ALEX PICHACZ

Alex Pichacz

Education

  • Master of Science, Geography
    University of Montana
  • Bachelor of Arts, Environmental Studies
    Rowan University

Professional Memberships

  • American Planning Association

Professional Certifications

  • American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP)

Interesting Facts:

  • Has worked as a gourmet chef
  • Previously certified as a NOLS Wilderness First Responder

Alex Pichacz is an Associate Planner at Winterbrook Planning. His experience working in both urban and rural settings has given him a unique and well-developed understanding of the complexities of farm and forest planning in Oregon. He has worked on several Portland Water Bureau projects, improving the drinking water system for the entire city for years to come. 

“My experience working in both urban and rural settings has given me a unique understanding of the complexities of farm and forest planning in Oregon.”

Growing up, Alex had parents who actively volunteered for our local government which inspired him to volunteer as a board member for the local water and sewer authority while pursuing his Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Planning from Rowan University. After graduating, he became a research assistant in the geography department, researching policy implications related to zoning density and affordable housing. Inspired by his colleagues there, he went on to acquire a Master of Science in Geography focusing on Community and Environmental Planning from the University of Montana where he wrote his thesis on grassroots organizing and recreation planning, and developed a fascination for how humans interact with space and place. After Graduate school, he became a Planner for Benton County, Oregon, where he got his first experience with the Oregon Land Use Planning system. Prior to Winterbrook Planning, he was a Farm and Forest Planner for Clackamas County, where he learned the intricacies of Oregon Land use laws and the urban/rural divide.

Representative Projects:

Warrenton School District
Alex met weekly with the design team to address evolving project needs, participated in pre-application conferences, drafted the land use narrative, coordinated with City staff on application submittal and assisted Greg Winterowd at the public hearing.
For the project as a whole,
Winterbrook Planning led a two-step land use process to relocate the Warrenton-Hammond School District’s three public schools on a 58-acre site outside of the tsunami zone.  The first step was to amend the City’s development ordinance to allow for an Institutional Master Plan review process, followed by concurrent land use applications for a conditional use permit and design review for the campus master plan to be constructed in four phases over a 10-year period. Winterbrook Planning ensured the site design met the City’s development standards, and through close coordination with the School District, City staff, and the project team, the campus master plan was approved in a single land use hearing.

River View Natural Area
Alex wrote the Conditional Use portion of the application, reviewed design drawings for consistency with code requirement, and documented site conditions in the field.
Winterbrook Planning as a whole provided regulatory expertise and resource evaluation as part of a large team assisting Portland Parks and Recreation with their River View Natural Area master plan to ensure its long term conservation.
The River View Natural Area was a part of one of the oldest cemeteries in Portland. Before the City of Portland bought 146 acres of unforested land, under ownership of the cemetery, a series of informal, haphazard trails had formed, where erosion, ponding, and widening were evident. The City purchased the property to protect the watershed. The project took an objective look at the site and created a plan based on protecting and enhancing natural resources. All components of resource management and public improvement were addressed, and the plan provided a guide to protect and improve natural resource functions and provide sustainable recreation.

Gibbs Street Development
Alex helped review and coordinate design documents to comply with zoning code requirements, drafted the land use application narrative, and coordinated the application submittal to the city.
Winterbrook Planning led the land use and public engagement processes for the project, working with Scotia Western States Housing and NNA to propose to develop 2 buildings on SW Gibbs St.
Winterbrook proposed a partition to create an environmental tract to preserve the northern portion of the property, and modifications through the Environmental Review criteria to increase the maximum lot size, maximum building coverage, allow a split-zoned property, and to reduce the required number of trees in the parking area.