Mike Parker is a principal in the Environmental Practice, with 16 years of environmental and urban planning experience. He is based in Ascent’s Sacramento office and shares his time as a key environmental leader in the firm’s Oakland office. Mike has managed and directed preparation of environmental documents for projects large and small across Northern California, with a primary focus in the Central Valley and the Bay Area. His diverse project experience ranges from open space projects to high-rise towers in downtown settings, from elementary schools to colleges, from small subdivisions to major specific plans, from small city halls to major criminal justice facilities. However, the bulk of Mike’s experience relates to urban development projects and plans, including large-scale structures and facilities, tentative maps, specific plans, area plans, and general plans. He has a thorough understanding of the planning process, including development applications and other local civic procedures, agency and stakeholder outreach and coordination, and planning opportunities and constraints.
Some highlights of Mike’s experience and expertise include managing preparation of:
- EIRs for specific plans, area plans, community plans, and general plans throughout Northern California. Examples include the City of Sacramento General Plan EIR and the EIR for the 8,000-acre Sunset Area Plan/Placer Ranch Specific Plan.
- Environmental documents for several major institutional uses, including colleges, prisons, major courthouses, criminal justice centers, and the largest (at the time) public health care institution in the United States—a 1,700-bed prison health care facility, staffed by 3,000 employees, that now provides subacute medical and mental health care for inmates throughout the state.
- Environmental documents for hundreds of private development projects, including major retail distribution centers, small- and large-lot tentative maps, downtown high-rise buildings, and mixed-use developments. One key example is the EIR that Mike oversaw for the highly controversial 1 million-square-foot Merced Wal-Mart regional distribution center, covering 230 acres and employing 1,200.
- Planning and environmental documents for multiple Northern California parks and open space plans. Examples include the Carmel Area State Parks General Plan and several EIRs and IS/MNDs prepared for a variety of open space plans and projects proposed by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.
In his previous role as a current planner at the City of Sacramento, Mike processed development applications for the Development Services Department. Responsibilities included outreach to the public, stakeholders, and agencies; coordination with other city departments: preparation of staff reports; and presentations before decision-makers. He currently serves as the legislative director for the Sacramento Valley Section of the California Chapter of the American Planning Association.
When Mike is not busy working on a plan or environmental document, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two teenaged kids, either in the backyard or heading out to find outdoor adventures at local, state, and national parks in California and beyond. He also writes short fiction and sketches wildlife.