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"When we need assistance in completing a project, we hire the experts in their field, and hire the best for the specific task, such as Doug Herring. We hired Doug for the La Vista Quarry permit extension because of his reputation. He was recommended by and is held in very high regard by the Alameda County Planning Department because of the quality of his work.

"We prefer to work with smaller high quality firms because when you go to work with a large firm, although they may have certain experts on staff, more often than not you get shuffled into dealing with a middle level person. Larger firms tend to be more bureaucratic, and you tend to not deal with the principals and the really experienced, highly qualified people. More often than not we will choose a small- to medium-size firm where you are in direct contact with the principal and you know you are getting the best quality.

"Doug exceeded my expectations on the project. There are a lot of people in land use development who understand subdivisions, but quarries are quite different. Doug is a quick study, and he picked up the concepts very quickly. He was very responsive and communicative; whenever we arrived at a decision making point, he was with me any time of day. If he needed clarification, he asked for it, with the result that his first drafts were far superior to most second and third drafts from other consultants.

"Doug's work is a very good value and he exceeded every expectation regarding quality and timeliness of the work. The one down side of using a smaller firm is that Doug is not always available, but I do appreciate his honesty in telling me his availability up front.

"There are very few people who understanding mining so I have recommended Doug to several other agencies."

Bob McCarrick, Vice-President
The DeSilva Group
Dublin, CA

"Doug Herring has a long-standing business relationship with the Alameda County Planning Department. We have hired him directly and have recommended him because we feel his work is very worthwhile. Doug brings a broad range of project experience ranging from commercial and residential to industrial projects. I would feel confident referring anybody to Doug on almost any project. Doug has always been meticulous without being overbearing . . . and has been one of the most reliable and dependable people on making sure everything is done properly that I have seen."

Bruce Jensen, Senior Planner
Alameda County Planning Department
Hayward, CA

"Doug, I also wanted to tell you that in 23 years of reading EIRs and neg decs, the IS/MND that you prepared for this project is one of the best — so well-written and full of thoughtful, complete analysis. What a pleasure to read."

Maria Pracher
Land Use and Environmental Attorney
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP
San Francisco, CA

"You guys have really raised the bar and set a new standard for our EIR consultants to follow."

Richard Mitchell, Planning Director
City of Richmond Planning Department
Richmond, CA

"We have used Doug over the years on a variety of projects, and I think the primary reason we continue to use him is because of his understanding of our projects. His technical expertise is important, but we also appreciate his ability to listen to us and respond to what we really need in an interactive manner, as opposed to someone who just goes off and produces a product, assuming or hoping it is the right thing. When we hired Doug, the involvement of the subcontractors is seamless, in the sense that we don't have to spend a lot of time dealing with them. I trust Doug to hire competent people to get the work done that he manages."

Chris Bazar
Community Development Director
Alameda County, CA

"Land use issues are always controversial and the CEQA process is difficult; it creates the most vulnerability for the successful completion of a project because there are so many aspects of CEQA that can be controversial and exploited. The process can be leveraged to stall projects or to have them disapproved. Without knowledge, guidance, perseverance, and having technical confidence understanding the law and the ability to respond to comments you cannot have a successful project. Doug is responsive to the client and very knowledgeable with respect to the legal aspects of CEQA, but he is also familiar with the planning process, zoning, general plans, and the requirement on how they abide to the evaluation of the project. He has both the planning background and the ability to function in a staff role, as well as technical knowledge and competence of CEQA processes.

"With Doug you know that he is hands-on and responsible for the work product, dead-lines, and is accountable. With larger firms there are many qualified people but occasionally there is turnover of project managers and work is often delegated to less experienced staff. The work can be inconsistent with multiple staff completing different segments of the report, affecting the overall editing required.

"Doug has the ability to anticipate points of contention both in the initial scoping of work and also has the ability to put himself into the mind of the staff worker to assist them to do their work and anticipating what they should be requesting to move the project along efficiently.

"Doug tells you the schedule, understanding the amount of work that is required, and meets the schedule; he is not one of those "Tweeks" — those guys who always say it will be done in two weeks and when you have to follow up they say another two weeks. Doug is realistic and meets the timelines he sets for himself. I have recommended Doug to both public jurisdictions and private parties with the assurance that Doug is a competent consultant."

Adolph Martinelli
Former Director of Alameda County Community Development Agency
Hayward, CA

"I have heard that Mr. Herring has a very good reputation working with complicated projects; I have heard it from other people and have confirmed it. Because we do not always have the appropriate background and expertise for environmental review, we hire Doug, confident of his knowledge of the field and his skills in writing large-scale EIRs.

"At one point we were really swamped with work and we were using seven different outside planning consultants, and after a while Doug just kept rising to the top. We have used former planning directors who are now consultants — great writers with really good analytical skills, but Doug's work was just superior. We have tried working with larger consulting companies, but the complexity of their structure of command tends to slow down communication, which can delay a project. With Doug, he is the president of his firm, so it makes responsive communication much simpler.

"Some of our projects have to be expedited and streamlined and Doug has always met those deadlines, even when they were really shortened time frames for staff reports. For the fees he charges you get a lot of bang for your buck, and it costs less than hiring a larger consulting firm. I also appreciate the fact that Doug wants to control the quality of the product that comes out of his office. My expectations were exceedingly met on the last project."

Dennis Tagashira, Planning Manager
City of Hercules Community Development Department
Hercules, CA

"I met Doug in 1988 and hired him for his first job at an environmental planning firm, almost 20 years ago. He had just finished his graduate degree in public policy from U.C. Berkeley. Over the years Doug has worked on numerous projects for me, and they have all been excellent; he really does outstanding work. There are three different reasons why I would hire Doug versus someone else: I know him and his work; he is extremely competent, extremely skilled, and thorough; and I know I will get a good product. He is very efficient, and if he needs information, he asks questions and lets me know immediately what kind of information he needs. If there is a lack of material or data he lets me know and we discuss other data sources.

"I get full value for what I pay him, and he always completes the project within the generalized budget that we talk about. He has a good reputation and a lot of people like using him. If I had to identify any shortcoming, it would be that he sometimes provides a Mercedes Benz treatment when possibly a Volkswagon-level would suffice. "

Stu During, Principal
During Associates
San Francisco, CA

"City planning departments are often strapped for personnel, and whenever we can we offer to provide assistance in the form of funding for contract personnel to support staff or project planners. In some cities we are lucky enough to suggest who that might be or what firm and we often recommend Doug. One of the reasons I enjoy working with Doug is because he is a smaller firm and I get better service and more personal attention from the principal, which I like. I find that a smaller firm is a better value, versus working with a larger firm with more overhead and enormous staffs.

"When I first started working with Doug I was a little concerned about the time being taken on the project, but my tune soon changed. The thoroughness of the investigation and the CEQA documents themselves were commendable. I would say that my expectations were met and that is why we have actually used Doug on a couple of other projects and have referred him to other cities.

"We usually hire Doug to get environmental documents prepared that are fair, supportable, and well thought-out. Doug reaches out to contact you to make sure that he is getting the information he needs to complete his job thoroughly and efficiently. And he is right on top of the project. I like working with Doug because he understands what we need from him and I believe that he does a thorough analysis and a fair and impartial job of assessing projects. When I have questions or concerns or if I don't agree with what he has prepared, he is willing to sit down and discuss it and listen; we don't always change his mind but he is always open to discussion."

Ray Panek
Senior Vice-President of Forward Planning and Land Development
KB Home South Bay, Inc.
Pleasanton, CA

"It is very easy to work with Doug; we worked with him on a number of projects in Hercules, where he was both used as our consultant and by the developer. Doug has the experience to know when to ask the questions. Because Doug works in various jurisdictions he is familiar with all the regulatory documents and how they differ or how they apply but he knows when to ask questions to check if his interpretation is correct. Even just making a quick phone call is the thing that can save you from going down the wrong path and having to change the whole analysis later.

"I think Doug has a great range of experiences: he is a good planner and I know he worked in a large firm in the city a number of years ago. He has got a lot of experience in the environmental document process, and he is able to work through projects from a number of different angles. He has a good group of people that he has worked with on a regular basis that he feels comfortable relying on."

Elizabeth Dunn
Community Development Director
City of Novato

"Being a sole proprietor, Doug can give detailed attention. He instantly understands every project, and he brings in specialists when he needs them. He can give very personal attention to your project. If he is available, he can give you a very good turnaround. Because he is a small shop he really has to pay close attention to his calendar, and is careful to not over-extend himself, which I appreciate. Doug tends to detail, works to provide people with follow-through, and is responsive, which is one of his strong points."

Joan Malloy
Community Development Director
City of Union City

"We hired Doug to prepare an environmental impact report for a permit for a gravel mining operation in Pleasanton, and we were very happy with the results. He was fair all the way through, and up front on everything that needed to be done. He hired the right people we needed to get the job done, including traffic consultants, biologists, and hydrologists, and we were very happy with the people he brought in.

"I hired Doug because of his expertise and personality, but I also find it more personable to work with a smaller firm, and find that you get a lot of value for your money with his firm. You're talking to the principal, and you get a direct response from Doug. You get him right away; you don't have to go through 15 people or a voice mail system to get a response.

"Doug was originally recommended to us by Alameda County. Buzz Sorensen [Community Development Director] thinks very highly of him and has recommended him for several projects."

Don Kahler, Vice-President
Rhodes & Jamieson
Pleasanton, CA

To learn about the experience of DHA's principal and the professional associates who help perform the work for our clients, please follow this link to our About Us page.

"[Doug] was very responsive and communicative; whenever we arrived at a decision making point, he was with me any time of day. If he needed clarification, he asked for it, with the result that his first drafts were far superior to most second and third drafts from other consultants."

Bob McCarrick, Vice-President
The DeSilva Group
Dublin, CA

"Over the years Doug has worked on numerous projects for me, and they have all been excellent; he really does outstanding work. There are three different reasons why I would hire Doug versus someone else: I know him and his work; he is extremely competent, extremely skilled, and thorough; and I know I will get a good product."

Stu During, Principal
During Associates
San Francisco, CA

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