YEAR | 2017

Kittitas County Demographic Analysis

County narrows down transfer station sites
Daily Record News | 09.14.2017

Washington School Information Processing Cooperative Planning

Pierce County Library System Strategic Plan

Pierce County Library System Strategic Plan

Sherrie Hsu

Sherrie is an Associate at BERK with a focus in economic and policy analysis. She enjoys creating data-driven quantitative and qualitative analyses that can inform decision-making.

Prior to joining BERK, Sherrie worked as a regulatory analyst for an international trade consulting firm in Seattle. Sherrie served as an Economics Intern for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in Washington, D.C. and produced policy memos for EconoFact, a non-partisan publication providing accessible and objective analyses on economic issues.

Sherrie received her Master’s from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University with a focus on international economic policy. She graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. from the Jackson School of International Studies. As an undergraduate, she spent time studying and researching in the Netherlands, Taiwan, and El Salvador. Sherrie is proficient in Mandarin Chinese.

City of Yakima

Comprehensive Plan Update 2017

BERK is working collaboratively with the City of Yakima and leading a multi-disciplinary team in its periodic update of the Comprehensive Plan. BERK has developed a project logo and multi-lingual outreach materials, and facilitated visioning outreach. A new Vision Statement and Yakima’s Top 21 demographic, growth, and infrastructure trends are informing a new set of Plan elements. BERK and team have prepared an audit of the existing plan, developed a growth capacity and existing conditions analysis, updated the Plan elements in a graphic-rich and streamlined manner, reviewed development regulations. The Plan will be supported with an integrated EIS. BERK is helping Yakima tackle relevant issues in plans and policies, such as addressing demographic and growth trends, increasing housing choices, integrating revenue projections and concepts of equity in capital planning, and a focus on new neighborhood infill.

Andrew Bjorn

Andrew Bjorn, PhD., MSCPL, AICP is a Senior Associate at BERK with a background in urban land economics and development planning. He has expertise in civil engineering and policy development, and has worked with communities and organizations across western Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Andrew has extensive experience in growth planning and management, and has worked with clients to address complex urban and regional planning issues.

Prior to joining BERK, Andrew served as a Senior Planner/Economist for a consulting firm in Calgary, Alberta working on regional planning and policy development. He was also previously an instructor at the Department of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington and the Universitetet for miljø- og biovitenskap in Ås, Norway.

City of Kenmore

Market Analysis

To support the City’s economic development goals, specifically around expanding employment opportunities, creating a mixed-use and walkable downtown, and connecting the community to the waterfront, the City of Kenmore commissioned a review of its Regional Business zone to determine if changes were needed. BERK conducted a market analysis of land uses and employment opportunities in Kenmore’s RB zone to identify any needed amendments to zoning code or the City’s Comprehensive Plan. We analyzed local market data and regional trends, interviewed developers and local stakeholders, and assessed other waterfront commercial areas in the region.

Emily Percival

Emily is an Associate with a background in policy and financial analysis. Prior to joining BERK, Emily worked for Seattle Public Utilities providing data analysis to inform ongoing racial equity and social justice initiatives, and City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services coordinating communities to advance equity in the urban forest. She uses data and financial analysis to craft innovative solutions for the public good.

Emily received her B.A. with Honors in Politics from Whitman College and her M.P.A. from University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, graduating with a focus in public finance and a certificate in Technology Entrepreneurship from the Foster School of Business. As a graduate consultant, she provided a return-on-investment analysis for a San Francisco technology start-up and a statistical evaluation of Seattle’s Performance-Based Parking Pricing Program.

City of Seattle

Uptown Urban Center Rezone EIS

BERK analyzed impacts of proposed zoning changes in the Uptown neighborhood of Seattle on the housing stock, housing affordability, and the potential displacement of neighborhood residents and businesses. We also assessed mitigation strategies, including the proposed Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program. This work included analysis of demographic and socio-economic trends as well as local and regional housing market dynamics that shape housing affordability. BERK also analyzed the availability of development sites to evaluate the potential impacts of both forecasted growth and full-buildout scenarios.

BERK is currently conducting a similar analysis for Seattle’s proposed citywide implementation of MHA. This study will include a historic analysis of both physical and economic displacement and its relationship to new housing production.

City of Leavenworth

Housing Needs Assessment

The City of Leavenworth faces significant housing affordability challenges. High demand for vacation homes and short-term rentals are putting pressure on the local housing market. Not surprisingly, a growing share of the local workforce now commutes long distances from homes in more affordable areas outside of the City. In 2016, the City convened a Housing Affordability Taskforce including developers, land lords, and non-profit agencies to help develop strategies for addressing housing needs in the greater Leavenworth area. To support this effort, BERK conducted a housing needs assessment. This study analyzed demographic trends and housing market conditions, as well as trends in neighboring communities, in order to evaluate which kinds of strategies are most likely to produce increased housing options for the local workforce.

The Final Report is available online here.

City of Ellensburg

Housing Needs Assessment

The City of Ellensburg hired BERK to conduct a housing needs assessment in support of its 2017 Comprehensive Plan Update. The purpose of this study was to assess the market potential for meeting the housing needs of four priority groups: university students, low income families, senior and disabled persons, and the local workforce. BERK began with an analysis of demographic trends and housing market conditions, then facilitated two separate workshops with local stakeholders. The first workshop engaged local developers and homebuilders. The second engaged public and non-profit housing actors. BERK also interviewed local property managers, landlords, real estate professionals, as well as housing developers working outside of the area. The final report weaves quantitative and qualitative findings to paint a nuanced picture of Ellensburg’s affordability challenges and presents recommended strategies for addressing housing needs.

The Final Report is available online here.

City of Wenatchee

Housing Needs Assessment & Market Demand Study

In 2016, the City of Wenatchee was facing significant housing supply and affordability challenges. Rents and housing prices were on the rise, and the local housing stock was misaligned with the area’s changing demographic profile. To support the development of strategies to address these challenges, BERK conducted a housing needs assessment and market demand study. The study analyzed demographic and market trends within the Wenatchee urban area and assessed the extent to which current and projected housing needs are being met. Particular emphasis was given to four priority household types: Senior/disabled, workforce, farmworker, and those in need of permanent supportive housing.

The Final Report is available online here.

Ben Silver

Ben is an Associate with a background in GIS analysis, cartography, environmental planning, and sustainability management. Ben enjoys using mapping and geospatial analysis to help empower communities, and to lend understanding to complex data and systems that would otherwise be inaccessible to the average community member.

Prior to joining BERK, Ben worked for the Washington State Office of the Chief Information Officer as a cartographer maintaining the statewide trails database. Concurrently, he worked for the TRPC performing the GIS portion of their climate adaptation planning process. In addition, Ben has held resource conservation management positions with both the UW Bothell and North Seattle College, where he helped each organization better manage resources through the lens of environmental sustainability. Ben holds a dual B.S. degree in Environmental Science and Urban Planning, cum laude, from the University of Washington.

Jessie Hartmann

Jessie is an Associate at BERK focusing on planning and analysis. She is a design expert specializing in analysis, outreach, and design for local projects. She more than 5 years of experience conducting research and technical analyses, and is especially well-known for designing technical graphics that catch the eye and convey information in a friendly, accessible manner.

Prior to joining BERK, she consulted for local governments conducting research and designing materials for community meetings and publicly distributed documents, both as a sole proprietor and with another local consulting firm. Jessie graduated cum laude with University and Departmental Honors and a B.S. in Mathematics from Western Washington University, then earned a Master of Urban Design and Planning from the University of Washington with a Certificate of Achievement in Urban Design. While working towards her Master degree, she interned with the City of Bellevue as a Transportation Outreach Coordinator.

Radhika Nair

Radhika is a Senior Associate with a focus on urban planning. She has a background in community development and policy analysis with experience working with local government, non-profits, foundations, educational institutions and libraries to develop recommendations on complex issues. Her professional experience includes transit-oriented development, urban industrial development, neighborhood planning and design, policy development and the integration of technical analysis with community planning.

Previously, Radhika worked as a Senior Urban Planner for the cities of Seattle and Bellevue and for Community Attributes, and as an architect for a nonprofit affordable housing developer in Kerala, India. She holds a Master of Urban Planning from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kerala. A former Seattle Planning Commissioner, Radhika is a 2017 graduate of Leadership Tomorrow.

Olympia Downtown Parking Strategy

Department of Early Learning

Early Support for Infants and Toddlers Cost Study Update

BERK was engaged by the Washington State Department of Early Learning (DEL) to conduct a cost study for its Early Support for Infants and Toddlers program. In collaboration with DEL, BERK developed and administered a survey tool for local lead agencies and individual service providers to gather information on expenditures, funding, and service provision. BERK analyzed the survey data and additional information provided by DEL to create an accounting of the full expenditures related to early intervention services in Washington. DEL also requested that BERK review and summarize the results from a survey administered by the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to all public schools.

Seattle Department of Transportation

Restricted Parking Zones Policy Review

BERK led the policy review for Seattle’s Restricted Parking Zones (RPZ). Seattle’s has 33 restricted parking zones involving approximately 19,000 parking stalls. The project included public outreach, data collection and analysis, existing and future conditions analysis, policy recommendations, and an implementation strategy to include metrics and monitoring. Data was collected in each of the City’s 31 regular parking zones using License Plate Reader (LPR) technology to assess occupancy, duration, and an analysis of the number of RPZ permitted vehicles observed and their duration in high demand zones. The project also included an online survey with over 3,500 responses, focus groups, and two staff workshops.

Kirkland Police Department

Strategic Plan

BERK led a consultant team that conducted an objective assessment of the Kirkland Police Department’s (KPD) function as a public safety agency. We facilitated a collaborative planning process to strengthen the department’s ability to fulfill its mission and adapt to significant changes occurring in its operating environment. The assessment and planning process involved analyzing crime data and department performance, facilitating a diverse planning committee, and engaging KPD staff, councilmembers, and community stakeholders. BERK implemented a staffing analysis that leveraged both a quantitative model and stakeholder interviews to generate a range of options to enhance the department’s capacity for community-based policing and proactive problem prevention. The final report made recommendations related to technology management, professional development, communication, and organizational development. BERK presented our final recommendations to the  Kirkland City Council for review.

Oregon Health Authority

Cost Assessment Tool for Foundational Public Health Services

BERK worked with the Oregon Health Authority to create a tool distributed to the 34 governmental bodies representing local public health in Oregon. The primary purpose of this tool was to assess the costs associated with implementing a new governmental public health system across the State of Oregon. To do so, the tool created estimates customized to each governmental body in 35 categories by incorporating over a dozen demand factors. The tool included a central control panel that allows for changes to key assumptions, including inflation, time horizon, economies of scale, and minimum requirements in costs and labor.

These estimates will support the Oregon Health Authority in creating a legislative package requesting funding changes for the next decade. The tool fed into a model that allows future scenarios to be tested, including potential impacts on future budget needs.

State Auditor’s Office

Public Records Request Performance Audit

In 2015, the Legislature asked the Washington State Auditor’s Office (SAO) to conduct a study to establish a cost estimate for responding to public records requests. BERK, partnered with Municipal Research and Services Center, surveyed all public entities subject to the Public Records Act. The survey asked about number of requests, time to fulfill requests and types of records produced, policies and practices, perceived trends, and actual or estimated costs associated with public records requests. BERK designed and administered the survey, developed a cost estimation tool to help entities quantify resources and provided technical assistance, and analyzed and summarized the findings. BERK’s work was integrated into the SAO’s Performance Review of Trends in Public Records Requests.

Bremerton Parking Study