Specific Plans

We have helped over 10 cities and private developer groups prepare Specific Plans and Master Plans.  We have a thorough knowledge of Specific Plan law and implementation requirements.  We have been successful in preparing plans in some of the most regulatory-complex environments in California, including the Coastal Zone, San Francisco Bay shoreline, and the Lake Tahoe Basin. We work closely with our clients throughout the plan preparation process to assure sound and comprehensive plans that meet local, State, and Federal requirements. Our unequalled experience and broad expertise, particularly with large or complex projects, result in uniformly excellent plans and satisfied clients. We offer the following services:

  • General plan amendments
  • Work program, budget, and schedule preparation
  • Consultant team screening and selection
  • Overall project management
  • Project initiation
  • Stakeholder interviews
  • Website creation and maintenance
  • Community outreach
  • Land use planning and urban design
  • GIS analysis
  • Existing conditions analysis
  • Alternatives analysis
  • Visioning
  • Policy development
  • EIR coordination and evaluation
  • Meeting facilitation
  • Public hearings and adoption
  • Final document preparation


Recent Projects

Gold Rush Ranch and Golf Resort

We managed the preparation of a specific plan for the Gold Rush Ranch and Golf Resort project in Sutter Creek. The project was the largest proposed development project in Sutter Creek’s history, and was approved by the City Council after years of public discussion and input. Mintier Harnish’s specific responsibilities in the project included plan preparation, land use policy development, review and revision of the Project EIR, project team management, coordination with City staff, and meeting facilitation.

Major Work Products
Gold Rush Ranch and Golf Resort Specific Plan
The Boulevard Plan, Reinventing the Auburn Boulevard Corridor

We managed a multi-disciplinary consulting team in preparing a specific plan for the Auburn Boulevard corridor in Citrus Heights. The Plan provides a guide for the revitalization and enhancement of Auburn Boulevard between Sylvan Corners and Interstate 80. Preparing the Plan was a collaborative effort of the City of Citrus Heights, Consultants, and members of the public, including business and property owners, neighboring homeowners and renters, and the larger community. In 2005 the Boulevard Plan won the Honor Award from the Sacramento Valley section of the American Planning Association.

Major Work Products
Auburn Boulevard Specific Plan
Genentech Campus Master Plan and EIR

Genentech, the world’s largest biotechnology firm, retained us to provide oversight and peer review on the update of their South San Francisco Campus Master Plan and EIR. The plan included a three million square foot expansion of the campus, revised design guidelines, and zoning ordinance provisions. We reviewed and commented on all preliminary documents, served as Genentech liaison with the EIR consultant and City for the EIR, coordinated the plan and EIR content and application processing with City of South San Francisco staff, assisted in the negotiation of impact fees, and provided on-going advice to both Genentech and City staff on the project.

Mountain House Master and Specific Plans

We managed the preparation of one of the three specific plans for the new town of Mountain House in western San Joaquin County. Mountain House is envisioned as a new self-sufficient community offering employment, goods, services, and recreation. Land use and circulation are designed to encourage walking, bicycling, and transit use in a highly landscaped, visually attractive community. Residential development at Mountain House consists of 12 neighborhoods, each organized around a Neighborhood Center. At buildout Mountain House will include 44,000 residents, 21,000 employees, and 16,000 dwelling units.

White Mountain Golf Resort, People’s Republic of China

We were retained by China Golf Ventures, Inc., to manage the initial concept and design of a golf resort community on Hainan Island near Qionghai City, China. We formulated a development program for the 190-acre White Mountain Golf Resort that included: an 18-hole championship golf course; a 125-room hotel with conference facilities, a spa, and visitor center; a golf course clubhouse; two apartment (condominium) complexes; and 60 residential lots.  The Planning Team used this proposed development program as the basis for their site assessment, the Land Use Plan, and the Illustrative Master Plan.  We also assisted as a liaison between the development team and Chinese regulatory bodies.

Silver Tip Resort Village

We were retained by Pacific US Real Estate Group to amend the Silver Tip Village Specific Plan and project application.   Silver Tip Resort Village was an approved 45-acre resort in the small village of Fish Camp, near the southern border of Yosemite National Park in Mariposa county.  The project included a 137-room luxury hotel, 10,000 square feet of commercial space with apartment units to house merchants, and 30 rental cabins.  Soon after Pacific US Real Estate Group filed an application for the Silver Tip Resort Village, legal deficiencies were found in Mariposa County’s General Plan.  As a result their General Plan was found to be legally inadequate.  Under State law an adequate general plan is a precondition for finding a project is consistent with the general plan. We prepared amendments to the regulatory documents of Mariposa County and the Silver Tip application helped the project to be determined consistent with the General Plan, and later approved by the County Board of Supervisors.

Broadway Vision Plan

We participated in an Urban Land Institute (ULI) Technical Assistance Program to prepare a visioning plan for the Broadway Corridor in Sacramento.  ULI Sacramento and the Greater Broadway Partnership were provided a grant to help craft a vision plan for revitalizing the landmark Broadway district, which is located between Southside/Midtown and Land Park/Curtis Park.  This visioning effort included an active outreach effort, including a community forum and public workshop, that provides a guiding road map and investment strategy for successful economic revitalization within one of Sacramento’s most historic corridors.  As part of the effort, Mintier Harnish provided planning and policy expertise related to development along the corridor and surrounding areas.  We also designed outreach materials and prepared the draft and final Broadway Vision Plan.

Major Work Products
Broadway Vision Plan