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The Latest Happenings and Updates

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).

Latitude 33 Announces Five New Wins

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Latitude 33 Planning and Engineering has kicked off 2017 with five new project awards.  With a 50 percent increase in revenue and 20 new staff members in the last three years, Latitude 33 announces these new project wins as the company is experiencing steady growth.  These new projects are a result of the team’s strategic approach to becoming more diversified.

Since the beginning of 2017, Latitude 33 has been awarded the following projects:

  • City of Encinitas As-Needed Civil Engineering Services – Having already worked with and within the City of Encinitas for projects at San Dieguito Unified High School District and Scripps Encinitas, Latitude 33 was chosen to provide civil engineering design, consultation and support services on an as-needed basis to the City.
  • The City of Imperial Beach Senior Center – In partnership with Katz Architects, Latitude 33 was awarded this public works project.  This is the company’s second civic building project in the City of Imperial Beach.
  • UCSD Gilman Drive Sewer Improvements – This large infrastructure project is a direct result of Latitude 33 identifying a sewer capacity issue for UCSD and the City of San Diego.  The company was able to identify how this capacity problem affected the current campus and the university’s future plans.
  • Nuevo West Graduate Student Housing – In partnership with Hensel Phelps and Mithun Architects, Latitude 33 will be providing services for the second phase of the East Campus student and faculty housing project.
  • Pacific Highlands Ranch Library – Recruited by Hanna Gabriel Wells Architects (HGW), Latitude 33 and its team were awarded this civic building project.

Matt Semic, PE, Principal at Latitude 33, states, “In recent years, Latitude 33 has expanded its market sector diversification with more project awards in civic buildings, public works, healthcare, education and military sectors.  We are excited to bring our expertise to a growing roster of clients and projects in the San Diego region.”

Latitude 33 Helps Bring First F-35C Squadron to West Coast

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Sean Drake(far left), Latitude 33 Project Engineer and Sean Scaramella (far right), Latitude 33 Project Manager with the Jacobs Engineering Team at the Naval Air Station Lemoore with F-35C jet on January 25, 2017.

For the past three years, Latitude 33 has been working with NAVFAC Southwest Division and Jacobs Engineering Group on several projects at Naval Air Station Lemoore to support the incoming F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program. The first planes arrived on Wednesday, January 25, 2017. The pilots made a low-altitude flyover and mini air show before landing and taxiing to a hangar as part of an arrival ceremony. The event was attended by Latitude 33 team members Sean Drake and Sean Scaramella, and marked the historic arrival of the first F-35C squadron on the west coast. For more information about the event, click here.

Special thanks and recognition to Brad Sager, Bryan Bostenero, Laura Wood, Jason Gordon, Kyle Boyce, Brian Schroth, Shannon Davis, Angela Inciong, and Sean Scaramella for all their efforts throughout the years on these projects.

Newsletter – Fall 2016

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November 2016
Planning For The Future
Little Italy Hotel Breaks Ground
Award Winning Leadership
Supporting S.A.Y. San Diego

Planning For The Future: Latitude 33 Helps Shape What San Diego Area Will Look Like

For any project to be successful, it needs a plan and the Latitude 33 Planning team can create one to fit any scope or need. Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering has extensive project experience within the Southern California region. Through high-level, hands-on involvement, the firm’s leaders provide a unique blend of strategic and operational expertise.

This guidance includes providing sound industry advice and direction throughout the project’s life span. Proactive incorporation of planning skills, combined with project management to ensure compliance with jurisdictional regulations and focus on key relationships, help to provide an integrated team approach with projects and problem solving.

Specialized tactics that frequently support Latitude 33’s planning efforts include:

  • Entitlements
  • Land Use Consulting
  • Feasibility Studies
  • General, Community and Specific Plans
  • Master Planning
  • Public Presentation
  • Political and Community Outreach
  • Project Management
  • Graphics and Illustrations
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Visual Simulations

If your project requires an experienced planning team with the knowledge, culture and track record to get work done, the Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering team is ready to help.


Carte Hotel & Suites San Diego Construction Gets Underway

Carté Hotel & Suites San Diego officially broke ground on Sept. 9 in downtown San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood. Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering, in association with Pierpoint Management, LLC and Tucker Sadler Architects Inc., is overseeing site engineering efforts on the project, located at 401 W. Ash St. This 14-story hotel will include 240 upscale guest rooms and suites along with a restaurant, wine shop, full-service upscale athletic club, outdoor pool with spa and meeting space. The 151,248-square-foot project includes about 3,900 square feet of street-level retail space and 127 parking spaces on two levels of subterranean parking. The hotel is set to feature a 2,000-square-foot plaza that fronts Ash St. and include 24-hour valet parking.

Carté Hotel & Suites San Diego will have LEED Gold Certification upon completion. Construction is anticipated to take 18 months and the first hotel guests can expect to check-in starting in June 2018.


Jim Kilgore Named BIA San Diego's 2016 Engineer of the Year; Matt Semic Selected by San Diego METRO to its 40 Under 40 List

Latitude 33 associate principal Jim Kilgore (left) and Latitude 33 principal Matt Semic (right)

Jim Kilgore was named Engineer of the Year by the Building Industry Association (BIA) of San Diego during its 2016 Icon Awards held at the Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego on Sept. 17. Kilgore, a registered civil engineer with more than 30 years of experience, earned the top honor from San Diego’s leading construction industry association in a category that fielded a record number of submissions.

For the second consecutive year, Latitude 33 had one of its team members named to San Diego METRO’s 40 Under 40 Awards. Matt Semic was officially recognized on Sept. 15 at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center in Mission Valley. Semic, a registered civil engineer with more than 14 years of experience, earned acceptance into this prestigious list of young professionals that includes some of San Diego’s best and brightest achievers in a wide range of industries.


Newsworthy Items ... Just In Case You Missed It

To celebrate Latitude 33’s 23rd anniversary of operation, the team donated and filled backpacks with school supplies for the Social Advocates for Youth (SAY) San Diego’s Back-to-School program. 23 backpacks were filled for elementary school students and 23 were filled for high school and middle school students for a total of 46 backpacks provided. Unfortunately, many San Diego families are unable to support their kids with essential items like pencils and notebooks. That is why Latitude 33 wanted to help local youth in the area that are registered with the SAY San Diego program.

San Diego City Councilmember Mark Kersey (5th District) presented Latitude 33 with a proclamation on Sept. 23, the company’s 23rd anniversary, to officially declare the day as Latitude 33 Day in the city of San Diego. It was a tremendously special honor for Latitude 33.

Latitude 33 was well represented at the 5th Annual Giro Di San Diego Granfondo. This celebration of cycling, food and San Diego’s coast was held on Sept. 11 in Solana Beach. Proceeds from the event supported the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s Project Rebound.

Some avid Latitude 33 hikers recently ascended Mount Baldy, located in the Angeles National Forest. The famed mountain is one of Southern California’s most challenging regional hikes.

Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering
9968 Hibert Street, 2nd Floor, San Diego, CA 92131
P: 858.751.0633 | F: 858.751.0634

Newsletter – August 2016

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August 2016
GIS Mapping – The Planning Backbone;
Community Character Analysis:
Giving Back and Hitting the Streets

Latitude 33 Helps Communities Look Ahead with Geographic Information Systems Mapping

Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering offers the latest in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. GIS integrates hardware, software and data capturing, managing, analyzing and displaying of geographically referenced information. GIS plays a critical role in identifying, tracking and updating how campuses, especially schools, universities, hospitals or large businesses, plan and update infrastructure for the future.
In many ways, GIS technology reveals relationships, patterns and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports and charts. Latitude 33’s team of planning and engineering experts can ensure your campus information is quickly and accurately integrated into any enterprise information system framework. Here are a few of the benefits GIS can provide:
  • Faster response time during emergencies
  • Smarter forecasting, master planning and budgeting
  • Reduced maintenance cost and increased efficiency
  • Improved compliance reporting for local, state and federal agencies
In preparation for increased demand in GIS services, Latitude 33 recently added project engineer Shannon Davis to its GIS team. Davis has been with Latitude 33 for four years and will support growing this line of service.
“The capabilities GIS has to increase efficiency in utility maintenance and long-range planning is really exciting,” said Davis. “I’m looking forward to helping Latitude 33 expand its reach in San Diego’s GIS community.”

If your campus infrastructure is due, or maybe even overdue, for an assessment, the Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering team is ready to help.


Unbiased Analysis Plays an Important Part in a Project's Design

Maintaining community character plays a vital role in the design of any project. Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering works collaboratively with public agencies, clients and community members to provide an unbiased analysis of a project’s impact on visual quality, visual character and land use compatability relative to its proposed neighborhood. This report includes extensive research of the community’s aesthetic and developmental trends.

Visual simulations render realistic and accurate portrayals of project dimensions to better communicate ideas such as massing, vicinity, location and impact. It allows the public to understand a project and interact with the design process. Through community outreach and public feedback, the  community character analysis  aids to develop a project in a way that reflects both the community and client(s).


Firm's Internal Group Focuses on New Ways to Approach Planning

Latitude 33’s Future Planning Team (left to right): Randi Coopersmith, Clay Ost, Miles Leandro, Jon Arenz, Jason Gordon, Shannon Davis, Isabel Stonehouse and Sean Scaramella.

Being an industry leader, it should come as no surprise that Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering recently established its own Fut ure Planning Team. Serving as an internal source for ideas, the group is actively discussing how tools like laser scanning and virtual reality can impact its planning for projects and tasks. The technology isn’t new to planning, but empowering junior-level team members to take a more hands-on role in the idea planning process is.
Latitude 33’s Executive Team will engage the new Future Planning Team to play a much larger role in the way that the company looks at its planning and how different types of work will be performed.


Newsworthy Items ... Just In Case You Missed It

Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering’s founders, staff and their families celebrated the July 4th holiday by participating in the Scripps Ranch Old Pros Run and Ride. 2016 marked the 38th Annual 10K Race & Fun Run and 29th Annual Bike Rides. Founded in 1982 by Scripps Ranch residents, the Old Pros raise money for community youth and high school sports programs.

Food insecurity is a real concern for 13 percent of San Diego’s population. The Latitude 33 team recently donated its time to help Feeding America San Diego pack boxes of food at its Sorrento Valley warehouse for those in need. More than 151,000 area children don’t know if and when they will get their next meal, so Latitude 33 strongly encourages you to  get involved and make a difference.

Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering
9968 Hibert Street, 2nd Floor, San Diego, CA 92131
P: 858.751.0633 | F: 858.751.0634

Newsletter – October 2015

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Latitude 33 logo

October 2015
Education projects take shape;
Executive team expands by two;
Latitude 33 turns 22

Latitude 33’s commitment to education takes shape in many forms, including projects in San Diego County. Serving as executive campus engineer for UCSD, the firm is working hard to bring the new Mesa graduate student housing project to life. Design is close to wrapping up so construction can begin with an early 2017 opening date expected. The finished product will provide a net gain of 1,035 beds from what currently exists on the site. It’s all part of a major campus expansion and update to accommodate more students and give greater area flow through road improvements, new bike lanes, increased bus service and expanded trolley access.

The University of San Diego recently opened its high-tech Betty and Bob Beyster Institute of Nursing Research. Latitude 33 provided civil engineering services for the design, permitting and construction on this three-story project, adjacent to the existing Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science Building on campus. Conceptual design, schematic design, design development, construction drawings, bid support and construction administration were additional services that the firm provided. This facility will support extensive training for current and future nurses.

Click here for an in-depth look at Latitude 33’s education projects.


September 23, 1993 is the day it all started

Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering is proud to celebrate 22 years of operation. The firm recently took a moment to enjoy how far it has come and look back at how its incredibly talented team has grown through the years. Latitude 33 has worked with so many wonderful people and contributed to amazing projects during the past 22 years. The team is very thankful for today and excited about what the future holds. Thank you to everyone for believing in and supporting Latitude 33.


Newsworthy Items... Just in Case You Missed It

In August, Tara Lake and Giovanni Posillico were promoted to partners at Latitude 33. The addition of them as associates expands the firm’s leadership to eight. Each brings a depth and breadth of knowledge and experience in both the industry and San Diego to Latitude 33’s management team. A firm laden with talented professionals, these two leaders represent the best and the brightest at Latitude 33.  Click here for the official partner announcement.

Katie Yee has joined Latitude 33 as its director of business development and marketing. A San Diego State graduate, she has more than 13 years of marketing experience in town working in housing, construction and engineering. Her local industry involvement includes CREW San Diego, UCREW, BIA and Downtown San Diego Partnership among others. Recognized by SD METRO Magazine as a  40 Under 40 Award winner for 2015, please welcome Katie to the Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering team.

On September 15, the San Diego City Council unanimously approved the Union-Tribune mixed-use project in Mission Valley that will include 200 rental units, retail, creation of a river walk promenade and a pocket park for the community to use. In addition to the city council, community groups like the San Diego River Park Foundation and Mission Valley Planning Group along with the San Diego Planning Commission all voted to support this plan.

Latitude 33 senior principal planner Randi Coopersmith spoke with U-T reporter Roger Showley about approval of the project  here. The Mission Valley News talked with Latitude 33 senior associate Matt Semic on how the riverfront development will transform the San Diego River into an asset instead of an afterthought  here. Construction could start as early as summer 2016.


This annual industry event was held on September 19 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla. Katie Yee (who was a BIA Consultant of the Year finalist), Brad Sager, Gio Posillico and Melissa Krause attended on behalf of the entire Latitude 33 team.


This social media campaign helped celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Latitude 33. It provided a look back at what was going on in San Diego in 1993 and what Latitude 33 team members also looked like at that time.

Newsletter – July 2015

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JULY 2015
The Entitlement and Planning Process:
What It Means Exactly and How It Works

Projects Need a Plan and Purpose – Latitude 33’s Behind-the-scenes Leadership Makes It Happen

Led by senior principal planner Randi Coopersmith, senior project managers Melissa Krause and Tara Lake
deftly guide Latitude 33’s team of entitlement and planning experts through working on projects of all scopes and sizes.

A prime example is Latitude 33’s cornerstone project, Pacific Highlands Ranch (PHR) Subarea. The project encapsulates what the entitlement process is all about. PHR includes a master-planned community, village center, mixed-use housing, schools and preserved open spaces among other things. Development of the land included an extensive approval process that involved multiple regulatory agencies to create a positive, impactful neighborhood inside the northern city limits of San Diego, where none existed prior to its creation.

In-depth research and planning, coordination with government agencies and community groups, strategic public outreach and incorporation of ideas from key stakeholders, along with time invested to secure permits and approvals, the construction process for PHR has been all encompassing. Latitude 33’s steady leadership made the project a reality over the course of the past two decades.

Also, Latitude 33 successfully led bi-national entitlement and planning efforts on the San Diego-Tijuana International Airport Cross-Border Terminal Facility, set to open in November 2015. Known as Cross Border Express, the unique international airport link required working

simultaneously with both the U.S. and Mexican governments. Security and international infrastructure were among a lengthy list of issues that had to be addressed as did overseeing approval from many layers of government agencies on both sides of the United States-Mexico border.

For more information about Latitude 33’s planning and entitlement process or its catalog of projects, please contact Melissa Krause at

Welcome To Our Expanding Brain Trust – Melissa Krause

Melissa Krause recently joined the Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering team as senior project manager. She has more than 17 years of experience as a project manager in residential construction throughout Southern California. Her professional experience ranges from entitlements to land development as well as land feasibility and planning to asset management among other areas. Professional accomplishments for Krause include working on major infill, commercial and master-planned communities in San Diego and Los Angeles. She earned her degrees from National University (graduate) and Northern State University (undergraduate).

Preparing San Diego’s Next Generation of Planners And Engineers

Latitude 33 was proud to sponsor the ACE Mentor Program in San Diego again this year. ACE (Architecture Construction Engineering) hosted its 12th Annual Awards Banquet at San Diego Marriott Mission Valley on May 20, 2015. More than 600 students, parents and ACE mentors attended this event that highlighted student projects and honored scholarship recipients.

Participating ACE Mentor high schools included: Castle Park, e3 Civic, Eastlake, El Camino, Helix, Hoover, Kearny, La Costa Canyon, Patrick Henry, San Diego, Santana, Southwest. Latitude 33 looks forward to continuing its support of this valuable training program that helps prepare local students to be the planners and engineers of tomorrow.

Helping Out Habitat for Humanity in Escondido

14 team members from Latitude 33 volunteered their time and construction skills to help build houses for the community of Escondido on June 12, 2015. Below are images from the project site.