The Latest Happenings and Updates

Fall 2017 Newsletter

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Latitude 33 Launches Drone Service

Above: Latitude 33 drone pilots include Allan Ramos and Austin Baber. Bottom left: Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute. Bottom right: Pacific Highlands Ranch.

Hello, and welcome to the fall 2017 edition of the Latitude 33 newsletter. It has been an exciting quarter! Perhaps most exciting is that Latitude 33 recently announced it is now offering drone services to its clients. The aerial images and 3D modeling of a project site can be used during entitlements, site planning, and tracking progress during construction. A highly valuable service, Latitude 33’s drone images can help facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration and improve communication during planning and construction.

Latitude 33 employs two highly trained drone pilots, Allan Ramos and Austin Baber, who are licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly remote aircraft. With two pilots, Latitude 33 utilizes industry best practices. Both pilots are present for all flights. One pilot maintains a visual on the drone at all times, while the other pilot operates the drone

The drone allows Latitude 33 to capture high definition photos and videos, and model the site features and terrain in 3D, which can be used for planning, presentation, or preliminary design purposes. Latitude 33’s drone technology can be used for any size property, and is already being used for its existing clients. The drone offers numerous advantages over traditional aircraft photography, including:

  • Faster turnaround.
  • Images can be captured on cloudy days.
  • The drone operator can work from a considerable distance and not worry about natural or artificial barriers to the sight lines.
  • Images are high resolution and serve a variety of users. They can be transmitted, shared and printed. Software can turn them into topographical maps, bird’s-eye view images, 3D models, point cloud, orthorectified images, and more.
  • Drones present no safety risk for the operator and eliminates risks to ground and air personnel.
  • They are an environmentally friendly option. Battery-operated drones don’t produce toxic fumes.

Latitude 33 uses the latest state-of-the-art technology including Agisoft PhotoScan, and all work meets National Map Standards.

Please enjoy several other updates in our latest newsletter.


Latitude 33 Leadership Team


Mesa Nueva at UC San Diego Opens

Mesa Nueva at UC San Diego opened for fall quarter, beginning September 28, 2017.

Mesa Nueva is UC San Diego’s newest housing project north of La Jolla Village Drive and west of Regents Road. The project was opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony on September 27, 2017, in time for graduate and professional students to move in for the start of fall quarter, September 28, 2017. The new development replaced 86 older units which were built nearly 50 years ago. With 1,350 new beds, the residential community is one of the largest graduate and professional student housing facilities in the country.

Mesa Nueva features furnished units in studio, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom designs. Mesa Nueva was designed to meet the need for housing and provide students with a greater sense of community. Shared amenities include social pool with spas and splash zones, a brew pub, outdoor lounge, a small grocery store, and more. Mesa Nueva is an integral part of UC San Diego’s Long Range Development Plan to house at least 50 percent of eligible students on campus. The addition of Mesa Nueva to UC San Diego’s housing options brings the total up to 40 percent, with additional projects underway. The Mesa Nueva Housing community was designed and built with a number sustainable building strategies, aiming to achieve LEED Gold certification.

For this project, Latitude 33 provided guidance to the team for an optimum site design solution that addressed all environmental, water quality, and retention concerns. Congratulations to the entire development team on a job well done!

Katie Yee Serves as Moderator for CREW “Women in Local Politics” Event

Katie Yee moderated CREW’s “Women in Local Politics” event with a VIP roster of panelists
Left to right in above photo: Katie Yee, Chief Relationship Officer with Latitude 33; Racquel Vasquez, Mayor for the City of Lemon Grove; Kristal Jabara, Councilmember for the City of San Marcos; Kristin Gaspar, County Supervisor for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors; and Rebecca Jones, Vice Mayor for the City of San Marcos.

Latitude 33’s Chief Relationship Office, Katie Yee, recently served as a moderator for Commercial Real Estate Women’s (CREW’s) “Women in Local Politics” event on September 25, 2017. The distinguished panelists included:

  • Kristin Gaspar, County Supervisor for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors
  • Rebecca Jones, Vice Mayor for the City of San Marco
  • Kristal Jabara, Councilmember for the City of San Marco
  • Racquel Vasquez, Mayor for the City of Lemon Grov

Over 70 guests enjoyed meeting each elected official, learning about their personal stories, and hearing more about each representative’s unique community.

Katie Yee is not only involved with CREW, she is actively involved in the Building Industry Association (BIA), The Urban Land Institute (ULI), and the Downtown San Diego Partnership (DSDP).


Dedication Held for Paseo de Colachis at USD

Above: Paseo de Colachis at the University of San Diego. Below: Latitude 33 team members at the Paseo de Colachis dedication on September 26, 2017. Pictured from left to right are: Justin Listar; Brad Sager; University of San Diego President, James T. Harris III, DEd; Jon Arenz; Katie Yee; and University of San Diego Associate Dean & Professor of Industrial Engineering, Rick Olson, PhD.

On Tuesday, September 26, 2017, Latitude 33 attended the dedication for Paseo de Colachis on the campus of the University of San Diego (USD). The new plaza, located near The Immaculate Catholic Church, replaced a two-way street and is part of the school’s plan to make the campus more pedestrian friendly. The new walkway includes a grass lawn named “the Student Commons” and a mini amphitheater. This new green space also includes many sustainability initiatives, including drought tolerant grass and a high-tech watering system that will be used to minimize the amount of water needed to maintain it. Now, the “Most Beautiful Campus in the Nation” (named by the Princeton Review) is even more beautiful.

Latitude 33 provided grading and improvement plans to expand USD’s central pedestrian promenade from the existing Colachis Plaza to Plaza de San Diego (approximately 800 linear feet of improvements). Great job, Latitude 33 team!


Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute Earns Numerous Awards

The award-winning Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute

The Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) is a new 345,650-square-foot LEED-certified facility, located on UCSD’s East Campus. ACTRI provides infrastructure and support for scientific research throughout San Diego, and expedites the translation of discoveries into therapies. The organization also facilitates the training and education of new researchers. For this project, Latitude 33 provided schematic design, design development, construction documents and construction administration services.

In recent months, Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute has been honored with the following awards for design excellence:

  • The Best Southern California Project in Higher Education/Research by Engineering News-Recor.d
  • An Orchid at the 2017 San Diego Architectural Foundation’s Orchids & Onions Awards. The Orchids & Onions is the only interactive, community-based program geared towards raising awareness and encouraging practical discourse in response to San Diego’s built environment.
  • A Citation Award at the AIA San Diego 2017 Design Awards, which honored thoughtful and innovative design over a broad range of categories.

Congratulations, team!

Community and Culture

Latitude 33 Survives Boot Camp

The Latitude 33 team at the MCRD Boot Camp Challenge

On Saturday, October 14, Latitude 33 participated in the MCRD Boot Camp Challenge, sponsored by the Associated General Contractors (AGC). Boot Camp Challenge offers civilians the opportunity to experience a small taste of Marine Corps boot camp. This race features obstacles used by Marine recruits, with over 60 Marine Corps Drill Instructors staffing the course. Congrats to all participants for surviving boot camp!

Thank you for being a part of our planning and engineering family. From the entire Latitude 33 Team, happy Fall!

Upcoming: Did you know that Latitude 33 celebrated its 24th year in business? Stay tuned for some exciting announcements and events highlighting our 25th Anniversary in 2018!


August 2017 Newsletter

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Continued Success for Latitude 33’s Planning Department


Hello, and welcome to the summer 2017 edition of the Latitude 33 newsletter. We are excited to report that we have a number of new projects underway!

You may have noticed Latitude 33 and our Friars Road project featured in on July 17, 2017. This is one of numerous recent successes our Planning Department has to report. Several others include:

  • Unitas – A small, five-lot subdivision within the Pacific Highlands Ranch community, this project was unanimously approved by City Council on July 11, 2017.


  • Laterra – Also at Pacific Highlands Ranch, this is a 69-unit, multi-family project which was approved by the Planning Commission on May 25, 2017.


  • Friars Road – Located on a 5.43 acre site, directly across from Fashion Valley Mall and the Fashion Valley Transit Center, this 319-unit project will consist of two buildings with eight and nine stories of residential homes, over two stories of parking and six shopkeeper units. This project received approval from the City of San Diego Planning Commission on April 20, 2017.


  • Pacific Highlands Ranch 8/9 – This project included the rezoning of an entire neighborhood for 515 single family homes, approved by City Council on April 11, 2017.


  • Aperture – This campus-style employment center at Pacific Highlands Ranch, designed by Gensler, includes five commercial buildings at 630,000 square feet. Aperture received substantial conformance approval on February 8, 2017.

Our planning staff has over 40 years of experience working on a variety of highly complex projects. We believe in the projects we take on, and we are strong advocates on behalf of our clients. Congratulations to our Planning Department!

Below, please enjoy our latest newsletter.


Latitude 33 Leadership Team


Featured Project


Latitude 33 Attends the Groundbreaking for The Center for Novel Therapeutics at UCSD


Latitude 33 joined the development team for the Center for Novel Therapeutics for the official groundbreaking of UCSD’s Science Research Park on April 11, 2017. Second from the right: Brad Sager, Principal and Jon Arenz, Project Manager.

Latitude 33 was excited to attend the groundbreaking for The Center for Novel Therapeutics at UC San Diego on April 11, 2017. The facility, developed by UC San Diego in a public-private partnership with BioMed Realty, will be a new home for university and local research organizations as they work to find treatments and potential cures for cancer and other chronic diseases. The new Center for Novel Therapeutics will be open to faculty and commercial researchers. It will also serve as a training center for students and post-doctoral fellows in drug discovery, and create shared resources and learning forums for academic and private-sector scientists.

The building will consist of 110,000-square-feet of medical office/research space and fulfill an important part of the UCSD master plan for East Campus in UCSD’s Science Research Park. Latitude 33’s services include design/build services with innovative site design and water quality treatment systems to efficiently meet the facility’s LEED requirements.




Latitude 33 Celebrates Grand Opening of Atmosphere

Latitude 33 Principal, Matt Semic, PE (left) with Project Manager, Clay Ost, PE, (right) at the Atmosphere grand opening.

On May 31, 2017, Latitude 33 along with Wakeland Housing & Development celebrated the grand opening of Atmosphere. This 31,800-square-foot downtown San Diego project consists of 205 units of affordable apartments, with 51 units set aside as permanent supportive housing for residents who have recently experienced homelessness, and a small commercial component. The project has 12 stories of living spaces with an incorporated green roof, parks, courtyards and three levels of underground parking. Latitude 33 assisted with discretionary permits, construction documents, and parcel maps. At the event, we were honored to have Wakeland Senior Project Manager, Jack Farris, dedicate their plaque to the Latitude 33 team.

Congratulations to the entire team for a job well done!




Shannon Davis Wins ASCE San Diego/Imperial Counties Outstanding Younger Engineer Award for 2017

Latitude 33 celebrates Shannon Davis’ win of the ASCE San Diego/Imperial Counties Outstanding Younger Engineer Award for 2017. Top Row, left to right: Kyle Boyce; Giovanni Posillico, PE; Shannon Davis; and Katie Yee. Bottom Row, center: Vanessa Tarronas.

Latitude 33 is pleased to announce that Senior Project Engineer, Shannon Davis, was recently honored with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) San Diego/Imperial Counties Outstanding Younger Engineer Award for 2017. Shannon is an integral part of the Latitude 33 Planning and Engineering team as both an engineer, a team leader, and an enthusiastic supporter of our company culture.

In addition to all she does at Latitude 33, Shannon has become a role-model for young women considering or pursuing an engineering career. Through Shannon’s involvement in ASCE and Engineers Without Borders (EWB), Shannon has served as a mentor and leader to encourage and support students in engineering. As the EWB San Diego Student Liaison for UCSD/USD/SDSU, she has taken on a leadership role where she can actively work with students to provide hands-on mentorship, resume advice, career counseling, and advocacy.

As a leader with EWB’s San Diego Chapter, Shannon is also using her profession to make a difference on an international scale. She seeks to use her expertise to help meet basic human needs and help communities across the globe thrive. Shannon not only contributes to the engineering profession by mentoring the future leaders in her field, she also believes her profession can contribute much in addressing the challenges faced across the world today.

Congratulations, Shannon, for this well-deserved honor!


Community and Culture


Latitude 33 Paintball Tournament

TThe Latitude 33 team at their paintball tournament.

On Friday, May 5, Latitude 33 hosted a team building event by bonding over a couple games of paintball at Velocity Paintball Park. Nothing says team building like shooting at your coworkers! Thanks to all for joining our fun event!


Latitude 33 Rock Climbing Event

The Latitude 33 team gearing up for rock climbing.

Facing fears, increasing trust and improving communication were all underlying themes of our latest team building event on July 21. Latitude 33 headed out to Mesa Rim for a team building event climbing, scrambling, and clawing their way together up the climbing walls. Working together inside and outside of the office keeps our team strong and unified!



Latitude 33 Team Bowls a Strike

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The Latitude 33 team at Mira Mesa Lanes bowling alley.

On Friday, March 3, Latitude 33 hosted their quarterly team building event by heading out to Mira Mesa Lanes for some friendly competition at the bowling alley.  Five teams of five players each did their best to split, spare, and strike their way to victory.  While all teams put up a good fight, team I can’t believe it’s not gutter ultimately won bragging rights.  Thanks to all for joining our fun event!

Latitude 33 Sponsors Dream Big Movie Premiere

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The Latitude 33 team representing the firm at the premiere.  From left to right are: Shannon Davis, Evan Wickstrom, Vanessa Tarronas and Adam Fischlin

Latitude 33 was a proud sponsor of the ASCE Dream Big: Engineering Our World movie premiere during Engineer’s Week in February.  The film takes viewers on a journey of discovery to witness how today’s engineers are shaping the world of tomorrow. The film is designed to:

  • Inform the public about what engineers do, helping to heighten interest
  • Inspire young people to consider a career in engineering
  • Answer the demand for K-12 engineering education resources

The event was well attended and the film received rave reviews.


Brian Schroth Becomes Design Engineer

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Brian Schroth has been promoted from Designer to Design Engineer. Brian continues to show great versatility and has been a huge asset to many groups within Latitude 33. He has shown the ability to adjust to new challenges and isn’t afraid to take on tasks outside of his comfort zone. Brian is an exemplary employee and we are lucky to have him as a part of the Latitude 33 family.

Austin Baber Promoted to Design Engineer

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Austin Baber has been promoted from Designer to Design Engineer.  He has done an outstanding job with design, report writing, client management, and proactively looking ahead at tasks to be completed or follow up that needs to occur with clients and other consultants.  Austin has also been an integral part of our new Drone Services team.

Aric Barreras’ Hard Work Recognized

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Aric Barreras has been promoted from Design Engineer to Sr. Design Engineer. Aric has been with Latitude 33 for four years and has shown tremendous growth over his career. He has been heavily involved in numerous projects throughout Pacific Highlands Ranch and has been a huge part of Latitude 33’s success within the community. He is hard working, and is a great example for younger engineers looking to succeed in this challenging field.

Clay Ost Serves as Latitude 33’s Newest Project Manager

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Clay Ost has been promoted from Senior Project Engineer to Project Manager.  Clay has been with Latitude for over five years and has flourished in his role not only technically, but as a leader.  He has earned the respect of key legacy clients and has shown the ability to juggle large projects and demanding deadlines.  Clay has become a go-to resource for water quality knowledge, and his expansive skillset has become a key component in the growth of his team and the engineers he mentors.  Clay is an essential asset to Latitude 33 and a welcome addition to the Project Management team.

Latitude 33 Makes Melissa Krause Associate Principal

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Latitude 33 is pleased to announce that Melissa Krause was recently promoted to Associate Principal.  Ms. Krause has taken the lead on building and maintaining relationships with the firm’s public and private developer clients.  Melissa has spent the past 20 years successfully managing projects for large residential developers in San Diego County.  Her experience and ability to “think like the client” has added to Latitude 33’s already successful planning team.  She will contribute to strategic planning, and be an integral part of the leadership team moving forward.  Ms. Krause was a finalist for the San Diego Business Journal’s 2015 Women Who Mean Business Awards.  Ms. Krause earned her B.S. in History from Northern State University, and her M.S. in Instructional Technology from National University.  She is currently involved with the American Planning Association and the BIA.

Katie Yee Becomes Latitude 33 Shareholder

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Katie Yee is now a shareholder of Latitude 33 and Chief Relationship Officer.  In this role, Ms. Yee will pursue new prospects, and work to maintain positive client relationships.  Internally, Katie will assist in the strategic planning and direction of the firm as well as focusing on shaping company culture.  Ms. Yee was named among the top “40 Under 40” by the San Diego Metro Magazine, and a finalist for “Consultant of the Year” by the Building Industry Association (BIA) of San Diego. She earned her B.S. in Psychology from San Diego State University, and is actively involved with Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), The BIA, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the Downtown San Diego Partnership (DSDP).