Raimi + Associates has extensive experience preparing a variety of comprehensive plans. These include general plans and vision plans in diverse communities throughout California, from completely urbanized cities to fast-growing towns. Our plans promote sustainability and public health, while advancing the principles of smart growth and new urbanism: encouraging compact design and a mix of uses, increasing walkability and transportation options, creating a sense of place, supporting existing communities, preserving natural areas, and relying on community knowledge. As a national leader in integrating urban design into its comprehensive plans, Raimi + Associates specializes in reinforcing community character and addressing building form and design in addition to just use and intensity.
A representation of our work is described below. Projects marked with an asterisk (*) were completed by a R+A team member before joining the firm.
The City of East Palo Alto was incorporated in 1983 and is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the Bay Area. With generous funding from the Strategic Growth Council, Raimi + Associates is working with the City of East Palo Alto on a multi-year effort to develop a new General Plan and zoning code for the City. The existing General Plan is out of date, and R+A is completing a comprehensive update of all elements, with a full citywide visioning and outreach process. The effort includes a stand-alone community plan for the Westside of the City, which provides a significant percentage of the affordable housing available on the entire peninsula, but which faces potential development pressures, ongoing infrastructure challenges, and a lack of consensus about whether new housing strategies, land use changes, parking improvement, or new open space are necessary or desirable.
A robust public outreach and participation program is centered around two public Advisory Committees – one for the General Plan and one for the Westside – with a diverse range of residents to provide input and guidance throughout the planning process. It is complemented by a public workshop series, stakeholder meetings with community groups and local leaders, and a significant social media and web presence. All outreach is bi-lingual in Spanish and English. The plan will address pressing issues in the community including affordable housing, public safety, infrastructures deficiencies, increased employment opportunities, public realm improvements, fiscal health, and the need for better transportation choices. Visit the project website
Raimi + Associates is currently working with the City of Hermosa Beach to provide the community with a customized General Plan Update and Local Coastal Plan Update. With only 20,000 residents, Hermosa Beach attracts an ongoing tourist community flocking to weekly events, beach, shopping, and recreational opportunities. The General Plan Update will support the active and thriving tourism community while supporting environmental sustainability and laying the groundwork for a carbon neutral future. Over the timeline of the General Plan Update, Raimi + Associates will work with community members, stakeholders, and key city staff to ensure the City maintains its attractive tourist niche as well as promoting a walkable, livable, sustainable environment for residents.
Highlights of the plan include ensuring that tourism remains core economic asset by crafting policies and land use patterns to support and preserve the resort and tourist economy of the City. R+A is carrying out robust community engagement program to create vision and goals for the community, by the community. A major element of the Plan is creating implementation strategies to support sustainable development as well as pave the road to make Hermosa Beach significantly more carbon neutral, by incorporating sustainability in policies and elements wherever possible, including land use, open space policies, and future development standards.
Raimi + Associates is updating the City of Coachella’s General Plan. With a population of just more than 40,000, the City is anticipating growing to 150,000 by 2035 and, as such, needs a plan that provides for practical, responsible growth. With these objectives, the General Plan Update has a strong focus on walkability, strong neighborhoods, and sustainability. To help the City realize their vision for the future and manage strong development pressures, the General Plan is incorporating many of the principles of New Urbanism, focusing on urban design solutions and a policy framework that will guide the form and character of the community. Visit the project website.
Raimi + Associates updated the City of West Hollywood’s General Plan, drafting or managing all elements of the general plan in coordination with city staff. West Hollywood is a diverse, vibrant and progressive community located in the heart of the Los Angeles region. It is home to many world-renowned places including the Sunset Strip, the Avenue of Arts and Design and the Pacific Design Center. At approximately 1.9 square miles with a population of approximately about 37,500, it is also one of the densest communities west of the Mississippi. The new general plan focuses on maintaining the community’s unique character while providing a design and planning vision for change areas of the City. R+A incorporated design and streetscape standards focused on the various unique districts within West Hollywood, as well as policies related to health and wellness, sustainability and climate change, and arts and culture. As part of the update process, R+A coordinated with a 43-member General Plan Advisory Committee that guided the policy direction of the General Plan. The updated General Plan is a leaner and more user-friendly document than its predecessor, and will guide efforts to maintain and enhance the City for decades to come. The West Hollywood General Plan was the winner of the 2011 Los Angeles Section APA Award for both Innovation in Green Planning and Small Jurisdiction Comprehensive Plan.
Raimi + Associates worked for the City of Mountain View and as a subconsultant to MIG on the preparation of the City of Mountain View General Plan update. R+A helped develop policy and write the General Plan, assisting with a variety of topics including land use, urban design, infrastructure, health, and sustainability. R+A also completed a sustainability existing conditions report in preparation for creation of the General Plan. R+A is a natural fit for the City’s strong focus on health and sustainability, which has including funding staff time, convening an Environmental Sustainability Task Force and a City Council sub-committee on sustainability, committing funding for environmentally preferable purchases, and securing a grant to address health more fully in its planning work.
Raimi + Associates is working as a sub-consultant to Sargent Town Planning to recommend updates to the Saticoy Area Plan and form-based zoning code. R+A’s role on the project focuses on planning, health, and sustainability, and includes incorporating the relevant standards of LEED for Neighborhood Development into the Area Plan. Old Town Saticoy is a former railroad and agricultural outpost in Ventura County that is now adjacent to the expanding City of Ventura and within its Sphere of Influence. Eighty percent of residents are Hispanic or Latino. The Old Town Saticoy area has high rates of poverty and with vacant lots and buildings in disrepair. However, the existing, compact development and significant historic buildings in Saticoy present the foundation to reinforce a unique and thriving mixed-use neighborhood, allowing residents to meet many of their daily needs within their own community. The revised Saticoy Area Plan and Form-Based Code will prioritize housing opportunities, better access to healthy food, incentives for greater economic development, greater access to jobs, improved walkability, and development regulations that foster a sense of place.
Florence-Firestone is an area of unincorporated Los Angeles County, which has several challenges including relatively high poverty and unemployment, deteriorated public infrastructure and streetscapes, and blight. R+A worked closely with the County staff and an advisory group of related agencies to engage the community in the visioning process. The process included several workshops in which community members have identified key issues and challenges for the area, prioritized the types of changes they would like to see take place in their community and developed a clear vision for the future of Florence-Firestone. R+A drafted a Vision Plan for the community, which is actively utilized by the County and assisted the County in obtaining two state grants for the Florence-Firestone community--one for economic analysis and one for a full community plan. In 2010, the Florence-Firestone Vision Plan received an Award of Excellence from SCAG in 2010 and an Education Project Award from the American Planning Association’s California Chapter, Los Angeles Section.
Raimi + Associates, in coordination with City of Santa Monica staff and a team of consultants, updated the Land Use and Transportation Elements of Santa Monica’s General Plan. The Plan won the 2010 Comprehensive Plan Award for a Small Jurisdiction from the California Chapter of the American Planning Associates, Los Angeles Section. As part of the project, Raimi + Associates also completed a stand-alone section of the General Plan update outlining how the City will approach sustainability and climate change. Raimi + Associates served as an extension of staff, assisting with a number of project management and technical policy development tasks. Raimi + Associates also led the development of the land use designation map; helped guide the identification of individual neighborhoods, districts and boulevards in the City; and helped translate the ideas and recommendations from the public workshops into specific policies and actions in the General Plan. In the General Plan, each individual neighborhood, boulevard and district and each major topic area (e.g., sustainability, public health, public facilities and services, etc.) included a discussion of existing conditions, a vision for the future and detailed policies and actions.
Raimi + Associates completed an update of the South Gate General Plan. Located 10 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, the City of South Gate is home to over 100,000 people, including stable neighborhoods as well as multiple corridors in transition. Raimi + Associates was the lead consultant on the General Plan update, managing the General Plan technical update process, including the Community Design Element, the Green City Element, and the Public Facilities and Services Element. One of the key accomplishments of the General Plan was to organize the City into neighborhoods, districts and corridors, and develop a targeted land use, transportation and design approach for each. The South Gate General Plan is also one of the first “form-based” comprehensive plans in the United States. It incorporates the principles of New Urbanism and – like a “form-based” building code – focuses on urban design solutions that guide the form and character of community, as opposed to conventional land use designations.
In addition, the General Plan included a stand-alone Healthy Community Element, which focused on physical activity, access to nutritious foods, transportation safety, and air quality. This Element, which was funded by the Kaiser Foundation, was one of the first “public health” elements adopted in California. Following adoption of the General Plan on December 8, 2009 on schedule and within its budget, Raimi + Associates completed an interim form-based zoning code for the major change areas of the community. This interim zoning met HCD requirements and enabled the City’s Housing Element to be certified by the State. The interim zoning ordinance was prepared from start-to-adoption in less than three months. The South Gate General Plan won the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Planning Association 2007 Public Outreach Award.
Los Angeles County retained Raimi + Associates (R+A) to direct a comprehensive visioning process for Lennox, an unincorporated community in Los Angeles County, directing the community’s long-term vision and direction. The Raimi + Associates-led effort resulted in a finalized planning document that will direct the community’s land use, urban design, open space, health, sustainability, circulation, and economic choices. As part of this effort, Raimi + Associates led the community outreach process, prepared a healthy community plan, and created a regulating plan and framework for a future form-based code. Raimi + Associates also developed Lennox-specific health and sustainability indicators to guide the process and set standards for success.
Matt Raimi served as the project manager and key staff person for a comprehensive update to the City of Tracy General Plan. Located just east of the greater Bay Area in the Central Valley of California, the city is experiencing heavy development pressure and more than doubled its population from 1980 until 2000. Mr. Raimi led a multi-disciplinary consultant team during the three-plus year project to develop the General Plan and EIR. Project issues included growth management and phasing, the location and design of infill development, revitalization of the downtown, the creation of mixed-use "village centers" across the city, improvement of residential design and character, and open space preservation.
While with another firm, Matt Raimi served as the project manager for a multi-year effort to update the General Plan for the Eden Area of Alameda County, an unincorporated area of the county between San Leandro, Hayward and the San Francisco Bay. The project used the Charter of the New Urbanism as a foundation and developed goals, policies and actions for neighborhoods, corridors and districts within the study area. The project also included extensive public outreach to the community with almost a dozen public workshops.
(Projects marked with an asterisk (*) were completed by a R+A team member before joining the firm.)