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Latitude 33 Continues Diversifying

By November 1, 2019July 8th, 2020

Latitude 33 Continues Diversifying

Since our inception over 25 years ago, Latitude 33 has made diversity a core value. Initially founded by multi-talented staff, Latitude 33 was able to offer expertise in both planning and engineering under one roof. As we have grown, diversity has continued to be one of our core values—both in the type of services we offer and the projects we accept.

We are excited to report that Latitude 33 is more diverse than ever before. We have pursued team members who bring unique skillsets, and we have undertaken projects in new sectors. Today, planning, civil engineering, surveying & mapping, drone technology, and Geographic Information Systems are a few of the major services we provide. And more than ever, Latitude 33 serves clients in numerous sectors, including municipalities, private developers, hospitals, military, and educational institutions, to name a few. In this quarter, our newsletter features a few of our unique projects: a monastery, a world-class biotech research facility, and a crime lab.

Latitude 33’s scope and capabilities are extensive—and growing. Thanks for being a part of our journey.

Latitude 33 Leadership Team

Featured Story


Latitude 33 Succeeds with Approval of Phap Vuong Monastery

The Phap Vuong Monastery’s Major Use Permit was unanimously approved by the County of San Diego Planning Commission on June 21, 2019.

Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering recently had a long-anticipated success with the Phap Vuong Monastery. The Major Use Permit to allow for the construction and operation of a monastery was unanimously approved by the County of San Diego Planning Commission on June 21, 2019. Located at the southwest corner of Vista Avenue and North Ash Street in Escondido, the project is in the North County Metropolitan Subregional Plan Area.

The Phap Vuong Monastery will include a two-story, 8,272 square-foot religious assembly building, associated parking, and landscaping on seven (7) acres. The monastery will be open daily and host special events throughout the year. The beautiful new structure will feature meditation rooms, a kitchen, social room, and guest room on the first floor. The second floor will include four bedrooms and a sitting area for resident monks.

For this project, Latitude 33 provided both Planning and Engineering services, including continuous guidance and strategic advice to navigate the project through the entitlement process. With a number of design changes, the involvement of multiple municipalities, and solving issues with the sewer, the entitlement process was a six-year long process. Congratulations, Latitude 33 team, on this highly anticipated success!


UC San Diego’s Center for Novel Therapeutics Now Open

The Center for Novel Therapeutics at UCSD opened in September.

On September 6, 2019, The Center for Novel Therapeutics (CNT) opened at UC San Diego. The $92 million facility, developed by a public-private partnership between UC San Diego and BioMed Realty, pairs the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center with local research organizations as they work together to find treatments for cancer. The new CNT is home to the first academic-industry drug discovery incubator in San Diego to accelerate scientific discovery and commercialization.

The 137,500-square-foot CNT facility fulfills an important part of the UCSD master plan for East Campus in the heart of UC San Diego’s Science Research Park. Latitude 33’s services included design/build services with innovative site design and water quality treatment systems to achieve the building’s LEED Gold certification.

Other development team members for this project included: UC San Diego (owner), BioMed Realty (developer), McCarthy (general contractor), Perkins and Will (architect), LandLAB (landscape architect), EXP (Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing systems), and Coffman Engineers (structural engineer).

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Crime Laboratory Receives ENR Best Project Award of Merit

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Crime Laboratory was named a Best Project of 2019 by ENR California.

We’re very pleased that ENR Magazine named the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Crime Laboratory one of the Best Projects of 2019. The project was recognized with an “Award of Merit” in the “Green Project” category. This four-story crime lab features office space, laboratories, conference areas, training and interview rooms, two holding cells, a ballistics lab, and 60,000 sq. ft. of evidence storage in the waterproof basement. The project has achieved LEED Gold Certification for its numerous sustainable elements, including extensive daylighting, low-flow indoor plumbing, native plants with high-efficiency irrigation, and a photovoltaic solar array.

Congratulations to the development team: Lowe Enterprises, DPR Construction, SmithGroup, Lastras de Gertler Landscape Architects Inc., Dynalectric, AMC Mechanical, Degenkolb Engineers, Project Management Advisors Inc., Schuff Steel Co., and of course, Latitude 33’s outstanding team of civil engineers and planners!


Matt Semic, PE Named a Finalist for the San Diego Business Journal’s “40 Next Top Business Leaders Under 40”

Matt Semic, PE, Principal at Latitude 33 attends to the San Diego Business Journal’s “40 Next Top Business Leaders Under 40” Awards Dinner on August 28, 2019.

Congratulations to Latitude 33’s Principal, Matt Semic, PE for being a named a finalist in the San Diego Business Journal’s 2019 “40 Next Top Business Leaders Under 40” awards program! The recognition comes as 2019 has been the most significant year thus far in Matt’s career. His ability to lead a company and his civil engineering expertise are influencing some of San Diego’s largest and most consequential real estate projects. His most notable developments are for UCSD and the County of San Diego, collectively valued at over $1 billion. Congratulations, Matt!

Latitude 33 Welcomes Mike Caughey, PLS

Mike Caughey, PLS is Latitude 33’s newest professional surveyor.

Latitude 33 is thrilled to welcome Mike Caughey, PLS to the team. Mike is a professional surveyor with 22 years of progressive experience in surveying and civil design. He has extensive expertise in field surveying, boundary analysis, and preparation of survey maps and engineering plans. Mike joins Latitude 33 to strengthen the survey and mapping department services. He will assist Latitude 33’s team with managing survey field crews, overseeing office mapping, and drone services. He will also play a pivotal role in expanding Latitude 33’s in-house surveying services. Mike holds certificates in surveying and GIS, and FAA training. Welcome, Mike!

Sean Drake, P.E., QSD Returns to Latitude 33

Sean Drake, P.E., QSD has returned to Latitude 33, bringing his experience on nearly two-dozen NAVFAC SW projects.

Latitude 33 is pleased to announce that Project Manager Sean Drake, P.E., QSD has returned to Latitude 33. Sean has worked in the engineering field for 15 years. While he has experience in multiple project types, he has become an expert in military work, and is passionate about pursuing these projects. Since 2014, his experience has been in design and project management support for nearly two-dozen NAVFAC SW projects. Sean previously worked at Latitude 33 for four years, and has now returned to bring his military expertise to Latitude 33. We’re so glad to have you back, Sean!

Community and Culture

Latitude 33 Volunteers with Feeding San Diego

Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering and the ARRIVE San Diego Aviation Alliance partner together to volunteer at Feeding San Diego in August.

On Thursday, August 22, Latitude 33 partnered with the ARRIVE San Diego Aviation Alliance in volunteering at the Feeding San Diego warehouse. Established in 2007, Feeding San Diego is the leading hunger-relief organization in San Diego County. The organization feeds 63,000 people in San Diego each week.

For the volunteer event, Latitude 33 sorted apples, peaches, and nectarines to be offered in Feeding America’s Mobile Pantry. Serving predominantly rural areas in the North and East Counties of San Diego, the Mobile Pantry delivers food to underserved neighborhoods that have a high incidence of poverty and lack transportation to reach grocery stores or other food sources. These farmer’s market style distribution sites are offered across the County twice per month, often paired with nutritional education and other community resources.

Latitude 33 Enjoys a Day at the Races

On Sunday, August 11, Latitude 33 hosted our team and their families for a Day at the Races at the Del Mar Fairground. Latitude 33 employees and families had a great time mingling and getting an up-close look at the horses in action. Thanks to everyone who joined us!

Thank you for being a part of our planning and engineering family.
From the entire Latitude 33 team, enjoy fall!