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Heather Flint Chatto, Forage Design + Planning

Principal & Owner

Heather is a professional planner and urban designer with more than 18 years of professional work in environmental design, civic and regional planning and environmental policy practice. She is passionate about education, green building, ecological design and fostering community engagement in both her professional and volunteer work. In addition to a Masters degree in Urban Planning and a Bachelors in Environmental Studies for Teachers, she draws on a diverse background of experience working both in the public and private sector as well as nonprofits. She has extensive experience collaborating successfully with architects, landscape architects, engineers, developers, energy efficiency  experts, and local and state government leaders. In 2015, she was honored with an award from the Daily Journal of Commerce as one of the Top 25 Woman of Vision for the State of Oregon.

Selected Professional Expertise

URBAN PLANNING | While working as an urban planner for Santa Barbara County Planning & Development Department Heather wore multiple hats in both long range comprehensive planning and redevelopment, including leading community advisory groups and coordinating with large redevelopment projects to implement revitalization plans. In addition to other technical research, reports and analysis, she helped implement trail and restoration projects, and managed the process to write and adopt the Goleta Old Town Heritage District Architecture & Design Guidelines. She also initiated a new Public Information Program, which including ongoing community events and public engagement resources as well as development of training tools and resources for County staff.

GREEN BUILDINGS | As a project manager for Habitats Inc., a design/build green building, landscape architecture and ecological planning firm, she managed the team of consultants, provided LEED consulting, led design charettes and the permitting process for the SeQuential Biofuels flagship eco-fueling station on a former brownfield. During this time, she also wrote and secured a $40,000 grant from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board for the Tiara Stormwater Management Demonstration Home, in addition to other design and planning projects.

ENERGY + EDUCATION | For over five years, she helped lead New Building’s Institute’s Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Commercial Buildings Action Plan implementation work for the state of California as a consultant to the California Public Utilities Commission. This work involved technical research and policy support and developing and leading a statewide education program with the investor owned utilities on zero energy school retrofits. During her tenure at NBI, she facilitated more than 20 public trainings, charrettes and workshops across the state for architects, engineers, local governments and other industry professionals. She also developed a suite of educational resources including presentations, case studies, fact sheets and design toolkits. At NBI she also co-authored the first of it’s kind zero energy Fellowship program, and led the development of the first ZNE School Leadership Awards Program in the country.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT + ADVOCACY | As co-founder of the Division Design Initiative, Heather has worked tirelessly with neighborhoods business associations, community groups, university design and planning students, as well as planners and policymakers to foster greater design literacy, policy advocacy, public art, community engagement tools, and neighborhood main street design guidelines.

AWARDS  |   PROJECTS