Planning

EXPERTS IN

Planning

Our planning group provides a wide range of planning services and are apprised of the latest in legislative action affecting growth management and development in Florida, fostering relationships based on decades of local presence and involvement. We have a multi-disciplinary team of personnel whose local experience working in planning, zoning, land development code writing, public involvement, development and survey review, rendering, environmental consulting and transportation consulting, makes us uniquely equipped to execute efficiently with the goal of exceeding your expectations. We use a systematic process to envision the desired end result, translate the key goals and objectives, outline steps to achieve these goals, and help identify costly and time-consuming issues and manage them in advance. It is imperative in today’s environment not to underestimate the importance of your planning team as a solid foundation to your project.

Contact Us

What We Provide

Our planners provide critical expertise at all stages of a project – from pre-acquisition to redevelopment. We perform feasibility studies, site comparisons, and design alternative studies to provide our clients with information and recommendations to help define opportunities and constraints associated with the project. Our capabilities in site planning, our multidisciplinary approach, and local presence in jurisdictions throughout Florida’s west coast are key ingredients that benefit our clients from the early stages of goal setting through implementation.

A master plan is a “blueprint” for the future, intended to guide and frame development, encompassing visions and aspirations. As population reaches capacity at the coastlines, there is the potential for well-planned, well-designed new communities and also the well thought-out “infill” and assembled projects. Our planning team has performed conceptual planning, entitlements, development permitting, and monitoring for numerous master planned communities. From residential development to regional commercial projects to mixed use centers and new communities, our clients benefit from this expertise.

Every community is complex, defined by its history, size, climate, location, geography, and the people that live and work there. Sound neighborhood and sector planning engages communities of varied backgrounds and goals in a common effort to identify and achieve a vision for an area. We have the skills necessary to assess the political context of an area, utilize GIS for data collection, provide strategic analyses, facilitate input through charrettes and image preference surveys, build consensus, and implement recommendations to benefit those who live, work and own property through a collaborative planning process.

The basic principles of zoning regulation were established over 90 years ago, however the rules of the game are ever-changing. The same is true for the comprehensive land use policies rooted in Florida Growth Management Act of 1985, which change through yearly legislative action. Our planning team performs a wide range of services including those associated comprehensive plan amendments, Future Land Use Map amendments, rezonings, conditional uses, special exceptions, annexations, and variances. Using this experience, continuing education, and agency action monitoring, we are able to update, anticipate, and act on opportunities for our clients.

We have engaged in the design and planning of institutional facilities which required the blending of organizational expectations, market demands, geographies, logistics and the organization structure. We have worked closely with public school districts, fire districts, airport authorities, parks and recreation agencies, as well as churches and nonprofit organizations from Naples to Pasco County to provide services from feasibility studies, master plans, site comparisons, site and circulation design, collocation and interlocal agreement assistance, to help from planning and conceptualizing through the zoning and permitting process to completion.

Our planners understand the philosophies and practices of smart growth, new urbanism and context sensitive design. We can help plan for thoroughfares in our urban, suburban or rural environment so that development intensity, the mix of land uses and design features combine to create the opportunity for walking, transit and biking to be feasible transportation options. Beyond the right-of-way, our planners factor the conditions, demographics, future development potential modeling, and vision for a community to develop code and implementation strategies to form a properly scaled street or road edge that is appropriate to the context.

With planners whose experience spans many years of public and private sector work, we have capacity to help local governments and agencies with plans, code writing, grant writing, application review, comprehensive plan amendments, and evaluation and appraisal reports to fulfill state mandates and local needs. We have authored Visions, Comprehensive Plan policies and land development codes in communities across Southwest Florida.

Our team handles all aspects of public engagement. We identify engagement strategies and schedules to suit each project. Strategies may include interviews, written questionnaires, online surveys, and meetings. Depending on the subject matter, meetings maybe in the format of open houses, charrettes, or consensus building workshops, and we employ tools to enliven the experience and capture public input through dot-voting, affinity mapping, or image preference surveys. We handle details including set up, wayfinding signs onsite, and documentation including attendance, photos, recordings, and tabulation and documentation of input received. This ensures the public’s voice is heard, and through collaboration the end result of the project is better.

Our team provides a full service of GIS mapping, spatial and land use analysis, modeling and feasibility analysis, demographics and various other GIS related community analysis capabilities. With the resources to link multi-discipline datasets spatially, our team can visually represent a variety of viewpoints for dynamic query and information display. With a focus on client and project requirements, we will ensure mapping, visualization and geo-spatial information is coordinated to satisfy and support the overall project needs.

Our team has written and amended land development codes in communities across Southwest Florida on subjects including historic preservation, redevelopment incentives, architectural design standards, landscape standards, placemaking, neighborhood compatibility, streetscape standards, and more.

Redevelopment is a specialized field of planning due to the unique challenges that must be overcome in areas that are lacking in resources or infrastructure. Before revitalization techniques are employed, they must be evaluated for impacts to community equity and sustainability. We assist with preparation and adoption of redevelopment plans consistent with statutory requirements. We also assist with implementation of the plans through updating Land Development Codes, designing redevelopment and infill sites, and modeling the before-and-after images to help citizens and decision makers visualize how an underutilized area can transform into a vibrant walkable place.

Planning Projects

Planning Team

Laura DeJohn, AICP

Director of Planning & Landscape Architecture

Laura is the director of the firm’s planning and landscape architecture group. She joined Johnson Engineering in 2004 to lead the planning services in the firm’s Collier County office and is now the Department Director for all planning and landscape architecture efforts for Johnson Engineering. Laura manages projects that involve development feasibility studies, governmental coordination, preparation and presentation of land use and zoning applications, site planning, master planning, and design. She has 20 years of professional experience in the planning field, in both the public and private sector. Prior to joining Johnson Engineering, Laura served five years as a planner for the City of Naples.

Gary Muller, AICP

Principal Planner

Gary is a principal planner in the firm’s planning and landscape architecture group. He is a certified planner with 40 years of private and public sector planning experience. Prior to joining Johnson Engineering in 2015, Gary owned his own planning consulting firm for 21 years, specializing in rezonings, site planning, subdivision design, feasibility studies and expert witness testimony. Gary’s responsibilities include preparation of land use and zoning applications, site design, development permitting, community involvement, and project management.

Amanda Martin

Planner II

A member of the Johnson Engineering team since 2002, Amanda is a Planner II with responsibilities that include community involvement, zoning research, preliminary site assessments, and preparation, review, and processing of permitting packages for County, City, State and Federal Agencies.  Amanda maintains daily communication with governmental agencies and has performed multiple analysis studies in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, and Highlands County including reviewing future land use designations, applicable comprehensive plan policies, zoning and permitting history and Land Development Code parameters relevant to proposed development projects.  Amanda has a BS in Business and Project Management Certification from the University of Phoenix.

Marina Guirguis

Planner

Marina joined Johnson Engineering in 2017, and works as a Planner in both the physical design and public policy realms.  With a background in urban design, she uses geographic information system (GIS) mapping and analysis, graphic design and rendering skills to assist with corridor plans, master plans, and site plans,.  She also supports public policy and Code writing projects through public meeting facilitation, preparing comprehensive planning amendment packages, Land Development Code amendments, and land use development projections. Prior to working at Johnson Engineering, Marina was a Graduate Research Assistant at Northeastern University while pursuing her Master of Design in Sustainable Urban Environments.

Contact any of our office locations by calling

our toll free number 1-866-367-4400