Our staff includes planning experts, each with his/her own unique combination of education, training, and experience. We are all dedicated to providing the highest quality service to our clients.

Planning Staff


Jim Harnish, JD, Principal/Owner
Full Resume

Jim has been a planner and manager for many large public agencies and private consulting firms since 1970. He is also an attorney with extensive experience in land use and CEQA. He specializes in project management for general plans, specific plans, and large private planning projects; CEQA compliance and environmental document peer review; zoning and regulatory ordinance preparation; and public outreach and consensus building. His broad experience, in both the public and private sectors, in land use planning, regulatory codes and ordinances, permit processing, environmental analysis, toxics and hazardous materials, wetlands and endangered species, and legal analysis enables him to bring a wealth of experience to every project. He holds a Juris Doctor from McGeorge School of Law (University of the Pacific) and a Bachelor’s Degree in California History from University of California, Davis.


Ted Holzem, Principal Planner
Full Resume

Ted has been a planner in both the public and private sectors since 2001. He has managed all aspects of general plan production, and has prepared plans for a diverse array of clients, from rural agricultural counties and small rural communities to large urban cities such as Sacramento and Stockton. Ted specializes in land use planning, public policy, planning law, public outreach and meeting facilitation, and management of multi-disciplinary consulting teams. He is a specialist in climate change and sustainability policy, which he has addressed in planning documents and as a panelist at local, state, and national conferences. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Community and Regional Development from the University of California, Davis.


Chelsey Payne, AICP, Project Manager
Full Resume

Chelsey has been a planner in the both public and private sectors since 2005. She has been involved in over a half-dozen general plan updates for small and large cities, as well as several rural counties. Chelsey has been involved in all stages of the general plan update process, including preparation of background reports, data analysis, GIS mapping, issues identification, complex alternatives analysis, community outreach, and policy development. She has specialized knowledge of housing element requirements based on experience preparing nearly 20 housing elements. She holds a Master’s Degree in Regional Planning from Cornell University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from Oberlin College.

Amy Yang, Planner
Full Resume

Amy Yang specializes in community development, healthy communities planning, international development, and geographic information systems. Prior to joining Mintier Harnish, she has been involved with projects concerning transit-oriented development, public park financing, and retail mix. She has also led efforts to analyze health care facility accessibility in Lower Manhattan, New York, and created an interactive online mapping tool for an emergency management agency in Ohio. Currently, Amy is involved with the Union City General Plan Update and Sunset Industrial Area Plan Update, while also providing writing, editing, research, and GIS support for a variety of other projects.

Renée Funston, Research Assistant
Full Resume

Renée is a research assistant specializing in housing, community development, and transportation. She provides research, writing, and editing for a variety of projects including general plan updates, housing elements, and regional plans.  Renée has experience working in both the public and private sectors. Prior to her position with Mintier Harnish, Renée interned with the City of Rancho Cordova Housing Division and Domus Development. She has been involved with affordable housing projects, Federal grant administration, and land use policy. Renée is currently working on her Master’s degree in urban land development at California State University, Sacramento. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in global studies from UC Santa Barbara.

Rosa Harroun, Research Assistant
Full Resume

Rosa is a research assistant with Mintier Harnish. Rosa is skilled in research, writing, document preparation, and community engagement. Prior to working for Mintier Harnish, Rosa worked for a variety of nonprofit organizations where she gained experience in direct services, research, and product design. Rosa has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Northeastern University, including coursework in political science and urban and regional studies in Boston and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Larry Mintier, FAICP, Project Advisor
Full Resume

Larry is one of California’s leading general plan practitioners. Since the founding of Mintier Harnish in 1985, he has worked for over 160 public agencies, law firms, and private clients. He supervised the firm’s work in preparing over 50 general plans, specific plans, and master plans; 70 housing elements; nearly a dozen zoning and subdivision ordinances; and numerous other special studies and projects. Many of these projects involved managing multi-disciplinary teams and the preparation of environmental impact reports. Larry specializes in land use planning and policy, housing, seismic safety, intergovernmental relations, permit facilitation, and land use litigation support. He has extensive experience in public outreach and consensus building, and is very effective interacting with staff, elected officials, stakeholders, and groups of people. He relates well to a broad spectrum of people and is an effective problem solver. Larry holds Master’s Degrees in City Planning and Public Administration from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Robert Olson, Senior Associate
Full Resume

Robert Olson is a Senior Associate with Mintier Harnish. He has over 45 years of experience (including 30 years as a consultant) in the emergency management profession. He brings a broad understanding of public policy, hazard mitigation, law, administrative operations, emergency response and contingency planning, public finance, and related subjects to this project. He has been honored for his contributions as a practitioner, manager, policy advocate, researcher, and planner.