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Latitude 33 Continues Diversifying

By Newsletter

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!

Latitude 33 Recognizes Outstanding Women

By Newsletter

Welcome to Spring!  This month, we take a moment to acknowledge the outstanding women who make Latitude 33 a success. 
According to the 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics data, only 14 percent of full-time workers in the architecture and engineering fields are women.  In a field dominated by men, Latitude 33’s fearless women serve as role models and trailblazers for other young women.  As noted below, two of our female leaders were recognized with regional honors this quarter.
Latitude 33 is thrilled to recognize all of the outstanding women who provide indispensable skills, expertise, leadership, diligence, and dedication to our team.  Thank you, ladies, for all you do!
Latitude 33 Leadership Team

Featured Story


Latitude 33: Striving for Diversification

Since our inception over 25 years ago, Latitude 33 has been a company with a multi-talented staff allowing us to offer expertise in both planning and engineering.  As we have grown, diversity has continued to be one of our core values.  We have pursued team members who bring unique skillsets to our firm.  Planning, civil engineering, surveying & mapping, drone technology, and Geographic Information Systems are a few of the major services we provide today.


Latitude 33’s increasingly diverse team and services have contributed to the growth of our expertise and relationships.  More than ever, Latitude 33 serves clients in numerous sectors, including municipalities, private developers, hospitals, military, and educational institutions to name a few.  From urban neighborhoods to suburban communities, Latitude 33’s scope and capabilities are far-reaching.

The following are two of Latitude 33’s current projects: The Glen at Scripps Ranch and UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest. Both serve as examples of Latitude 33’s diverse project types, and the variety of planning challenges that Latitude 33 can overcome.

The Glen at Scripps Ranch

Latitude 33’s planning team made major contributions to the 53-acre, state-of-the-art Glen at Scripps Ranch.

Project Description
Continuing Life Communities is developing a new retirement community at Scripps Miramar Ranch called the Glen at Scripps Ranch.  The community consists of 400 assisted living units in various configurations (villas, garden terraces, and apartment style), 50 acute assisted living units (16 of which are memory care units), and 60 skilled nursing.  The 53-acre, state-of-the-art project will also include learning centers, a lecture hall, library, auditorium, fine art facilities, tennis & pickle ball courts, gardens, dog parks, short-game golf course, fitness center, movie theater, tech & business center, pool, sauna, and Jacuzzi. It is the first continuing care retirement community to be built in San Diego in nearly 10 years. The project is anticipated to be complete in November 2020.

Services & Challenges
The Glen at Scripps Ranch is an example of how Latitude 33’s Planning and Engineering departments work together seamlessly to benefit the firm’s clients.

Latitude 33 was chosen to be the lead consultant for the entitlement phase of the development.  The firm’s experience, network of strong relationships with local agencies, and access to other resources were invaluable in obtaining the entitlements.  The project entitlements included a Community Plan Amendment, Conditional Use Permit, and Planned Development Permit—a process which began four years ago.  The property was previously owned by Alliant University, and needed to be re-zoned as residential.

Throughout the entitlement process, Latitude 33 provided vital project management services to keep the project on schedule.  Latitude 33 worked closely with the consultant team, owner, and City of San Diego to strategize and determine the best approach to challenges that arose, and supported the team during the public review period.

Another major challenge for this project was identifying the appropriate use classification.  Previously, there was no classification within the City of San Diego Municipal Code and General Plan for senior housing.  Latitude 33 and the developer, Continuing Life Communities, worked with the City of San Diego to calculate a new fee structure for water and sewer fees specific to senior housing.  This process saved the owner $1 million in fees.

Latitude 33’s Planning department took the lead on the client’s public outreach efforts.  The firm worked with community members, the planning group, and multiple stakeholders to create a project that ultimately benefited the community.  Latitude 33 represented Continuing Life Communities at public hearings, and prepared visual aids to be used during public presentations.  Latitude 33’s planning team also assisted with circulation planning to best manage the flow of traffic, pedestrians, and movement throughout the site.

From a design and development standpoint, the Glen at Scripps Ranch represents eight different projects, including numerous grading and building permits.  To allow certain portions of the project to permit more quickly than others, the building permits alone were divided into five separate phased packages.  Another challenge was the size and scope of the skilled nursing facility, which requires an Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) approval.  The main entry also has shared easements and street improvements with a neighbor, which required close coordination to successfully complete this work.

Design challenges for Latitude 33’s Engineering team included working with the existing steep topography, avoiding impacts to the wetlands and housing development immediately downhill from the project site, and accommodating an ever-evolving design to best meet the needs of the end users.

The analysis of site topography offered additional thoughtful planning for Latitude 33.  As a senior community, built on a hill, additional consideration was required to minimize the number of steps on site, lower the curbs, flatten walkways, and generally decrease the elevation change throughout to accommodate a senior lifestyle.

Project partners include KTGY Architects and KTU+A Landscape Architects. For more information, visit:

UC San Diego Medical Center, Hillcrest

The proposed layout for the new Long Range Development Plan to replace the current UC San Diego Hillcrest Medical Campus

Project Description
UC San Diego has operated a medical campus in the greater Hillcrest area that was originally constructed in 1963 as the County of San Diego Hospital.  After six decades of add-on construction and expansions, the University is ready to replace the 11-story medical center.  With aging infrastructure, updates in seismic regulations, and technological advances in acute healthcare and outpatient procedures, the University can no longer operate the campus in its existing condition.  

UC San Diego hired architecture firm SmithGroup to lead the master planning effort to re-imagine the Wellness Campus in the 21st century—including the hospital and the entire 62-acre site.  After extensive community involvement and consultation, the resulting vision is a new Long Range Development Plan, which features districts for healthcare, housing, mixed-use, research, open space, and canyons.  The plan calls for redeveloping roughly 34 acres of the 62-acre site with significant infrastructure upgrades, maintaining many of the view corridors and limiting the footprint of the development on the mesa.  A commitment to mass transit will connect the UC San Diego Wellness Campus in Hillcrest to other UC San Diego campuses in La Jolla and downtown.  The project will be constructed in five to seven phases, all while the hospital remains open, and will be completed in approximately 12 years.  The UC Board of Regents are expected to approve the plan and entitlement documents later in 2019, with the Phase 1 design currently underway and groundbreaking anticipated in summer 2020.

As part of the new master planning effort, Latitude 33 consulted on the following with the overall design team:

  • Plan for vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian circulation to promote a healthy campus and emphasize a shared space for all types of transportation.
  • Analysis of grading impacts due to new structures and site improvements, giving real time results to the design team and client.
  • Conceptual design of domestic water, sanitary sewer, and storm drain for the overall master plan. Latitude 33 analyzed the capacity of existing utilities, coordinated utility corridor locations with the design team to fit into the overall strategy of the site plan, and located connection points with public/franchise utility providers to minimize re-work during the phased implementation of the campus.

Matt Semic, PE, Principal at Latitude 33, states, “The canyon topography is a central element of the project design.  The development focused in this area during Phase 1 will help marry everything together and connect the UCSD Wellness Campus to the Hillcrest and Mission Hills communities.” 

For more information, visit:

The Glen at Scripps RanchUCSD Hillcrest Hospital
KTGY Architects, KTU+A Landscape Architects, Gates + Associates Landscape ArchitectsHarris & Associates; Linscott, Law and Greens; Architectural Resources Group, SmithGroup; Spurlock Landscape Architects; TK1SC; Linscott Law & Greenspan (LLG)
Address10718 Pomerado Rd., San Diego 200 W Arbor Dr., San Diego
ProgressUnder construction Planning stages/Phase1 design
Size53 acres34 acres of 62-acre site
Classification SuburbanUrban
TypeNew ConstructionRedevelopment
Key Elements• 450 assisted living units

• 60 skilled nursing beds

• Indoor amenity space: learning centers, a lecture hall, library, auditorium, fine art facilities, fitness center, movie theater, tech & business center, pool, sauna, Jacuzzi

• Outdoor amenity space: tennis & pickle ball courts, gardens, dog parks, short-game golf course
• Healthcare: up to 300 hospital beds, outpatient, research
• Residential: up to 950 residential units
• Mixed-use area with up to 50 residential units and wellness services
• Open space
• New roads
• Outpatient pavilion
• Research
• Parking Structures
Services by
Latitude 33
• Entitlements
• Project management
• Civil engineering
• Developed new use classification with City of San Diego
• Topographic survey and construction staking
• Planning for Environmentally Sensitive Lands
• Circulation plan
• Circulation plan, Alignment studies
• Analysis of grading impacts
• Analysis of existing utilities
• Conceptual design of water, sewer, and storm drain for new master plan

Community and Culture


Melissa Krause Honored as an Influential Woman of 2019 by the Daily Transcript

Melissa Krause, Principal with Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering, featured in The Daily Transcript as a Top Influential Woman of 2019

In the February 27, 2019 issue of the Daily Transcript, Latitude 33’s Melissa Krause was honored as an Influential Woman of 2019. The annual list recognizes the most talented, innovative, and hard-working women in San Diego.  This year, 35 influential women made the list.

One of the highlights from Melissa’s feature article:

Now with Latitude 33 for about four years, Krause was made a principal in the firm last year. Success was never a slam dunk, but instead the product of her tenacity and perseverance.

“It’s a very male-dominated industry and that’s never scared me,” Krause said. “I’ve never felt held back by that. I’ve always been one to focus on ‘OK, well… I’m gonna work hard. I’m going to keep my head up and get to where I think I should be.'”

As a Principal with Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering, Melissa Krause has taken the lead on building and maintaining relationships with the firm’s public and private developer clients.  She has spent 20 years successfully managing projects for large residential developers in San Diego County, and now uses her contacts and expertise in a planning role to save developers time and development costs.  In the firm’s 25-year history, Latitude 33 has a 100 percent success rate for seeking entitlements, in part due to Melissa’s efforts.  As an integral part of the leadership team, she also contributes to the firm’s strategic planning.

In addition to her invaluable contributions at Latitude 33, Melissa has been a member of the Building Industry Association for over 20 years.  She serves as a BIA mentor to younger generation (yGEN) members, and has lectured for the yGEN speaker series.  Melissa also recently joined NAIOP, and is active on its Legislative Committee.  In 2018, she was appointed to the Advisory Board for the Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate at SDSU.

One of San Diego’s most accomplished women in the industry, Melissa was a finalist for the San Diego Business Journal’s 2015 Women Who Mean Business Awards, and a finalist for San Diego Magazine’s 2018 Celebrating Women Awards.  Congratulations, Melissa, for this well-deserved honor!

Katie Yee Recognized As an Outstanding Woman in Construction & Design from the SD Business Journal

Katie Yee, Principal and Chief Relationship Officer at Latitude 33, was among 28 honorees for the San Diego Business Journal’s new Influential Women in Construction & Design list for 2019

This year, the San Diego Business Journal initiated a new annual list, recognizing San Diego’s most influential women in construction and design.  Latitude 33 is excited to announce that Katie Yee was honored as one of the top 28 women honored by the Business Journal for this first-time honor.  Katie’s profile appeared in the February 25, 2019 issue of the San Diego Business Journal.

Katie Yee is a Principal and Chief Relationship Officer at Latitude 33. Her title is an acknowledgement of the value she has brought the firm and an important precedent in an industry where principal titles are often held only by architects and engineers.  Her position as Principal reflects both her tenacious drive and ability to leverage her marketing, business development and relationship-building skills to support and grow Latitude 33 as well as the careers of her peers.

Katie is a strong advocate of supporting and growing the ranks of women in commercial real estate.  Katie mentors, sponsors, supports and guides women on a daily basis as they progress through their careers. In addition to serving on the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) San Diego board, Katie started the UCREW program for the San Diego chapter to help launch the careers of university students, and she also participates in CREW’s mentorship program, where she mentors a more junior female professional.  She has participated in and led numerous other CREW initiatives. For her dedication and hard work, Katie received CREW San Diego’s Outreach Award in 2017.

Katie is also active in the San Diego Building Industry Association (BIA) and the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA).  Last year, Katie spoke on a local Women in Construction Coalition (WCC) Leadership Series panel on business development.  She is also a past recipient of San Diego Metro’s 40 Under 40 honor.  Congratulations, Katie!

Thank you for being a part of our planning and engineering family.

From the entire Latitude 33 team, Enjoy Spring!


By Newsletter


Above from left to right: John Eardensohn, Senior Principal Engineer and Randi Coopersmith, Senior Principal Planner. Photo by Kristy Walker.

Hello, and welcome to a special, 25th Anniversary edition of the Latitude 33 newsletter. This quarter, we are taking an opportunity to highlight a few special stories related to our 25th Anniversary and our core values as a company. We hope you enjoy learning more about our humble beginnings, and how we got to where we are today.


Latitude 33 Leadership Team



Above from left to right: Randi Coopersmith, Senior Principal Planner and John Eardensohn, Senior Principal Engineer. Photo by Kristy Walker.

By all accounts, Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering shouldn’t be here today. It should have dissipated before it ever gained momentum. The partners did everything in opposition to conventional business wisdom. They started their firm in the middle of a recession. The firm had few local clients. Moreover, the partners couldn’t pursue some of their best prospects. It wasn’t a promising start.

The Early Years
The story of Latitude 33 begins at another large planning, engineering, and surveying firm in San Diego. Randi Coopersmith and John Eardensohn were associates working at the firm together. They watched the company grow from 35 to 125 staff members, and the process was not a smooth one. Convinced they could develop a better business model, they and two others set out on their own, and founded Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering. As junior partners and shareholders, they left with a non-compete clause—they couldn’t pursue any of their former firm’s clients for at least one year. It was 1993, in the middle of a deep recession.

The partners began to build their integrated planning and engineering company, and disregarded the standard, single-leader, top-down management model. They genuinely enjoyed doing the work, which lead to a more horizontal structure with hands-on principal involvement. They also wanted an equal partnership with a shared decision-making approach.

Each partner owned exactly equal shares of company, and the presidency rotated between the partners. While they each possessed unique skillsets and strengths, they were completely aligned in their goals for growth and the type of culture they wanted to create.

For the first three years of the firm’s existence, Latitude 33 didn’t have any local clients. They reached out and found clients in Colorado, Arizona, and Mexico—but not a single client in the State of California.

The Breakthrough
Change came, however, in 1996 when Pardee Homes and Latitude 33 began working together on Pacific Highlands Ranch. The massive, 2,652-acre development led to multiple projects for Latitude 33. Beginning a snowball effect, the firm then landed numerous local clients, including Gen-Probe, The La Jolla Institute For Allergy and Immunology, and the Eastgate Tech Park.

For twenty-five years, the company has gained momentum and forged ahead with great success. The partners each lead a team focused on services including public sector planning, land use planning, public outreach, entitlement services, and civil engineering for public works, private subdivision, healthcare, higher education, and military projects.

Lessons Learned
Whether riding out a major recession or setting itself up for future success, the principals have learned new lessons and Latitude 33 has emerged a different company. Key among the firm’s values are:

  • Diversity – Once known for its niche expertise for coastal projects, Latitude 33 is more diverse than ever. The firm’s clients now include hospitals, municipalities, military, and educational institutions. The firm is reinventing suburbs and urban neighborhoods with projects such as Merge 56.
  • Longevity – Latitude 33 focuses on turning each client into a legacy client. The firm seeks to move past having just “jobs”; instead, it seeks long-term relationships. This requires that the staff be more proactive, anticipate their clients’ needs, and do more than just their jobs.
  • Democracy – Against all business wisdom, a more democratic, horizontal structure has worked for Latitude 33. To this day, every client and every project has hands-on principal involvement.

Moving Forward
Much of Latitude 33’s success is due to the long-term thinking of Coopersmith and Eardensohn. “We began thinking about a succession plan when Latitude 33 was just five years old,” Eardensohn says. “We are always looking for strong leaders and seeking to promote from within.”

The firm is continuing to build on its strengths, and puts its lessons learned into practice. Using strategic planning, Latitude 33 has been able to grow and thrive. Setting itself up for the long-term, the firm continues to focus on diversification and creating legacy clients in numerous industries.

“The challenges of today are less technical and more political,” says Coopersmith. He cites a recent example of The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch. Going above and beyond, Latitude 33 met with all the stakeholders and garnered their support before the plans went to the City for approval. In the past 25 years, the firm has played a role in having three city-wide voter initiatives approved. “In our 25-year history, we have an unparalleled 100 percent success rate for seeking entitlements,” Coopersmith adds.

Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering continues to offer a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to design. Serving public agencies, developers and property owners, the firm specializes in residential, education, healthcare, military, commercial/retail, civic, and hospitality projects. And unlike its predicted path at inception, the firm will continue and expand its work, by all forecasts, for many years to come.

For more information, visit



The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch, courtesy Owen McGoldrick.

For its first three years in business, Latitude 33 didn’t work on a single project in the State of California. Until Pacific Highlands Ranch. It was the first of many San Diego projects—the one that launched Latitude 33 locally and helped it earn the stellar reputation it has today.

Latitude 33 and Pardee Homes, which has developed most of Pacific Highlands Ranch, began working together on the 2,652-acre development in 1996 on an extremely extensive and broad community engagement process. It included input from the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board, community planning groups across the entire city, City of San Diego staff, elected officials, environmental organizations and stakeholders. The developer and design team worked with the surrounding community to create the Pacific Highlands Ranch Subarea Plan, the community plan for this area. The plan was on the forefront of visionary planning in San Diego by preserving and enhancing the existing habitat and canyons system, creating new wildlife corridors, and creating an urban village in a northern San Diego suburb. The Sierra Club, the Endangered Habitat League, the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board, and many other organizations fully supported the plan. The Pacific Highlands Ranch Subarea Plan was adopted by City Council July 28, 1998.

Twenty years later, the area has transformed into a vibrant, world-class community with thousands of residents, energy-efficient market-rate and affordable homes, outstanding schools, a multi-trail system, shopping centers, and 1,300 acres of preserved open spaces. And, it’s not done yet.

Under construction is the heart of the entire community: The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch. The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch will bring commercial retail, high-density residential, civic, and park uses together as the pedestrian-friendly town center for the master-planned community. The multi-use, urban village will include 252 market rate residential condominiums and 79 affordable residential units (331 total units), 195,000 square feet of commercial space, a library, and a civic use area including a dog park, 13-acre public park, access to biking/walking trails, and central plaza with outdoor seating, fireplaces, and a fountain. The Village will provide a place to live, play, socialize, learn, work, shop, and dine, all within a walkable space.

Latitude 33 is proud to be part of a major collaborative effort to bring The Village to fruition. This portion of Pacific Highlands Ranch attracted numerous companies to gather around a common goal and purpose to get the master plan designed, approved, constructed and open for use. The team of Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering, SPGA Architecture and Planning, Wiseman & Rohy, McParlane & Associates, Michael Wall Engineering, Inc., MW Peltz + Associates, Inc., and Coast Income Properties, Inc. made this dream project a reality. Additionally, Wermers Construction is the builder of the market rate apartments, and Affirmed Housing developed the affordable component. SGPA was the architect for the commercial components, and Architects Orange designed all residential pieces.

More than 20 years after beginning to work on the community, it is very satisfying for the entire Latitude 33 team to continue its work at Pacific Highlands Ranch, and see the vibrant community thriving, in part, because of Latitude 33’s efforts.



Latitude 33 in action. Top Row: San Diego Mud Run in 2012 (left). The annual Scripps Ranch Old Pros 4th of July Run (right) and Ride (center). Latitude 33 is an annual sponsor for this race. Bottom Row: 2017 Holiday party (left). Rock climbing in 2017 (center). The superhero-themed Engineers Without Borders Kick Ball Tournament (right).

As noted in this edition’s feature story, Latitude 33 values longevity and focuses on building long-term relationships. Relationship-building is not only part of our focus for clients, it is also part of our internal culture, as well.

Modeled after Ken Blanchard’s theories about productivity and leadership in the workplace, Latitude 33 strives to create trusting relationships among all team members. Blanchard notes that 45% of employees say that lack of trust in leadership is the biggest issue impacting their work performance. By contrast, high trust organizations experience 32 times greater risk-taking, 11 times more innovation, and six times higher performance. Trusting relationships in the workplace leads to increased collaboration, higher levels of creativity, and more effective execution of business strategy.

In honor of Latitude 33’s 25th Anniversary, we look back on some of our favorite moments over the years as we have built a culture of trust and teamwork in the workplace. Enjoy the pictures above!