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Extended Biography

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GARY A. ROBBINS

EDUCATION

San Francisco State University
M.A. Urban Planning & Social Science
1970

State University of New York at Buffalo
B.A. American History
1967 

 

ORGANIZATIONS

International Association for Public Participation (IAP2)

American Planning Association

 

EXPERIENCE

URBAN ALTERNATIVES, 1976-PRESENT

Mr. Robbins, co-founder and now principal owner of Urban Alternatives, is an urban planner and social scientist with over twenty five years’ experience in designing, developing and implementing public information, outreach and participation programs.

Mr. Robbins is currently the managing principal of public information/participation programs for: the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) on the City of Santa Rosa’s Long-Term Wastewater Project; a municipal water supply project involving a change from chlorine to chloramine disinfection for the East Bay Municipal Utility District; a technical assistance contract to provide training to Sacramento County Public Works Agency staff in the application of UA’s consent-building public involvement strategy to a variety of solid waste, flood control and stormwater management projects with public acceptance problems; and a landfill expansion project for the Sacramento County Waste Management and Recycling Division.

He recently served as managing principal providing public information/participation program development services to the City of Benicia, California for a $30 million wastewater facilities bond election; to the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District for the planning and siting of a household hazardous waste drop-off facility; to the City of Fresno, California for a 25-year wastewater master plan; to the City of Stockton for a reclaimed water market study; to the City of Hercules for the preparation of an EIR on a controversial refinery expansion and modernization project and on Hercules’ proposed annexation and development of the 635-acre Franklin Canyon Golf Course; to the City of San Francisco for the preparation of a hazardous waste management plan and EIR; to the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District for the development of a wastewater treatment plant master plan; to the City of Phoenix Planning Department for a variety of community development, rezoning and transportation projects; and to the Contra Costa Water District for a reservoir design and siting project. In addition, he assisted in the design and implementation of a hazardous waste reduction information and outreach program for small quantity generator businesses for the City of San Francisco.

Mr. Robbins has in-depth experience in developing and managing public information/participation programs to support the environmental evaluation and analysis of technically complex, controversial projects. Most of these programs were designed to reach out to key publics, promote informed awareness about environmental study (EIR and/or EIS) results, identify public preferences and concerns and incorporate them into the environmental evaluation and alternatives selection process. This approach served to strengthen EIR/EIS public acceptance, credibility and legal sustainability for many clients including the City of Santa Rosa, California; San Francisco Clean Water Program; San Francisco Office of Environmental Review; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; City of Hercules, California; Central Contra Costa Sanitary District; Alameda County Public Works Agency; Orange County Sanitation Districts; and Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts.

Mr. Robbins has also been instrumental in developing public information/involvement programs in support of landfill siting studies, solid waste management plans, sewer modernization programs, local and regional housing planning efforts, hazardous waste management projects, airport master plan updates, and environmental enhancement projects. A partial list of clients served in these capacities includes the Carson City (Nevada) Department of Public Works; East Bay Municipal Utility District; Association of Bay Area Governments; Central Contra Costa Sanitary District; Metropolitan Oakland International Airport; San Francisco City Administrator’s Office; Orange County Sanitation Districts; and San Joaquin County Housing Authority.

Mr. Robbins has presented papers and lectures on the use of public involvement programs to help implement controversial projects to the Society for Risk Analysis and to the Solid Waste Management Credential Programs at the University of California at Los Angeles.

 

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE, 1969-1976

Prior to founding Urban Alternatives, Mr. Robbins served as consultant to the City of Hayward, California on a federally-funded Community Renewal Program, in which he assisted in developing a public outreach program to identify community priorities, concerns and program choices with respect to housing, family disintegration, drug abuse, the elderly and youth culture. In addition, he was responsible for evaluating the citizen participation components of the Denver; Los Angeles; and Gary (Indiana) Model Cities Programs for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as a consultant with the firm of Marshall Kaplan, Gans & Kahn.

  

SELECTED PROFESSIONAL PLANS/REPORTS

 

Public Information/Involvement Needs Assessment/Plans:

Kiefer Landfill Expansion Project and Supplemental EIR, for the County of Sacramento Public Works Agency, Waste Management and Recycling Division, 1997.

Benicia WastewaterSystem Improvement Project, for the City of Benicia, California, 1995.

Long-Term Wastewater Project EIR/EIS, for the City of Santa Rosa, California, 1993.

Improved Fuels Modification Project EIR, for the City of Hercules, California, 1991.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Master Plan, for the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District, 1991.

Solid Waste Management Action Plan, for Los Angeles County, for the County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, 1989.

Community Outreach Program Public Involvement Plan, for the County Sanitation Districts of Orange County "Action Plan for Balanced Environmental Management," 1988.

Solid Waste Management Study Report, Vol. II, "Public Information/Participation Plan for the Contra Costa Solid Waste Management Study, Phase I," (Technical Memorandum), for the Contra Costa County Department of Public Works and the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, 1984.

 

Professional Reports:

Veto Vulnerability Analysis for a Proposed Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Facility, for the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, 1996.

Final Scoping Report and Feedback Report on Public Input Received During the Formal Scoping Period: Santa Rosa/Subregional Long-Term Wastewater Project EIR/EIS, for the City of Santa Rosa, California (with Harland Bartholomew and Associates), 1995.

Veto Vulnerability Analysis for the Franklin Canyon Golf Course Annexation Project, for the City of Hercules, California Planning Department, 1992.

San Ramon Valley Trunk Sewer Improvement Project, Environmental Impact Report public participation component documents, for the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, 1986.

Solid Waste Management Study Report, Vol. I, "Public Participation in the Landfill Site Selection Process," for the Contra Costa County Department of Public Works and the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, 1985.

Infiltration/Inflow Study Public Awareness and Opinion Survey of SD-1 Households, for the East Bay Municipal Utility District and the East Bay I/I Study, 1985.

Castlewood Sewage Facilities Plan and EIR, "Public Participation Plan and Support Documents," for the Alameda County Public Works Agency, 1985.

Carson City Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan and Environmental Documents: Public Participation Program Summary and Evaluation, for the Carson City, Nevada Department of Public Works, 1982.

Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse Project EIR, "Public Information and Involvement Component Technical Documents," for the East Bay Dischargers Authority, 1979.

ABAG Regional Housing Plan Phase II: Public Participation Summary Report and Technical Memoranda, for the Association of Bay Area Governments, 1977.

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