TESTIMONIALS FOR SAI’S WORK FROM

CLIENTS, AWARDS, AND OTHER SOURCES

LAND DEVELOPMENT CODES

 City of Key West: Land Development Regulations. American Society of Consulting Planners (ASCP) Award for Promoting Sustainable Development. Michelle Stearns, AICP, Chairperson for the ASCP Awards Committee, stated:

“The Key West Land Development Code will facilitate the City’s stewardship of development and conservation initiatives, consistent with dynamic principles of sustainable communities, well into the future.”

City Center Code, City of West Palm Beach.  Paul Bergmann, AICP, currently Assistant Manager, Orange County Parks and Recreation, formerly Associate Planner, McKelvy Jennewine Stefany and Howard

In West Palm Beach, Les and I worked with community leadership and staff to identify and reinforce the desired role, functions, and form of the City Center, including its distinctive parts. A recurring theme was to reinforce a mixed use pedestrian environment serviced by a multi-modal transportation system. The Plan and Code were designed to foster the rebirth of a pedestrian oriented downtown serving as a center for government, health and social service delivery systems; a transportation hub; a focal point for specialty retail trade and tourism; the nucleus of finance and real estate transactions; and the setting for a waterfront convention center.  The Code included mandated design initiatives and incentive programs to help achieve these objectives:

  • ▪      Minimum Sidewalk Width
  • ▪      Angle of Light Mandate
  • ▪      Street Furniture
  • ▪      Street Graphic Standard
  • ▪      Street Lighting
  • ▪      Landscape
  • ▪      Bonus for Civic Art
  • ▪      Land Assembly Bonus
  • ▪      Incentives for Historic Preservation
  • ▪      Through Block Arcades and Plazas
  • ▪      Incentive for Library Relocation
  • ▪      Mixed Use Development Incentives
  • ▪      Pedestrian Oriented Architecture
  • ▪      Incentives for Specific Pedestrian Amenities
  • ▪      Minimum Front Setbacks for New Development
  • ▪      Minimum Separation Between Structures Over 80′ High
  • ▪      Standards for Separating Structures at Ground Level
  • ▪      Required Roof Top Screening and Landscaping
  • ▪      Low and Moderate Income Housing Incentives
  • ▪      Building Orientation to Preserve Waterfront Views

A public private partnership evolved from the seeds planted through this dynamic city center planning and design process, including substantial reinvestment, revitalization, landscape and other urban design amenities, supportive infrastructure, and multi-modal transportation linkages among population centers, major employment generators, attractions, and strategic service delivery locations.

LUCIE COUNTY: COASTAL DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS. National Award of Special Recognition, American Planning Association (APA);  Award of Excellence, Florida Chapter, APA; and Award of Excellence, Florida Planning and Zoning Association.   Paul Raymond, Fishery Biologist, National Marine fishery Service, one of the nation’s leading experts on sea turtles stated:

“The St. Lucie County Sea Turtle Protection Ordinance is an example of local government achieving excellence…a piece of legislation that will greatly benefit endangered and threatened sea turtles… Your ordinance is also timely and sea turtles face difficult times with a continued loss of aquatic and nesting habits and an increasing rate of turtle mortality resulting from drowning in shrimp trawls.  I consider the St. Lucie County’s Protection Ordinance a model for other counties and municipalities to emulate. In fact, I have sent your ordinance to coastal managers/ environmentalists on both coasts of Florida as well as interested parties overseas…it is nice to see practical management decisions and laws that will benefit both our natural resources and residents.”

COMPREHENSIVE PLANS 

City of Port St. Lucie:  Comprehensive Plan. Award of Merit, Florida Chapter, American Planning Association; and Award of Recognition, City of Port St. Lucie Chamber of Commerce.  Stephen L. Henninger, AICP, currently Acting Planning Director, City of Concord, NH, formerly Planning Director, City of Port St. Lucie, stated:

“Port St. Lucie was and remains one of the fastest growing communities in the nation. During the period, while I was Planning Director and Mr. Solin provided consulting services, the population increased from 14,000 to over 35,000. Port St. Lucie was created by a private developer as part of a large scale residential land sale program.  Eighty thousand quarter acre lots were subdivided and sold prior to settlement.”

 “Our problem was a pre-existing development plan which did not provide sufficient land for commercial and employment centers, nor was adequate land set aside for governmental and other institutional uses. While most of the 68 square miles of the City was undeveloped, the ownership was fragmented and the fledgling local government was not capable of taking on the task of large scale property reassembly.”

  “The master plan that was developed by Mr. Solin, not only established future land uses, but set up the mechanisms for the consolidation and conversion of existing single family lots to commercial, industrial, office, multi-family, and institutional uses. This plan was developed and adopted in two phases, in each instance the plan received strong community support and in both instances was adopted unanimously. The plan received an award by the APA Florida Chapter and the Local Chamber of Commerce.  Fifteen years later the basics of this plan remain and have continued to guide growth and development in the community while protecting sensitive environmental areas along the North Fork of the St. Lucie River and the Savannahs.

“Mr. Solin’s creative use of the planning and regulatory process, his dedication and commitment to produce a quality product under difficult and sometimes contentious process expresses a level of professionalism rarely seen.  Mr. Solin’s work on the successful plan amendment for the 7,500 acre annexation of St. Lucie West further indicated his degree of professionalism and commitment to his clients.”

Martin County: Comprehensive Plan. Award of Merit, Florida Chapter, American Planning Association.  Harry W. King, AICP, Growth Management Director, stated:

“Les was fundamental to the County’s efforts to incorporate sound performance based development standards into the 1982 Comprehensive Plan.  His professional planning expertise was integral to the community planning efforts to incorporate the emerging concept of an urban service area into an integrated system for land use and service management.  While the immediate reward may have been the recognition of the 1982 Plan with a FAPA Award of Merit for that year, the recognition of Les’ valuable insights to community planning were forthcoming during the next decade.”

City of Key West: Comprehensive Plan. Award of Merit, Florida Chapter, American Planning Association.  Whit Blanton, AICP, Senior Transportation Manager for TransCore stated:

“Les and I have enjoyed a strong working relationship over the last decade collaborating on a variety of planning projects. He has provided an exemplary level of service to the profession through a practice that emphasizes high ethical standards, consistently good quality work products, a commitment to client satisfaction and innovation. Of particular note was the comprehensive planning effort for the City of Key West, which is designated as an Area of Critical State Concern. Les made a long term commitment to the City in drafting a plan that reflected state-of-the-art planning and supported the concept of sustainable development — long before the term came into vogue.  Through the intense scrutiny of this planning process and a diverse group of participants and interest groups, Les received a state award of merit for the Key West Plan.”

“Les has provided outstanding service to the profession, and is recognized as a leader in the art and science of comprehensive planning. He is an active member of the community, and has contributed to its advancement.”

City of Sanford, Comprehensive Plan.  Jay Marder, Director of Engineering and Planning for the City of Sanford, stated:

“As some local governments floundered under Florida’s complicated and frustrating Growth Management Act, Les helped many cities such as Sanford benefit as well as thrive from the planning process. He is one of the few planning consultants that a local government can count on to accomplish comprehensive planning in this state. Les’ company was instrumental in developing the City of Sanford’s Comprehensive Plan which was the first of the county’s seven municipalities to comply with state law. That Plan provided innovative policies to encourage redevelopment of the city’s historic revitalization, development of new regional activity centers and fostering of the international airport’s development. Les’ firm also revised Sanford’s Land Development Regulations adding environmental controls and exciting mixed use development criteria that have served the City well.”

City of Sebastian: Comprehensive Plan.  Most Outstanding Comprehensive Plan for a City of 50,000 or less population by the Florida Department of Community Affairs.  In awarding the Plan, Thomas G. Pelham, DCA Secretary, wrote:

“This is the second year of the award program, which the Department instituted to recognize outstanding contributions to the protection of the State’s human, environmental, social, and economic resources, and to the maintenance of orderly growth and development in the state . . . I am proud to publicly recognize your excellent work in the field of local comprehensive planning.”

Town of Indian River Shores, Comprehensive Plan.  Terry Hess, AICP, Planning Coordinator, Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, stated:

The Plan for the Town of Indian River Shores was found to be extremely well done. Clearly, based on our report, the Plan was considered very consistent with the Regional Plan. You are commended for preparing a plan which we not only found to be very consistent, but very thorough as well. In the opinion of our staff, it was easily the best plan we received in the Region for a barrier island community. Both the Town and your consultant should be proud of such a plan.”

Comprehensive Plan for Carver-Jeter Community (Opelika, AL).  Miriam H. Bader, AICP, City Planner for the City of Opelika stated:

“Beset with an aroused minority community frustrated by the inertia of City improvement programs over the years, the City Commission advertised nationally to hire an experienced comprehensive planning consultant.  Working in concert with staff, a strong mayor, council, and community leaders, Les Solin structured a visioning process to encourage collaborative planning efforts involving community residents, businessmen, civic leaders, and service providers.  Very early in the planning process community residents were empowered by consensus building to: 1) articulate images, issues and opportunities; 2) identify desired outcomes; 3) assist in reconciling and defining actions needed achieve desired visions of the future; and 4) reinforce a sense of community by building a collaborative health and social service delivery framework to meet compelling needs for continuing family and community support systems.”

 “Les Solin was able ‑‑ through one on one interviews and community forums ‑‑ to identify unique physical and social service needs of the Carver‑Jeter area which were quite different from other areas of the community.  He then prepared a Comprehensive Plan for the Carver‑Jeter area which was accepted by the Carver‑Jeter Community and adopted by the City Council.  The plan included a comprehensive health and social service component in addition to more traditional plan elements.  The Carver‑Jeter planning process served to organize constructive community leadership and action.  Furthermore, the Carver‑Jeter Plan has become a standard bearer of the City Council. The Carver‑Jeter initiative rekindled an awareness by the City of the value of planning.  Soon after completion of the Carver‑Jeter Plan, the City commenced a citywide Comprehensive Plan modeled after the Carver‑Jeter Plan.  In addition, a series of sector plans followed ‑‑ an effort that continues several years after Les Solin’s work in our community was completed.”

“His long standing leadership and excellence in professional practice is truly reflected in his work for the City of Opelika.”

VISIONING AND CITIZEN PARTICIPATION

Village of Pinecrest, Vision Statement and Comprehensive Plan Citizen Participation.  Staff Comments from the South Florida Regional Planning Council:

“The Village has included a public participation that goes beyond the requirements of state law and incorporates the comments and input from a wide range of residents and Village representatives on the issues of image, quality of life, economic development and physical development.  This process helped identify those areas needing improvement and actions necessary to achieve leadership goals.  The public process produced a citizen-based vision statement upon which the comprehensive plan goals and policies are based.”

 “Creation of a clearly stated vision statement and its inclusion in the proposed comprehensive plan provides a powerful policy directive for the newly incorporated Village of Pinecrest.  This approach to comprehensive planning is compatible with a number of goals and policies of the Strategic Regional Plan for South Florida and should serve the Village well.”