Professional Planning Support

LACO’s Planning Team offers local agencies and municipalities a trusted partner to help support the timely processing of applications and preparation of necessary environmental documents to facilitate the development process. Given the revenue shortfalls associated with COVID-19, the lack of qualified staff available in many rural jurisdictions, and the pressure from applicants and elected officials to review projects expeditiously, Planning Departments today face a multitude of challenges as they work to ensure safe, intentional development in their communities. We recognize the challenges these Departments face, we see the impacts of these challenges on the pace of development in the private sector, and, most of all, we see the projects that are delayed or abandoned entirely in our communities as a result. The LACO team is here to bridge this gap to help support local governments fulfill their obligations to assess and approve development in their jurisdiction.



  • Initial Studies (IS)
  • Negative/Mitigated Negative Declarations (MND)
  • Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Programs (MMRP)
  • Statutory and Categorical Exemptions
  • Section 15183 Streamlining Analysis
  • Peer Review
  • Project Management


  • Environmental Assessments
  • Findings of No Significant Impact
  • Categorical Exclusions

Project Review

  • Subdivision Review
  • Affordable Housing Project Review
  • Public Outreach Processes; including design charrettes, public scoping, and visioning
  • Wildfire Impacts and Mitigation General Plan and Zoning Ordinance
  • Project Management

Our team members have prepared more than a 1,000 environmental planning and permitting documents. Most of LACO’s senior Planning staff has worked on “both sides of the counter” and understands the development process intimately from both perspectives. Our team has provided on-call and contract planning services throughout the North Coast for years, including for the Counties of Humboldt and Mendocino, and we are here to leverage that expertise into comprehensive support for local Planning Departments through these challenging times. We are here to integrate with your team, build your organizational capacity, and help provide a smoother, more rapid turnaround on development applications and environmental review documents.

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[LACO’s] knowledge of CEQA was instrumental in their development of an environmental document which could support the ordinances through our hearing processes. They worked with local and state agencies and other interest groups in the preparation of the CEQA document. It proved to be one which was supported from many different environmental interests, bringing a consensus by groups, that has been on the opposite sides of the fence for decades… the support that LACO has given our staff has been very important through this whole process. We have worked as a team and no matter what direction we were headed, they were by our side the entire way. Trust is probably the word that comes to mind when thinking of our working relationship with them.
Mary Lynn Hunt, Chief Planner, County of Mendocino