Chris D. Moore joins The Altum Group as Environmental Services Manager

Chris Moore

Doug Franklin, Vice President of the Altum Group is happy to announce that Chris D. Moore, AICP, ENV SP has joined The Altum Group as Environmental Planning Manager.  Mr. Franklin notes that Mr. Moore brings superior client services to The Altum Group while broadening the expansion of the Altum Group into the San Diego area.


Mr. Moore holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Biology & Environmental Conservation from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Master of Science degree in Community & Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin.  He has an extensive background in #CEQA and #NEPA compliance, and adherence to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, and the CA Fish and Game Code, among other regulations.  He has significant technical expertise in the areas of urban planning, land use, socioeconomics/community impact assessment, environmental justice and collaborative planning.


Mr. Moore has extensive project management expertise, having managed numerous environmental planning projects in California and other Western States.  This has given him the opportunity to work with a number of public agencies at federal, state, and local levels and on private projects ranging from energy related projects to urban development.

Housing crisis: California bill aims to help the ‘missing middle’

The ever increasing concern with the State of California is the housing crisis that prevents those with moderate incomes from affording a residence near their job sources.  The crisis is attributed to the State’s overly inflated housing market in elevating rental levels within and near to City corporate business districts where most of the middle income job professions are located.   Because of the increased rental levels, middle income job seekers are unable to relocate near their workplaces, and therefore, have to resort to longer driving commutes from areas where rental housing is affordable to their income.  This in turn creates a negative impact by increasing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and increasing congestion on our roadways.  This dilemma tends to affect what is known as the “missing middle” housing sector, which refers to housing of anywhere from two to 50 dwelling units that are missing and/or hard to find and would normally meet a middle income tenant’s affordability for rental housing.  Ideally, “missing middle housing would consist of medium to high density residential development consisting of duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes, courtyard apartments, bungalow courts, townhouses, multiplex and live/work residences (see conceptual below).


In acknowledging this housing crisis, legislation recently drafted and now being carried by California State Assemblyman David Chiu may hold promise in relieving this crisis.  Known as Assembly Bill 3152, the Bill would give nonprofit housing developers property tax exemptions on residential homes situated within elevated, high-cost areas, if rental rates are discounted to those with moderate incomes.  The discount would require at least a ten percent reduction in the fair market rental rate for a county as determined by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and thus would increase the eligibility for moderate income households (80 to 120 percent of median income).  For instance, a current median income of $97,400 for a family of four residing within Contra Costa County, but with an earning potential of up to $116,900 could be eligible for moderate income housing built under AB 3152.  The Bill will focus on “qualified properties” located in “high cost” counties with rental housing space suitable for five or more units for which construction commences on or after January 1, 2019.

The Bill also allows for a City, county, or third party to provide a market study that establishes a higher fair market rent for the county than what was established by HUD.  Nonetheless, the market study would require California Housing Finance Agency to review and certify the validity of the market study.

Currently, non-profit developers of affordable housing do not have a remedy solution (i.e., incentives, tax credits, etc.) to present to municipal governments that would otherwise assist in attracting those with middle income status.  Regardless, if AB 3152 were to be adopted, the Bill would serve as a starting point (catalyst) for encouraging municipal governments to engage in actively pursuing for development of “missing middle” housing within areas near to City corporate business districts.  Currently, AB 3152 was recently approved by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee and has now been referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

AB 3152 is a an important milestone for urban development that will determine whether “missing middle” housing sectors will finally be addressed through increased development of housing assistance for middle income tenants.  Nonetheless, Altum will carefully monitor the outcome of this decision from the Committee as soon as it is available and will provide a follow-up update.

For more information, please visit the Mercury News online (#mercurynews) at:

For current status of the AB 3152 within the California Legislature, please visit the California Legislative Information online at:


Continuing to Step Up to the Plate for Coachella Valley

altum_find_food_bank_signFor the past year, The Altum Group has carried out a year-round program of collecting food for the needy in the Coachella Valley. For many people in the Coachella Valley, hunger is a 365-day-a–year problem that affects the homeless, seniors, impoverished and working-poor families, and children. We have been successful at collecting canned goods and non-perishables to donate to the Find Food Bank – the single largest distributor to hungry persons and families in our community. The Find Food Bank provides food to persons who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. They provide this service directly through their organization as well as their partner agencies who provide food to over 80,000 people in the Coachella Valley.

As a Coachella-based firm, our managers and staff care deeply about our community and are committed to doing our part to help solve hunger in our region. These values are part of our brand promise to #caredeeply and #StriveHigher in our professional and personal lives.

Rich Malacoff on Loan to Redlands


The Altum Group’s, Rich Malacoff, AICP just completed a 3-month assignment in the City of Redlands.  The City needed an experienced planner to work at their One Stop Permit Center who could hit ground running and need little supervision.  With his long term public sector experience and previous employment with the City of Redlands, Rich was happy to return to the City and was able to assist the City from Day one, helping customers at the Counter, Processing Permits, Performing Plan Checks, Processing Special Event Applications, Assigning Addresses, and Conducting Project intake.  The high point of Rich’s service to the City of Redlands was using his Customer Service Skills to assist people with processing their permits and applications.  Rich also really took pride in assisting Citizens with understanding their how their local government works and how they can participate in it.  The Altum Group is proud to have many Planners, Surveyors, and Engineers who can provide the highest quality municipal services to our customers and put our values into action that include striving higher, taking ownership of projects, and doing whatever is necessary to deliver success for both our clients and the Altum Group.  We applaud Rich for displaying our core values every day in his service to the City of Redlands and its constituents.

Altum Group Attacks Hunger with the FIND Food Bank


The Altum Group has embarked on a new community service activity in partnership with the Find Food Bank of the Coachella Valley. The Find Food Bank provides food to persons who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. They provide this service directly through their organization as well as their partner agencies who provide food to over 80,000 people in the Coachella Valley.

Hunger is not something that exists in some far off place, it happens right here in our community. In California, 1 of 6 children go to bed hungry every night and often go to school hungry which prevents them from learning and achieving their full potential. Many Senior Citizens face hunger and they often need to make hard choices such as paying rent or medical costs instead of food. In the Coachella Valley we are so blessed to have so much and it is heartbreaking that we have such a high degree of hunger in our community. In response, Altum Group employees have started a regular collection of non-perishables for the Find Food Bank. Non-Perishables include canned goods, pasta, peanut butter, tuna fish, cereal, breakfast bars, rice, beans, lentils, and baby food. Employees have set a goal to donate items each week for delivery to the Find Food Bank.

Find Food Bank Thank you

You can learn more about the FIND Food Bank, by visiting:


Commercial Choice Trucking Project Approved by City of Colton Planning Commission




The Altum Group is excited to share that on December 6, 2017, the Commercial Choice Trucking (CCT) project was approved by the City of Colton City Council. The project seeks to establish a small 5 truck trucking company on a 15,000 square foot lot in South Colton, and required a Conditional Use Permit, Parcel Map, and a Site Plan Review.

The Project was initially denied by the Planning Commission in September with objections from two neighbors. The CCT project team, including The Altum Group’s Nancy Ferguson, prepared a comprehensive presentation to go with the appeal to the City Council. In October, City Council heard testimony from the project team and City staff and continued the public hearing to provide time for CCT to work with the surrounding neighborhood to resolve their issues and for City staff to prepare a resolution for approval of the project with conditions. The project returned to City Council on December 6 and was approved 6-0 with one councilmember absent. Moreover, after the hearing, the most vocal critics of the project approached the applicant and welcomed him to the neighborhood.

Rendering provided by Commercial Choice Trucking

Raven Ridge Project Approved by City of Coachella Planning Commission


The Altum Group is excited to share that the City of Coachella’s Planning Commission has reviewed and recommended all aspects of the Raven Ridge Project be approved by the City Council. The project involved all divisions of the Altum Group collaborating to adapt to the demands of this ever-changing project’s needs. Raven Ridge is the City of Coachella’s first Market-Rate Multifamily housing project, and required two significant variances from the City’s Ordinance for Minimum Dwelling Unit size and Parking Requirements.


The Raven Ridge project seeks to develop a 9.69-acre site into a multi-family residential development consisting of 242 living spaces. The site will include: nine different floor plans with 1 and 4 bedrooms, ranging from 527 square feet to 1,654 square feet; a 3,000 square foot daycare facility with a 2,000 square feet outdoor play area; a pool and spa located next to a 5,000 square foot recreation building, and various other recreational amenities for residents throughout the site.


We look forward to the successful entitlement of C1257 Raven Ridge before 2017’s year-end, and transitioning immediately to Final Engineering and Construction Staking services by 2018’s start.


Renderings made by KTGY Group, inc.