December 16, 2011 > Ignacio Gonzalez
Submitted By Gwendolyn Mitchell and Laurel Anderson
Ignacio (Nash) Gonzalez has been appointed as Director of Planning and Development for the County of Santa Clara. Forty-eight year old Gonzalez has more than 20 years of professional experience in the field of planning in California.
Gonzalez currently serves as Planning and Building Services Director for Mendocino County, in Ukiah, California, a position he has held for the past three years. In Mendocino County, the Planning and Building Services Department includes Planning, Building, Code Enforcement and, since October 2010, the Water Agency. Gonzalez has also overseen the completion of the General Plan Update, a Housing Element and the Ukiah Valley Area Plan. Most recently he was instrumental in securing a grant through the Strategic Growth Council for the preparation of the County's Sustainable Land Use and Development Code, providing for the next phase in the implementation of the Mendocino County's newly adopted General Plan.
During the previous seven years, he held senior positions with Pacific Municipal Consultants, a municipal planning firm that works with hundreds of public agencies throughout the western United States. During his tenure with the firm, Gonzalez worked with a variety of communities throughout California. He managed both staff and a variety of projects including residential, commercial and industrial developments, as well as environmental reviews and long-range planning efforts.
"Gonzalez's land use and long-range planning experience working in California and his work with a variety of communities will be key assets to Santa Clara County," said County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith. "He understands the nuances of land use laws and policies and how to bring the community together."
While with Pacific Municipal Consultants, Gonzalez either directly worked on, or managed projects for, a number of cities and counties, including the cities of Cotati, Santa Rosa, Corte Madera, Walnut Creek, Hillsborough, Willows, Clearlake, Fort Bragg, Willits, Grass Valley, Lompoc and Santa Barbara and Amador, Butte, Orange, Solano, Sonoma, Kern, Siskiyou, Mendocino and Santa Clara counties.
Gonzalez began his career as a planner in Southern California with the City of Baldwin Park, after graduating from college. He returned to northern California where he worked for Mendocino County as planner from 1986 until 1999. To further his career, in 1999 he went to the City of Healdsburg to assist the City in its development application review efforts until 2001.
Gonzalez's specialty is Surface Mining and Reclamation (SMARA) compliance. While working for Pacific Municipal Consultants he not only developed the company's SMARA program, but he also provided assistance to a number of communities and jurisdictions throughout the state, including Santa Clara County in 2008, performing inspections, preparation of environmental documents and compliance audits.
Gonzalez was awarded his Bachelor of Arts degree in Planning in 1985, by Sonoma State University. He is also a certified planner by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).
"I cannot wait to begin working with the team in Santa Clara County," said Gonzalez. "I am looking forward to all of the challenges the job has to offer."
Gonzalez's appointment as Director of Planning and Development is effective January 9, 2012 and he will be paid $170,508 annually.