Community Planning + Conservation
Community Development Advisory Services
We bring experience, compelling graphic tools and a rigorous process to help inspire creative teams, communities and stakeholders through the steps of crafting a fully thought-out vision to realize project and community goals. We are believers in the power of a strong and compelling vision that often drives design innovation.
We give special attention to fostering relationships and understanding the culture, the history and the DNA of a place. We are experienced in preparing comprehensive conservation strategies, community plans, general plans, development standards and master plans to ensure that a project’s vision is protected and realized.
Understanding and respecting the land and environment is key to the success of any design endeavor. We bring together the fields of site design, landscape architecture, placemaking and planning and put that together with community building. We think of ourselves as stewards of the land, and treat every design problem as such.
Navigating the process of obtaining permits, approvals and environmental certification can be daunting. We are experienced in managing large project teams and working in a collaborative way to craft development and conservation strategies that come from the communities they serve.
Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Plan: Investing in Our Working Lands for Regional Resilience
Cultivate was the prime consultant is part of a collaborative planning effort led by Santa Clara County and the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority (OSA) to protect important working lands to minimize the impacts of climate change and to chart a more resilient future. This effort culminated in the preparation of a regional “framework plan” that links agricultural preservation, thoughtful land use planning and climate adaptation planning into a singular Valley Agricultural Plan that was adopted in January of 2018. This effort was funded by the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALCP) to meet the State’s climate adaptation goals by making strategic investments to protect agricultural lands. This effort recently won the 2018 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) in the Ecosystem Land Use Stewardship category and the American Planning Association’s California award for “Innovation in Green Community Planning”. The Valley Agricultural Plan can be found here. here.
Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program – Technical Assistance Team
Cultivate has been selected as part of a multi-faceted planning team that is working with the California’s Strategic Growth Council (SGC) and Department of Conservation (DOC) to provide technical assistance to cities and counties in Central and Southern California to raise awareness of and prepare competitive applications for future rounds of the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALCP) Planning Grants. The principal goal of the SALC Program is to keep farmland in agriculture and to support infill development and avoid increases in greenhouse gas emissions associated with the conversion of California’s irreplaceable agricultural land to non-agricultural uses.
Middle Green Valley Specific Plan
Working for Solano County, Amie was the project manager for a team that led a two-year community advisory process to prepare a Specific Plan with associated EIR describing an innovative agriculturally-centered community that utilizes a transfer of development rights program to protect important farmlands. She was the principal authors of the Specific Plan which included a form-based “Neighborhood Code” that is based on sustainable, low-impact development principles. This work was completed while Amie was a Principal at Hart Howerton. Find the Specific Plan here.
Santa Lucia Preserve
Amie has been involved in the design and implementation of this conservation community since the early 1990's. She assisted in the planning and implementation of this 20,000 acre land-holding that set aside over 90% of the land into protected open space. This included helping to develop the conservation based master plan, assisting in crafting and processing entitlement and environmental review documents (Comprehensive Development Plan and associated EIR), working with state, federal and local agencies, developing the overall Landscape Master Plan, and preparing a set of Design Guidelines to ensure that build out was consistent with the overall project vision. She has also assisted on the design and installation of many of the residential and community buildings. She currently sits on the Design Review Board at the Preserve and continues to contribute to the ongoing evolution of the community.
Amie assisted in the layout and development of a community master plan for this 18,000-acre barrier island surrounded by rivers and wildlife preserves. The Plan includes a maritime forest, a forested preserve and a pedestrian village fashioned after the historic coastal towns of South Carolina. Amie took part in the visioning, crafting landscape and architecture approaches, and was the principal author of a suite of Design Guideline documents for the distinct neighborhoods and town center.
The Main Street Neighborhood Specific Plan
Cultivate was part of a collaborative team that led a community process to prepare a Specific Plan for the Main Street neighborhood on the site of the former Naval Air Station in the City of Alameda. This included preparing alternative plans, working with the community on proposed programming, and compiling this information into a comprehensive Specific Plan that builds on the community’s vision to create a new, sustainable, Alameda community. Read the plan.
Cultivate worked directly with the City to synthesize the overall concepts and development strategies for this former Naval Air Station. This included preparing a Conceptual Planning Guide that provided the planning framework that describes the design outcomes regarding neighborhood design, redevelopment strategies and development opportunities. Cultivate also helped to prepare the related zoning and land use regulatory documents that are now part of the City’s code.
Conservation + Resiliency Planning
We believe in partnering with our clients. First to protect their asset, and secondly, to build long-term “shared” value. By “shared value” we mean the development of a value system for projects which creates economic value while also creating value for the region and community. We believe this is the only way to deliver long-term, beautiful, resilient places that are economically self-sustaining.
We work in the private and public sectors and understand the complexities of land use policy, environmental review and long term planning goals and how that guides project designs to meet a community's and client's vision.
Embarcadero Capital Partners, San Francisco Bay Region
Glen Oaks Big Sur, California
KISCO Senior Living, North California
North American Land Trust (NALT), Pennsylvania
Oberndorf Enterprises, San Francisco
Tim Lewis Communities, Northern California
YCS Investments, San Francisco
California Coastal Conservancy
California Department of Conservation
City of Alameda, California
Santa Clara County - Department of Planning + Development
Santa Clara Valley - Open Space Authority (OSA)
Solano County Community Development Department, CA
Sustainable Agricultural Education (SAGE), Berkeley, California
City of Orinda
APA - American Planning Association
ASLA - American Society of Landscape Architects
SPUR - San Francisco Planning and Urban Research
USGBC - US Green Building Council, LEED accredited
State of California Certified Small Business (SB)
Certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)
Urban Land Institute – Associate Member
"Cultivate has a great sense of graphic design. They can develop project graphics from
scratch or convert existing graphics that don't make sense into exactly what we need."
"Developers are putting things on land that last forever and it takes highly innovative designs to make people and communities comfortable with such dramatic change to places that are very special to them. Amie has progressive ideas about "conservation development" as the solution. This meets a growing need in the market place for residents who want to be part of a legacy story."
"When we see plans and applications with Amie's name on them we tend to be confident in quality of the project. She seems to earn the trust and respect of everyone associated with a project, and designs a well thought out community, not just a development."
"We are thrilled to work with Amie and her team. She has big firm experience on a broad range of projects, but a small firm structure that can be much more nimble and has a lower cost of overhead. That creates fantastic value for us."
for work and other inquiries, please email us at email@example.com
Cultivate was founded to help change the way people think about improving and managing land. We are a California State Certified Small Business (SB) as well as a Certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE).