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Land Planning 411 – The place for information on land use planning California, CEQA, and contract planning services.

What Successful Managers Look for in City and County Planning Services

Managers often find themselves in the position of looking for city and county planning services for a variety of reasons.


This can be for a short-term or longer period until a city or county is in the fiscal position to hire full-time employees.

Contract planning services support planning agencies in California as to ensure residents current and future levels of service remain excellent.

Successful city or county managers have learned one vital key to hiring the right planning services company in California – position compatibility.

Position compatibility is a new term referring to a concept being introduced to planning and business administration students.

It means looking at an open position as short-term or longer term and its compatibility with the specific contract planner being considered going beyond a resume.

Sample case study of position compatibility in the planning environment.

A position is open for an associate planner on an indefinite basis. A planning firm only has what would be called an over-qualified senior planner available.

On paper it looks like a bad fit, but with position compatibility it can prove to be very beneficial for all involved.

The manager wants to ultimately fill the position from within or through interviews, the contract senior planner at their career stage is not looking for a permanent position or the higher pay of a senior planner.

They are more than happy to bring their experience to the position and have no desire to rise through the ranks and compete with permanent staff.

The position compatibility should be asked about by a manager and a firm should be able to know their professionals well enough beyond the resume to know where they will do their best for a client.

Also, as our workforce stays at the job longer than traditional retirement age it’s a great time for city and county agencies in need of contract planning services to utilize position compatibility.

As a land use planning student, I was able to ask a respected planning professional (Gus Romothe Romo Planning Group , about position compatibility in the workplace.

The term was new to him, as it is something very new, but he did shed some fantastic insight about what I was asking in general.

“You know, it really comes down to people. When a client needs day-to-day staffing, I like to make sure not only is the resume excellent, but the person being placed is compatible with the current environment they are going to. If a city manager tells me ahead of time a contract position could become permanent, I send a talented planning professional that is already interested in moving from contract planning to permanent position. If they get hired by a client it’s a win-win, they got a qualified full-time employee and RPG did their job.”

They are not trying to make a part-time job into a full-time one by polluting a workplace with bad intentions. They are staying within their role being a productive asset as long as needed.”

Thanks for reading, if you need contract planning services California Gus Romoprincipal of Romo Planning Group can be of assistance.

Land Planning 411

RPG was established in 2001 by Mr. Gustavo Romo as an urban planning firm specializing in bringing the independent contractor directly to public agencies. After having worked as a city planner for more than 10 years and receiving his MBA degree, Mr. Romo began his business by providing land use entitlement services to developers and wireless telecommunication providers. In a short period, he found a niche serving as a project manager and interim staff planner for several Southern California jurisdictions and has since provided assistance to more than 30 communities at various capacities. Mr. Romo and his team have been contracting with cities and private developers as project managers and interim department directors, division managers, and staff planner for the last 20 years.

With 35 years of combined planning experience, Gus Romo and a network of independent city planners work through RPG to match their urban planning skills with temporary staffing requests and case-by-case assignments. RPG attracts independent planners by providing professional and commercial liability insurance, medical insurance, disability insurance, and technical and administrative support. Due to RPG’s low overhead costs, the contract planner retains a significant portion of the fees charged to the local jurisdiction or private client. The client, in turn, avoids paying the high rates often associated with larger consulting firms. As a result, planners seeking work through RPG offer diverse backgrounds and experience and are very adept in all aspects of the urban planning process.

Romo Planning Group provides planning expertise reviewing, coordinating, and executing mining entitlements and reclamation plans and associated documents and studies through both the lead agency and state review process of the Office of Mining and Reclamation (OMR). These skills sets include:

Determining the adequacy and completeness of mining entitlement applications and reclamation plans prior to initiating internal and OMR review of the documents in accordance with OMR’s October 18, 2013 review policy submittal.

Completing the internal “certification” review process of reclamation plans, water delineation reports, biological assessment reports, hydrology reports in accordance with the Lead Agency’s adopted SMARA provisions prior to peer review of the documents by OMR.

Statute and legislative expertise of SMARA’s mining, reclamation, procedural, and special use provisions, specifically, lead agency responsibilities and projects judged to be “substantial deviations” from their existing reclamation plan, except such areas where vested mining right protections prevail.

Coordinating and project managing both the SMARA and CEQA functions; following through on OMR comments; obtaining responses and interfacing with departments; and being responsive to management concerning the project’s status and hearing time-table.

Conduct Mine Inspections per SMARA PRC 2774 and SMGB Criteria. Includes: Project initialization-scheduling; File Review (Plan, COA’s, Groundwater/Re-vegetation reports); Initial FACE review; Map and Aerial Photo preparation; Travel; Site inspection (pre-inspection meeting and inspection);Report writing and data verification (i.e. photos);Edit/Review/Sign; Prepare and transmit SMARA letter to OMR; File Reports (electronic and hard copy); SMARA 3804 administration record-keeping, update database/spreadsheet.

Preparation of CEQA and NEPA compliance documents relating to all aspects of mining operations. RPG also prepares Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Studies, Biological Assessments, and Cultural Resource Assessments.

RPG personnel provide over thirty years of extensive experience executing mining entitlements, working with OMR personnel, including state and federal agencies and interacting at all stages of the mining permit process, which includes attending hearings and appeals at the state mining and geology board in Sacramento.
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