Samantha C. Thomas

Associate Planner

Ms. Thomas started at LACO Associates in February 2017, and since then has undertaken a number of on-call projects with Mendocino and Humboldt County in addition to balancing numerous private client projects. Her experience ranges from preparing Development Feasibility Analysis’s for clients when planning their projects to preparing permit applications for referral at County offices in the North Coast Region.

Prior to LACO Associates, Ms. Thomas started her planning career with Sonoma Land Trust in Santa Rosa, California. She was the creator and blogger for the Transform Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) Project blog page for two years. Ms. Thomas undertook the community planning aspect and secured public support for this project. She also aided in the preparation of the SDC’s site assessment, circulating the draft vision and site use alternatives, as well as preparing the final transformation recommendations. Her side projects consisted of drafting Water Bond information for the public opinion process and coordinating working lunches with North Bay organizations and legislative staff to form an ‘ask’ for the 2016 Park Bond. Throughout her stay with Sonoma Land Trust, she participated as a member of the Development team in planning and implementing fundraising and financial goals and strategies, including donor stewardship programs and activities.

Areas of Expertise

  • Community Planning
  • Public Outreach
  • Development Feasibility Analysis
  • Federal, State, and Local Permits
  • Coastal and Use Permits
  • Processing Permit Applications
  • Project Assistance
  • Development and Use Permits

Education

Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Planning, Concentrations in Planning and Biology

Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA. 

Registrations and Certifications

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Certification (in process)

Professional Memberships

Association of Environmental Professionals – Member

American Planning Association – Member 

Select Project Experience

Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreement – Sonoma County, California.

Prepared a Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreement (LSA) for a private client in Sonoma County to remediate mountain roads, restore an unnamed stream, and mitigate potential environmental effects associated with the proposed construction of a driveway to impinge on a Riparian Corridor 50 foot setback. Coordinated with California Department of Fish and Wildlife staff to submit all applicable information in relation to the client’s proposed activities on-site.

Minor Conservation Plan Application – Sonoma County, California.

Prepared a Minor Conservation Plan for a private client in Sonoma County to mitigate potential environmental effects associated with the proposed construction of a driveway to impinge on a Riparian Corridor 50 foot setback. Coordinated with Prunuske Chatham, Inc. in Sebastopol, California to prepare the required planting plans to successfully secure the Use Permit.

CEQA Initial Study – City of Clearlake, California.

Prepared a CEQA Initial Study for a proposed Adult School within the City of Clearlake. Document preparation included responses to standard questions about the potential level of environmental impact of the project, pertaining to the environmental factors listed on the environmental checklist form (Appendix G of the 2018 CEQA guidelines). As a requirement under CEQA Section § 21080.3.1, Native American tribal governments were consulted to identify and address potential adverse impacts to tribal cultural resources at the Project site.

Minor Subdivision Application – Potter Valley, California.

Assisted a private client in applying for an application extension through the County of Mendocino Planning and Building Services and facilitated sign off of the Minor Subdivisions Conditions of Approval.

Wastewater Treatment Facility Design, Encroachment Permit – Redwood Valley, California.

Coordinated with Caltrans to prepare and submit an encroachment permit application for geotechnical drilling in preparation of pipeline bores under Highway 101 and North State Street.

Permit Requirement Assessment & Coastal Development Permit for Geotechnical Exploration – Manchester, California.

Set up a field meeting with regulatory agencies with jurisdiction at the project site to confirm the requirements and processes necessary to complete the proposed project. Prepare a Coastal Development Permit to conduct geotechnical exploration at the project site.

North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board Applications – Mendocino County, California.

Prepared and submitted a number of applications for private clients throughout Mendocino County to the North Coast Regional Water Board. Applications included the Notice of Intent, Monitoring and Reporting Program, and the Wastewater Resources Protection Plan, with coordination with staff to submit all applicable information in relation to the client’s activities on-site.

Use Permit Entitlements – Mendocino County, California.

Prepared a number of use permit entitlement applications for clients throughout Mendocino County. Submitted applications to the County of Mendocino’s Planning and Building Services and the Department of Agriculture.

Coastal Development Permit Applications, Processing – Mendocino County, California.

Supported the County of Mendocino’s Planning and Building Department by preparing Coastal Development Permit applications for referral.

Development Feasibility Analysis’s for Mendocino and Humboldt County Parcels – Mendocino and Humboldt County, California.

Evaluated development opportunities and impediments associated with new state and local agency regulations.

Use Permit and Zoning Clearance Applications, Processing – Humboldt County, California.

Supported the County of Humboldt’s Planning and Building Department by preparing Use Permit and Zoning Clearance applications for referral.

Development Feasibility Analysis for Covington Cellars – Woodinville, Washington.

Evaluated development opportunities and impediments associated with the proposed development of Covington Cellars, a wine facility and event center.

Community Planning Workshop, Transform Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) – Sonoma County, California.

Assisted in coordinating community input to foster the transformation of the Sonoma Developmental Center following the State of California’s announcement that they planned to close SDC by the end of 2018.

Vallejo Planning Initiatives Project – Vallejo, California.

Assisted in facilitating community input when addressing the city’s new General Plan. Brainstorm ideas with the community of Vallejo regarding what their wants and needs were, where together, citizens and planners could build a prosperous future for their community.

  • Eureka, CA

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