areas of Inundation
Sufficient Areas for Anticipated Development
Leach Field Locations or Public Sewers
Well Locations or Public Water System
Improvement Requirements On and Offsite
Two or three person survey crews will place control points for the grading contractors use in determining where and how much cut or fill is to take place to conform to the approval plans.
Survey crews set center lines and offset lines for water mains, gas and electric alignments, curb and gutter, and building corners so the contractor can grade, set forms, dig trenches, and set finish floor elevations in accordance with the approved plans.
Aerial Topography is generally used for project base mapping because more detail can be shown at less cost than conventional cross sections. The base map is digitally converted for CAD use, and specific portions of the project can be enlarged or enhanced for all types of Civil Engineering applications.
Prior to photography, our Survey Team starts by setting control panels at prescribed locations and then establishes a coordinate and elevation for each control panel.
A special camera mounted to the underside of an airplane, takes a series of overlapping photographs which are setup in a plotter to locate the field panels. By applying the field coordinates and elevation of each field panel, the plotter creates an accurate topography and natural features map.
A.L.T.A. Surveys are generally a requirement of most lenders. However, more buyers of improved properties and property that is adjacent to zero lot line setbacks, are now requesting A.L.T.A. Surveys prior to close of escrow.
These surveys show all structures, easements, encumbrances, and possible encroachments from/or to surrounding properties.
Set property corners for the first time or recover them as specified in the vesting deed and/or recorded map.
Mark and post property corners, and set Line of Sight points along the property lines.
Prepare Corner Record Cards, or Record of Survey Maps to memorialize the position of the property corner.
Confirm locations of property within a township, section and range in accordance with U.S. Government procedures.
Deed description analysis and historic research of public records to resolve boundary disputes, gaps and/or overlaps with neighboring properties.
Establish controls which govern the intent of deed descriptions for retracement surveys and senior rights.
Prepare property descriptions for subdivided lots, boundary adjusted parcels, quit claims and grant deeds.
Prepare easment descriptions for access and utilities serving subject property.
Environmental taking, preservation, and revegetation all require a plan with text identifying the resources and location on the project where these items exist.
Each plan specifically spells out the timing and thresholds for initiating the plan, Progress dates during revegetation, and monitoring for up to 5 years.
Easements are created surrounding exsisting resources on site. The easements are granted to the Country or City, prohibiting grading and structures. Additional fire clearing easements are also granted so as to limit any structure within 50 to 100 feet of any resource easement.
Most projects deal with the issue of destroying resources by combination of an on-site preservation easement and a purchase of off-site credits from an approved mitigation land bank. Off-site credits are usually at a multiple factor of 1, 2 and 4 times the on-site acreage that is being destroyed, at a cost of $10,000 to $20,000 per acre.
Identify Project Limits
Prepare Environmental Constraints Map
Investigate Alternative Access
Land Use Designation and Compliance
Slope Density Analysis/Steep Slope
Public Sewers/Area for Septic Systems
Public Water/Groundwater Analysis for Wells
Site Development Cost Estimates
All construction changes and modifications during construction are shown on a set of plans called Record Drawings or As-Builts.
As-Built plans are required on all construction projects whose bonds and permit security are on file with the regulatory agency.
Prior to release of the bonds and cash security, a set of As-Built plans are required by the regulatory agency to verify bonded items of work constructed.
Grading Plans are required for all grading, either excavations or import of more than 200 cubic yards, depending on the jurisdiction. The minimum yardage could be as low as 50 cubic yards in some cities.
All grading plans must include an erosion control plan, as well as Best Management Practices for quality control of all storm water run-off from the project, in accordance with the Federal Clean Water Act.
All grading plan submittals require a site-specific soil report prepared by a soil engineering consultant, who will also perform moisture content and compaction testing during the grading operation. Drainage and hydrology reports to size drainage systems for the proposed change in land forms, are also required.
Some jurisdictions require submittal of a conceptual grading plan for environmental and planning review prior to submittal of final precise grading plan.
We have successfully processed hundreds of grading plans and hydrology reports and would be pleased to be on your team.
Each development must be served with potable water and public sewer, or a septic tank and private wells.
Our Civil Engineering Staff will prepare a plan and profile indicating the source, pipe size, and service connection to each unit.
Public water and sewer system plans are prepared in accordance with the specifications established by water and sewer districts for each project.
Septic systems and wells are designed by our project engineer and regulated by the local County Department of Environmental Health.
Development of subdivided properties require new access roads to serve the newly created lots. Parcel Maps also require new roads to serve all parcels prior to the issuance of a building permit.
Each city and county jurisdiction have differing requirements for public and private roads. Each road has a defined level of service and is rated by it’s Average Daily Traffic (ADT). The higher the ADT, the wider a graded roadway and finished surface width is required. Some of the most common roadway categories are rural, urban, residential, arterial, and industrial.
Each road improvement must also have an adequate drainage system to maintain the road during a storm condition.
Indicate property boundary and serving access.
Indicate placement of all existing and proposed structures.
Indicate setbacks from property lines and adjacent public road and/or private easements.
Indicate driveways, water lines, sewer lines, or leach field locations; power, cable television, and other easments, overhead or underground.
Most site plans require some topography for clarity of drainage, retaining walls, floor elevations, etc.
Land Use Designation
Public Water and Groundwater Analysis for Wells
Regulatory Processing Sequence Fees
Chris Moore has 20 years of experience in the environmental and urban planning fields. He leads The Altum Group’s Environmental Planning group. He has managed or contributed to a wide variety of projects in Southern California, and throughout the United States, related to NEPA, CEQA, Endangered Species Act, Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, among other regulations. He has been involved in hundreds of development projects of many types, from early due diligence, through planning/permitting, construction-phase compliance, and post-construction restoration. He has experience working as a contract planner, providing development review and CEQA review services to various Southern California municipal planning agencies. He has provided environmental planning services for transportation infrastructure, renewable energy power plants, electrical transmission lines, water infrastructure, oil and gas pipeline projects, and residential, mixed-use, and commercial development projects. Currently, Mr. Moore serves on the City of Del Mar’s Design Review Board as an Ex-Officio Board Member. In recent years, Mr. Moore served on the City of San Diego, Carmel Valley Community Planning Board (CVCPB), and as Chair of the CVCPB Livability Committee.
Ms. Ferguson has 25 years of experience in land use planning and environmental impact analysis in California. She is has prepared planning and environmental documents for projects throughout the State. Ms. Ferguson has Bachelor of Arts in Geography from CSU San Bernardino, and completed all the coursework for Masters of Arts in Geography from San Francisco State University. She started her career at a small consulting firm in Marin County as a contract planner with the City of Sausalito, then worked as an Associate Planner with the City of Anaheim. Since 1990, she has been a planning consultant managing the preparation of environmental documents for a variety of projects including: mixed-use specific plans; general plan updates and amendments; residential subdivisions; commercial/retail centers; surface mine reclamation plans; and a variety of public works projects including landfill closures/expansions; new or redeveloped parks and recreation facilities; and infrastructure replacement/expansion projects (road widening, extension of water/wastewater or storm drain facilities, and new bridges). Throughout her career in the private sector, she has continued to work as a contract planner to municipalities, providing planning and environmental services to the cities of Indio, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, and most recently Colton. Ms. Ferguson is a member of the American Planning Association and the Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP). She currently serves as the Coachella Valley Liaison to the Inland Empire Chapter of the AEP. In addition, Ms. Ferguson serves on the Palm Springs Parks and Recreation Commission.
Mr. Ross offers over 30 years of experience in civil, water, sewer, and roadway design engineering. As Director of Engineering, Mr. Ross supervises the engineering staff with the goal of fulfilling the objective of clients. He is responsible for maintaining a high level of quality control. He is also responsible for providing design supervision and support for sewer, water, street, storm drain, and other civil improvements. His extensive work with such agencies as Caltrans, North County Transit District, Centre City Development Corporation, Ramona Municipal Water District; cities of Indio, Palm Springs, Oceanside, San Diego, Carlsbad, Vista; and the County of San Diego, make Mr. Ross’ expertise in dealing with public and private works projects very valuable to a Client.
Mr. Heise is a California Licensed Professional Land Surveyor, with over 30 years of Land Surveying experience. He earned a Diploma of Technology in Geomatics from the British Columbia Institute of Technology and performed land survey work on major projects in 27 States as well as internationally in Canada, Mexico, South America and South Africa. For the past 16 years, he has focused his career in California. Experienced on pipeline surveys, public lands, large area control networks, military installations, highway and railroad projects, wireless communications, construction staking, ALTA Land Title Surveys, Subdivision Maps, Condominium Mapping, Parcel Maps, easements, right-of-way, thousands of plats and legal descriptions, LandNet and Appraisal Maps as well as Record of Surveys and Corner Records, with countless hours of boundary survey work and experience, Steven is passionate about surveying. Certified for FEMA Elevation Certificates and Flood Zone Mapping (LOMA). Proficient in both Civil 3D and MicroStation. Steve is an active member of the California Land Surveyors Association, and current Past – President of the San Diego Chapter of the CLSA. He has taught the Boundary Principles section at the San Diego Chapters – California Specific Land Survey Exam Review Series, as well as the preparation course for the National Examination on the Principles and Practices of Land Surveying, at the CalTrans District 11 Facility.
Tonya Carnevale has over twelve years of experience working in multi-discipline consulting firms. Ms. Carnevale serves as liaison to the President and Vice President. She plays a key role in the development and implementation of innovative policies and procedures to increase project and operational efficiencies in the company. She assists the management team with contracts, budget preparation and legal assistance; and she overseas accounting, human resources, recruiting and staff development. Ms. Carnevale also oversees the project coordinators and administrative staff to ensure client satisfaction and overall health of the entire organization.
Mr. Bazua has twenty years of experience in Civil Engineering design. He joined The Keith Companies (Stantec) in January 1999 after five years of civil design work employed with Nasland Engineering in San Diego, CA. He utilizes CAD drafting and design support on all of his project work. He takes pride in successfully completing challenging projects. His “hands on” involvement with projects begins with planning-level design through preparation of construction documents for approval. His specific areas of expertise encompass street design, commercial and industrial site design, grading and land development, design of storm drain systems and preparation of hydrologic and hydraulic studies using StormCAD and WSPG software.
Mr. Franklin has over twenty years of experience in civil engineering design. A native Texan and moved to California while serving in the United State Marine Corps. After being honorably discharged, he attended California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering (1994). He has held various positions with organizations such as the County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, Deloitte & Touche, and The Keith Companies. Most recently and prior to establishing The Altum Group, he served as a Managing Principal (in charge of a local office) and Project Manager with a multi-national A/E firm. He is now the leader of all operational aspects of Altum where he is aggressively focusing on making Altum a leading consulting firm that excels in providing those professional services that meet or exceed the needs of public and private clients.
The Altum Group provided civil engineering and survey services for the remodel of the El Paseo Collection North located on El Paseo, north of Sage, now known as The Shops on El Paseo. Businesses involved in the remodel included Wolfgang Puck’s, Escada, and the Daily Grill.
The project includes a new building footprint of approximately 134,600 square feet in several buildings including, but not limited to a Buddha Hall, kitchen and dining hall, dormitories, office space, conference rooms, and class rooms. The remaining 24.3 acres surround this area and will be developed with parking lots, a perimeter road, and gardens, as well as a perimeter fuel modification zone of at least 100 feet around the project site. The Altum Group has provided LYMT with project management services including coordination with subconsultants and the local agencies involved, which are the County of San Bernardino, City of Rancho Cucamonga, and the Cucamonga Valley Water District. The Altum Group also provided civil engineering and survey services.
The Altum Group prepared an EIR for Colton’s Hub City Centre Specific Plan, which revises and amends a portion of the West Subarea of the existing West Valley Specific Plan adopted by the City in 1996. The project area is approximately 476 acres surrounding the County of San Bernardino’s Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC). The project area is characterized by vacant or underutilized properties, located north of the I-10 Freeway, and accessed from the I-10/Pepper Avenue interchange. The specific plan calls for the development of a new vibrant walkable community consisting of a diversity of uses including residential, retail, office, entertainment, hospitality, business park and open space. Several projects are currently being proposed since the adoption of the specific plan including the reuse of the former Moss Brothers auto sales site, a residential village and potentially a medical school campus.
The Portola Country Club project involved an intricate boundary retracement and topographic survey to prepare the base map for drainage improvements and property protection along the Whitewater Channel, which borders the country club to the south.
The Altum Group prepared an Initial Study for the project, which is located in the City of Upland. The project represents a combined effort by San Antonio Water Company (SAWCo) and San Bernardino County Flood Control District (SBCFCD) for groundwater recharge and flood control improvements for Basins 6, 7 and 8. Together, both entities are proposing a cooperative effort to improve these basins with SAWCo focusing on restoration of groundwater recharge improvements for Basin 6 and SBFCD focusing on maintenance and removal of accumulated alluvial deposits from Basins 7 and 8.
The Altum Group was selected by the project applicant for the Quail Valley Senior RV Park to expedite processing of a Conditional Use Permit with the County of Riverside for the extension of life to an existing “Permanent Occupancy” RV park by 30 years. The existing site consists of 288 typical 30’x50′ RV space sizes, an accessory pool/spa recreational facility, office/library, laundry, shuffle board and horseshoe courts, maintenance sheds, miniature golf course, and approximately 57 guest parking spaces. Quail Valley Senior RV Park is located within the unincorporated community of Desert Edge within the County of Riverside.
Altum was selected as the City of Indio’s on-call environmental firm for CIP projects for a three-year period beginning in March 2014. Our project manager, Nancy Ferguson, has worked with this agency on a number of CIP projects since 2005, and the City saw a need to have Altum take a more formal role to be responsible for the environmental permitting for all of its CIP projects that are not exempt from CEQA or NEPA. The first two projects are for improvements to Highway 111 through the City and include new traffic signals and medians, an additional through lane in each direction new ADA compliant facilities, and landscaping. The first project was completed with a NEPA Categorical Exclusion (CE) and CEQA Categorical Exemption (CE). The second, more comprehensive project is in process and technical studies are underway to support a NEPA CE (with studies) and a CEQA Mitigated Negative Declaration. Three other sidewalk improvement projects were also reviewed for CEQA compliance and each was determined to be exempt; CEQA CEs have been completed for these projects.
The Altum Group assisted the County of San Bernardino which owns and operates a small zoo in the City of Big Bear Lake. The purpose of the project is to relocate the zoo from the current 2.5-acre site where it has been located since 1959, onto a nearby 10-acre site. The County intends to update and expand the zoo in order to enhance its image and visibility, upgrade the animal care facilities and provide a self-sustaining, educational, and entertaining environment in the new Big Bear Alpine zoo. The new zoo will provide new animal care, exhibit and holding facilities while conserving existing natural resources along Rathbun Creek. Environmental issues addressed in the Initial Study include aesthetics and views; biological resources including a jurisdictional delineation; cultural resources, water quality and drainage (Rathbun Creek outlets into Big Bear Lake); noise and air quality particularly focused on the animal exhibits; and traffic, circulation and parking. In addition to permits required by the County to build and operate the site, additional permits are required from the Regional Water Quality Control Board, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Army Corps of Engineers.
CVWD has expanded their Mid-Valley Pipeline to transport recycled water to golf courses and other large landscape areas for irrigation. The Mid-Valley pipeline begins at Madison Street in Indio where the Coachella Canal crosses the Coachella Valley Stormwater Channel and ends at CVWD’s largest wastewater treatment plant in Palm Desert. The Altum Group designed the final extension, which connects the Pipeline to the Classic Club, including a bore of dual 24″ domestic ad non-potable pipes underneath Union Pacific Railroad and Interstate 10. The Pipeline was featured in the 2011-2012 CVWD Annual Review.
The Altum Group worked on the Washington Street Apartments Rehabilitation Project for the City of La Quinta. This redevelopment project is 11.32 acres with Phase 1 consisting of twenty-six proposed apartments, rehabilitation of seventy-two apartments, proposed common area buildings and a completely renovated site (parking, lighting, landscape, drainage, etc.). Phase 2 will be located on 5.2 acres of adjacent land and include 42 apartment units with connectivity to the common buildings constructed in Phase 1. Key agencies requiring coordination for this project are the La Quinta Housing Authority, City of La Quinta and the Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD).
Altum staff handled the preparation of all entitlement, preliminary and final design civil engineering plans and survey documents including a topographic survey; wet/dry utility coordination; demolition plans for site improvements including building, parking, and landscaping; conceptual and final precise grading plans; Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan; Preliminary and Final Water Quality Management Plan; PM-10 Dust Mitigation Plan; and all construction surveying.
The Altum Group provided engineering, surveying and mapping services for the Jaguar and Land Rover Dealerships, a high profile five acre portion of Highway 111 in Rancho Mirage.
Mr. Peroni has over 38 years of experience in municipal planning, environmental planning, and urban design. He is a graduate, with Honors, from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He had his own consulting practice (Smith, Peroni & Fox, Planning Consultants, Inc.) for 12 years and has served as a principal with other firms prior to establishing The Altum Group. Since becoming a consultant in 1979, he has served as office manager/principal as well as project manager on a variety of projects throughout the Inland Empire, representing a mixture of large- and small-scale land developments including resort, industrial, residential, recreational, commercial, energy, and public projects. Fulfilling a lifelong goal of creating a consultancy that exceeds expectations of clients and employees, he now leads Altum’s efforts in strategic thinking.