Services

Project Management

Working under the general guidance of the client, Howes Weiler and Associates (HWA) coordinates and directs the efforts of the development team.  HWA serves as the primary contact point for information from the project engineer, architects, landscape architects and environmental consultants.  HWA provides direction regarding tasks to be completed and coordinates the preparation of all exhibits, report and documents.

Permit Processing

HWA serves as the primary conduit for the processing of permits.  The permits that HWA have processed includes nearly all entitlement type permits available.  Additionally, HWA provides assistance in securing the grading, improvement plan and building permits.  As a component of permit processing, HWA takes on a lesser role than the project developer, HWA identifies and reviews all information to be provided to the local jurisdiction, serves as a sounding board for the exhibits, reports and documents being prepared and serves as the primary point of contact with the local jurisdiction.  HWA reviews all exhibits prior to submittal to ensure that they are in conformance with all applicable city or county requirements and adequately address any concerns raised by staff.

Master/Specific Plans

Although master plans and specific plans are very similar in form, the legal aspects of each of these documents are different.  These plans are documents that provide land use descriptions and development standards to an area that is to be developed in a harmonious and cohesive manner.  HWA serves as the primary preparer of these documents and coordinates the information and exhibits to be provided in the master/specific plan.  HWA writes the text, formats the document, prepares exhibits and is the primary point of contact with jurisdictional staff for questions and revisions.

Fee Studies

HWA has become familiar with the fee structures of various jurisdictions and has the ability to prepare a detailed, easy to use spreadsheet that provides the fees to be paid to the local jurisdiction for the processing of permits from the entitlement stage through building permits.

Due Diligence Reports

HWA conducts research regarding the development requirements/opportunities for vacant land.  This includes determining the entitlements needed, processing timeframes, development issues, local political issues, neighborhood opposition, permits from agencies other than from the local jurisdiction, fee studies, and overall project feasibility.

Annexations

HWA has the ability to process annexations through the Local Agency Formation Commission.  Many vacant properties located outside the city limits may be required to be annexed into the adjacent city.  The annexation process requires the developer and the city to work together to process the annexation application through LAFCO.  A number of reports and documents must be provided to LAFCO staff and ultimately go before the LAFCO Board at a public hearing for approval of the proposed annexation.  HWA can prepare all necessary documentation and build consensus among the adjacent land owners to facilitate the annexation process.

Municipal Service Review Plans/Service Area Plans

HWA has prepared a number of Municipal Service Reviews which must be conducted as a part of the annexation process.  These reviews are essentially a plan for providing public services.  The plan must demonstrate that adequate public facilities will be financed and constructed for the entire city was well as the areas of annexation.  The Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000 which is the governing legislation upon which LAFCO operates provides the parameters and requirements for changes to jurisdiction boundaries.

City Staff Extension

Based on their extensive city staff background, HWA offer has served as a temporary extension to planning department staffs for several local jurisdictions.  HWA has the ability to provide planning services from meeting with customers at the front counter, to plan checking, to complex project management requiring workshops and public hearings.  The principals and senior level staff at HWA have worked as an extension of city staff in the City of Murrieta, the City of Hemet, the City of San Marcos, the City of Solana Beach and the City of Vista.  Prior to entering the private sector, the principals and senior level staff of HWA served as staff planners for SANDAG, and the cities of Escondido, Carlsbad and San Marcos.

Development Impact Fee Programs

HWA prepares Development Impact Fee Programs for cities or counties.  Development Impact Fees (DIF) is a means to fund public capital facilities.  The impact fee program includes the preparation of a detailed report that identifies the facilities to be funded, the existing and future impacts on the facilities, the adequacy of the facilities, improvements needed to the facilities, the cost of the improvements and ultimately a fee to fund the facilities.  The principals at HWA have prepared impact fee programs in California, Idaho and Utah.

Testimony in Land Use Based Trial

HWA has staff available to serve as an expert for testimony in land use based trials.  In once case, an HWA principal provided expert testimony that the judge stated was “more convincing: than the defendant’s expert witness" thus resulting in a favorable judgment for the plaintiff.

Environmental Review

Compliance with state and federal environmental regulations can be one of the most complex aspects of any project.    HWA remains up to date on environmental policy trends, monumental court decisions and current statute amendments.  HWA has broad experience dealing with CEQA including the preparation of numerous Environmental Impact Assessments, Negative Declarations and Mitigated Negative Declarations.  Our team also has years of experience reviewing and commenting on Environmental Impact Reports, conducting Scoping Meetings and explaining the CEQA process to concerned neighbors.  Our experience helps clients resolve environmental and regulatory issues which allow projects to move forward.

Graphics

HWA offers a full range of creative design services to produce communication materials that are carefully conceived and visually compelling. Our array of computer software programs are used to produce graphics for design, analysis, marketing and public presentation purposes. All of our graphics are prepared in electronic format to allow for quick and cost-effective revisions as needed. Our graphics services can be provided alone, or be complemented with our planning, design and environmental services. Our product/services capabilities include: Multimedia presentations, geographic information system (GIS) mapping, website design, 3D modeling/visualization, illustrated land use plans, lotting studies, opportunities and constrains mapping, cross-sections, report exhibits, informational graphics, illustrations, advertising, brochures, publications, posters, digital photography, direct mail pieces and desktop publishing.  

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