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									                                 MSA C ONSULTING , I NC . MAINIERO, SMITH & ASSOCIATES, INC.
                                 PLANNING   CIVIL ENGINEERING   LAND SURVEYING     JANUARY 2005 NEWSLETTER for Clients & Friends
Photography by Scott Van Dyke

                                                                    H IDDEN C ANYON
                                                                    L A Q UINTA , C ALIFORNIA
                                                                     TRANSWEST HOUSING INC.        Says Geoff McComic,
                                       INSIDE THIS ISSUE             made a name for itself in     Executive Vice President
                                                                     San Diego and Orange          and son of company
                                TransWest Housing, Inc.              Counties over 25 years        founder, Barry McComic,
                                                                     with numerous successful      "Our goal is to provide a
                                                                     housing developments,         product where the value
                                Valley Sanitary District             each with unique appeal.      is built-in, whether the
                                Crossing the I-10                    Ten years ago, the family-    buyer chooses to live in
                                                                     owned company made a          the home as we've pre-
                                                                     decision to enter the         sented it, or add their own
                                Environment                          desert housing market.        personal customization."
                                The Dirt on Dirt                     They did so with the same     Because of its attention to
                                                                     business model they've        detail and added value,
                                                                     perfected    over     two     TransWest has posi-
                                                                     decades - give buyers the     tioned itself as a "move
                                                                     ultimate value for their      up” builder, specializing
                                                                     investment.                                  cont. on page 2
    cont. from page 1

     in higher end home communities sought after by buyers seeking to
     upgrade their lifestyles. In order to keep pace with the local desert                              T HE E NVIRONMENT
     real estate market, TransWest does its own market research.
                                                                                T HE D IRT         ON     D IRT
                                                                                EARLY PESTICIDE DETECTION
                                                                                D e v e l o p m e n t i n t h e C o a c h e l l a Va l l e y
                                                                                increasingly involves the conversion of
                                                                                agricultural property to residential and
                                                                                commercial uses. As a result, encountering
                                                                                pesticide contaminated soils is common.
                                                                                Early generation of Phase 1 Environmental
                                                                                Site Assessments (ESA) and Phase 2 ESA’s
                                                                                when appropriate can aid in the avoidance of
                                                                                costly solutions.
                                                                                Bio-accumulative pesticides, including DDT
                                                                                and its derivatives DDE and DDD, are cur-
                                                                                rently of specific concern. These chemicals
                                                                                enter the body's tissues through ingestion,
                                                                                inhalation and absorption and remain or are
                                                                                expelled very slowly. Levels increase accord-
                                                                                ing to length and degree of exposure. Once
                                                                                widely used to control insects, DDT was
                                          MSA provided services to              banned in the United States in 1972, yet
                                          TransWest on four desert devel-       remains in surface soils. It is anticipated to be
                                          opments - Montelena in Indian         a human carcinogen, among other deleterious
                                          Wells, as well as Ridge Gate at       effects. Concentrations of 1 part per million
             "Our goal is to              Hidden Canyon and Ridge View          (ppm) are commonly considered hazardous.
            provide a product             at Hidden Canyon in La Quinta.
                                          Montelena features 71 homes of                                      Phase 1 ESA’s,
             where the value              authentic Tuscan and Classic
                                                                                                              a common
                                                                                                              requirement in
           is built-in, whether           European design, with Indian                                        financing land
                                          Wells' luxurious resort amenities                                   purchases, are
          the buyer chooses to            nearby. Ridge Gate with 85                                          increasingly
           live in the home as            homes and Ridge View with 84                                        requested by
                                          homes each offer a uniquely                                         local jurisdic-
           we've presented it,            secluded setting tucked against a                                   tions during the
            or add their own              dramatic mountain backdrop                                          development
                                          that's still minutes from shop-                                     process. These
                 personal                 ping and services. Hidden                                           reports are a
             customization."              Canyon homes sport clean,                                           compilation of
                                          desert style architecture with        identifying hazardous material issues on, and
           Geoff McComic                  stone accents.                        within a half mile of, the subject property. A
            Executive Vice President                                            Phase 1 ESA can result in a Phase 2 ESA
                                         Next on the drawing boards for         which involves soil sampling to determine the
                                         TransWest is the Palm Springs          presence and levels of contamination. The
                                         Village project - 309 acres -          generation of these reports requires approxi-
                                         approved for 1100 units and an         mately thirty days each.
                                         executive golf course. Also in the
                                                                                A variety of options are available to address
     offing is a 200-acre project known as Griffin Ranch on Avenue 54           DDT in soils. These include removal of the
     and Madison Street in La Quinta. The project is currently moving           contaminated soil, treatment of the soil or
     through the entitlement process and is set to feature 303 lots from        on-site management. Removal and treatment
     12,000 square feet to one acre, with four distinct housing products.       are expensive and time consuming options
                                                                                and, if mismanaged, can lead to federal viola-
     TransWest's relationship with MSA comes naturally, observes Geoff          tions and fines. On-site design solutions are
     McComic. "MSA has the best planning department in the valley and           the most efficient answer. Contaminated soils
     their engineering staff knows all the right players to get the job done.   can be placed beneath non-porous surfaces
     But, what we really appreciate is our ability to pick up the phone and     such as streets and parking lots. Early
     talk principal to principal about any questions or issues that might       preparation of the Phase 1 ESA allows the
     come up. That responsiveness is what makes the difference."                design team to arrive at solutions that avoid
                                                                                costly delays, violations and measures related
                                                                                to contaminated soil mitigation.
                                                                VALLEY SANITARY DISTRICT

                                             CROSSING INTERSTATE 10 - THE HARD WAY
                                       H ave you ever        largest diameter high-density polyethylene (HDPE) ever
                                       wondered how          directionally drilled. In fact, the technology is so good
water pipelines or major sewer mains get from one side       that the contractor, Laney Directional Drilling, of
of a freeway to the other when land is developed?            Humble, Texas, missed its intended target with the initial
Probably not. And yet, somehow, public services are          pilot hole by only eight inches.
provided to new developments without open trenching
across busy highways like Interstate 10.                     Contained within the 54-inch diameter HDPE casing are
                                                             three siphons measuring 16 inches, 20 inches and 24
For one thing, the California Department of                  inches, along with a future 14-inch reclaimed irrigation
Transportation, Caltrans, does not allow open cutting        main. Ultimately, sewage from the north side of the
across its highways. That's where Trenchless Technology      Interstate will be collected and transported under the
comes in. The only way to get services from one side of      freeway by gravity in the siphons. As a long-term future
the Interstate to the other is by going underneath that      objective it will then be treated at the Valley Sanitary
wide expanse of concrete freeway, without disrupting the     District plant and pumped back to the north side through
flow of traffic. In the case of the exploding Shadow Hills   the reclaimed irrigation main. The treated water will
area of north Indio, Valley Sanitary District needed to      ultimately be used to irrigate landscaped open space,
replace an existing sewer siphon to connect the new          thereby preserving other water sources.
service area by crossing both the freeway and the
Whitewater Storm Channel.                                    Thanks to Trenchless Technology and a team of out-
                                                             standing infrastructure professionals, wastewater flows
The result was a directional drilled crossing that spanned   from the Shadow Hills residential communities and the
over 1,300 lineal feet. It started at the Fantasy Springs    Fantasy Springs Casino expansion will be transported
Casino west parking lot, and continued underground           safely for decades to come. MSA Consulting, Inc.
until it surfaced at the northwest corner of Valley          performed the civil engineering of the Shadow Hills
Sanitary District's treatment plant. According to            master plan and sewer design for Valley Sanitary
inspector Dennis True, principal of True                     District. MSA utilized the Encinitas office of Dudek &
Environmental Services Inc. of Magnolia, Texas, the          Associates as a subconsultant for the project.
54-inch diameter siphon casing is believed to be the
                                                                     P ROFILE
                                                                                                                 From the President
                                                                                                                         BOB SMITH
                                                                                                  HITTING STRIDE IN '05
                           M ICHAEL O EHLBAUM , CPA                                               What a difference a decade
                           C HIEF F INANCIAL O FFICER
                                                                                                  Remember the business
                                                                                                  mantra of the early '90s
                        Golf brought             I didn't know what a civil engineer              recession: "Stay alive until
                                                                                                  '95"? Hanging on for dear
                        M i c h a e l            did." As a CPA, what Michael                     life (again) is not some-
                        O e h l b a u m to       did know was how to implement a                  thing anyone wants.
                        the desert. In           financial accounting system to help              The recession started in '91 not as a slowdown
                        his case, it             MSA manage its revenue growth.                   but rather a screeching halt to home building.
                        wasn't about             He set about loading information                 Every development project stopped in its tracks.
                                                                                                  The domino effect touched every business and
how to play the game but how to                  into a new software program and is               individual in the valley. Once again, the rela-
dress for the game. Michael's back-              proud of the results. "We now have               tionship between a healthy housing industry and
ground was in the apparel business.              the tools to keep pace with the vol-             a healthy local economy was there for all to see.
He and his wife, Mona, sold their                ume of business," he observes.                   We can all agree that an over-heated housing
business in Los Angeles to come to                                                                market with annual price increases of 30% to
                                                                                                  40% eliminates many prospective first time
t h e d e se rt t o w o rk fo r a g o l f        Says Michael, "I've gained a much                buyers. But, let's remind those who would try to
apparel company. After awhile,                   better understanding about the                   close the gate behind them to instead be part of
Michael decided to put his finance               importance of what firms like ours               the solution.
acumen on the local job market. At               do for the communities they                      Let's get creative. Let's look toward a better and
the time, MSA was at a point                     s e r v e . So lid la n d p la n n in g is       smarter housing future. Let's encourage innova-
                                                                                                  tive design, higher densities for affordability and
where it required the services of a              critical to the economic health of a             live/work connectivity for fewer and shorter
Chief Financial Officer.                         region. It's part of what keeps                  commutes. Let's find ways for our kids to afford
                                                 people wanting to come here and                  houses. Urban villages in the desert? Lofts
                                                                                                  above commercial establishments? Mixed use
Michael started with MSA in 1999                 play golf!" Michael and Mona                     neighborhoods where you can walk to work?
and says now, "Hiring me was a                   still make time for golf, softball,              The time has come to embrace some innovative
leap of faith for Bob - I had dealt              movies and music.                                concepts if we're going to keep the housing train
w i t h p ro d u c t s a n d i n v e n t o ry.                                                    on the right track.

                                      “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

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  C O N S U LT I N G ,
        I NC .
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                                   RANCHO MIRAGE   CA     92270
                                       MSAC ONSULTING I NC . COM                        Design: Carol Daniels Graphic Design         Editor: Gayl Biondi

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