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Remembering Paul Crawford

We lost one of the Good Guys last night. No, actually he was one of the Great Guys. His name was Paul Crawford and he left us far, far too soon. I can’t say I was especially close to Paul, but we had mutual friends and I spent many hours at dinner parties on Lawrence Drive, listening to Paul discuss wine, Italy, and the SLO life. He loved San Luis Obispo and he loved his family. One of the most decent, honest, and all-around nice people I’ve ever had the chance to know.

There will be a memorial service for Paul this Sunday afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m. at Spanos Theater on the Cal Poly campus. Please help me get the word out. I know it will be SRO.

Meanwhile, here are some higlhights of Paul’s official resume to give you some sense of his professional accomplishments.

“Since forming CMCA with Mike Multari in early 1990, Paul Crawford has been involved with zoning ordinance preparation, comprehensive planning, and computer applications for a wide variety of cities and counties. A nationally recognized expert in zoning codes, his work on over 80 California codes includes those for Calaveras, Marin, Placer, San Luis Obispo, Solano, and Sonoma counties, and the cities of Chico, Culver City, Hollister, Mountain View, Pasadena, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, South Pasadena, Stockton, and West Hollywood. Crawford has also worked since 1990 on: over 30 city and county general plans; Local Coastal Programs for the cities of Carmel by-the-Sea, Malibu, Pacific Grove, and Guadalupe; a 12,000-acre specific plan for Solano County; and Energy Elements of the General Plan for Glenn and San Luis Obispo counties. He served as interim planning director for the City of Buellton for the first two years after the incorporation of that City. Crawford is currently working on new zoning codes for the cities of Azusa, Brentwood, Grass Valley, Petaluma, and Santa Rosa, and Santa Barbara and Sonoma counties, and new general plans for the cities of Sonoma and Ventura

Prior to founding CMCA, Paul Crawford was Director of Planning and Building for San Luis Obispo County from 1980 to 1990. He concurrently served as Executive Director of the San Luis Obispo County Council of Governments. In both roles, he managed over 85 staff, with an annual budget of over $4 million. Under his management, San Luis Obispo County: updated the Land Use, Circulation and Housing Elements of the General Plan; prepared several specific plans (including initiation of a joint city-county effort); obtained Community Development Block Grant funds for low-income housing programs; received certification of the county’s Local Coastal Program from the California Coastal Commission; and completed successful permit process streamlining efforts. In 1988, Crawford directed the processing of land use permits and preparation of an EIS/EIR for a major onshore support facility and pipeline as part of a new offshore oil project. From 1984 to 1989, he served on a tri-county advisory committee on offshore oil issues established by the Governor’s Secretary of Environmental Affairs.

The San Luis Obispo County Department of Planning and Building also achieved significant advances in office automation under Crawford’s management. Paul was acknowledged in the September, 1989 issue of Planning magazine (“Stalking the Wild Permit,” page 24) as having developed one of the first automated permit tracking systems in the nation. He has also performed extensive research and development work in the automation of zoning information retrieval and zoning ordinance administration. Among the results of that work was an automated zoning information system for San Luis Obispo County, including 24-hour zoning information service to the public (the “Zone Phone”).

Before his tenure as planning and building director, Paul was the project manager for the county’s comprehensive Land Use Element/Land Use Ordinance, a single-map integrated land use policy and regulatory system that replaced the more traditional two-document zoning ordinance and general plan format. He personally drafted the Land Use Ordinance. This innovative project won the American Planning Association California Chapter meritorious program award in 1981.

Mr. Crawford has also worked as interim Planning Director for the City of Pismo Beach and served in a variety of capacities for cities in the California Central Valley. Before his public sector work, Paul was a private consultant in Visalia, where he worked on a number of land use and site planning projects and prepared several EIRs. He also designed streetscape elements for Visalia’s downtown revitalization program, designed neighborhood parks and served as a staff advisor for a Housing Authority.

Paul Crawford earned his B.S. degree in City and Regional Planning at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Since 1980, he has served as adjunct professor in the Cal Poly City and Regional Planning Department, where he teaches annual courses in Public Agency Planning Practice, and Planning Agency Management; and has also regularly taught Introduction to Urban Planning. He was selected by the Cal Poly College of Architecture and Environmental Design as 1990-91 Honored Alumnus. He has also served on the faculty of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, UC Davis Extension, and UCLA Extension, where has taught professional development courses in zoning code drafting, and geographic information systems (GIS).

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