willowbrook walking path
willowbrook walking path
Martin Luther King Jr. Fitness Garden
Crescenta Valley dog park site
Peck Park schematic


The Planning and Development (P&D) Agency plays an important role in ensuring that County parks and trails are well planned, designed, constructed, and preserved; socially and culturally relevant; appropriately and equitably located in all neighborhoods; physically accessible; and safe and secure.  Headed by Deputy Director Norma E. Garcia, the Agency consists of the Planning and Development Divisions which are staffed with planners, landscape architects, architects, and other professionals.  

P&D works to ensure that the wide range of benefits parks, recreational facilities, open spaces, and trails offer to both people and the natural environment are maximized.  County parks provide individuals with formal and informal gathering places to be physically active, socialize, build community, relax, and connect with the natural world.  They also make urban areas more inviting for living, working and playing.  In addition, they provide environmental benefits, such as erosion control, stormwater management, buffering between built and natural environments, and wildlife habitat. 

P&D helps to increase access to parks and trails by planning with communities and partnering with other public, private, and nonprofit organizations to offer additional recreational opportunities.  Studies have shown that inability to access recreational facilities is associated with fewer opportunities for physical activity, thus increasing risk for chronic diseases, poor health conditions, and obesity within communities.  Apart from addressing community health needs, P&D staff ensure that parks and trails are appropriately planned, designed, and developed to meet the diverse social and cultural needs of the communities in which they are located.   


The Development Division is headed by Division Chief Jim Smith, and is comprised of three sections: Facilities Planning; Water and Conservation Planning; and Landscape Architecture and Design. 

The Facilities Planning Section is responsible for:

  • Facility Programs Preparation
  • Project Quality Control
  • Plan Review Support
  • Feasibility Study Support
  • Design Consultant Tracking
  • Update of Department Facilities Information

The Water and Conservation Planning Section is responsible for:

  • Coordination of Water Quality Planning
  • Multi-Benefit Storm Water Project Development
  • Lake Planning and Management
  • Recycled/Reclaimed Water Planning
  • Water Conservation and Alternative Energy Planning

The Landscape Architecture and Design Section is responsible for:

  • Project Scope and Concept Development
  • Construction Plan and Design Plan Review
  • Project Design
  • Sustainable and LEED Design
  • Park Design Guidelines and Standards Preparation


The Planning Division is headed by Division Chief Kathline King and is comprised of four sections: Environmental & Regulatory Permitting; Land Acquisition & Development; Research & Trail Planning; and Special Projects—Fifth Supervisorial District Trails. 

The Environmental & Regulatory Permitting Section is responsible for:

  • Environmental and Regulatory Compliance for Department Facilities
  • Environmental Document Preparation for County Park and Open Space Projects
  • Mitigation Measures and Mitigation Plans Monitoring for Projects
  • Review of Projects for Ongoing Compliance with Regulatory and Permitting Agency Requirements
  • Management of Historical Assets and Facilities

The Land Acquisition & Development Section is responsible for:

  • Quimby Ordinance Administration
  • Development and Monitoring of Park Conditions of Approval
  • Tracking of County Land Subdivision and Development Processes for Park and Open Space Opportunities
  • Development of Land Acquisition and Disposition Recommendations
  • Joint Use Agreements Preparation
  • Licenses/Right-of-Access Permits Preparation
  • Maintenance of Park Land Ownership Records and Deed Restrictions

The Research & Trail Planning Section is responsible for:

  • Multi-Use Trails Planning and Design
  • Participation and Collaboration on Trail and  Related Projects with Other Jurisdictions 
  • Review of Projects for Compliance with the County’s Guidelines for Trail, Trailhead and Staging Area Design
  • Preparation and Update of the County’s Trails Manual
  • Handling of Temporary Trail Closures, Re-Routes and Interruptions
  • Off-Highway Vehicle Planning
  • Mapping/Geographic Information System (GIS) services

The Special Projects Section is responsible for:

  • Trail Assessments in the Fifth Supervisorial District (SD5)
  • Development of a New SD5 Trails Website
  • Identification of New Multi-use Trail Opportunities
  • Acquisition of Trail Easements and Use Agreements
  • Preparation of Area/Regional Trail Plans to Guide Future Trail Development
  • Review of Land Development Applications for Trail Opportunities
  • Coordination and Collaboration with Trail User Groups on Trail Planning, Development and Management Issues
  • Participation in Other Special Trails Initiatives and Projects