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  • who we are

    Wallace Group is a reflection of the communities we serve. We are neighbors, family members, active volunteers, professionals and leaders in our business and personal communities. We believe in contributing and we have a commitment to the long-term health and viability of our built environment.

  • what we do

    We are service oriented professionals in Civil & Transportation Engineering, Construction Management, Landscape Architecture, Mechanical Engineering, Planning, Public Works Administration, Surveying / GIS Solutions and Water Resources. We understand the importance of thoughtful collaboration in order to deliver meaningful, elegant and cost-effective planning, design and engineering solutions for the needs of our community.

  • why we do it

    Since our founding in 1984, our focus and passion has centered on the personal side of business. We value our partnerships; we believe in earning trust and work diligently to demonstrate integrity, fairness and reliability to our clients and amongst our staff. At Wallace Group we love what we do and the value it provides to people. Our work reflects our Dedication to Service and results in high value services and-quality products for our clients and our built environment.

the latest news

12/ 16/ 2014
The America’s Tire Company Store No. CAL 43 at 1443 Calle Joaquin San Luis Obispo, California is a 7,080 SF tire sales store on a 0.88 acre property.  The site was chosen for its central coast location because of the synergy of other similar automotive uses in the vicinity and the proximity to Highway 101. The store opened in early March 2013. Wallace Group provided surveying, planning, civil engineering, and landscape architecture services for the project. Our Planning Department prepared the Site Investigation Report which provided the guidance for America’s Tire for the development of the property.  We also assisted in the processing of General Plan Amendment (GPA) to rezone through the City’s Planning Commission and City Council.  The GPA involved rezoning the property from Tourism Commercial to Service Commercial with special considerations overlay to allow for the store to be developed.  The City agreed that the expanded area of rezoning of the Tourism Commercial to Service Commercial would be a more logical land use pattern. Upon approval of the GPA, Wallace Group prepared the submittal package for the Use Permit and Architecture Review Commission. Our Civil Engineering Department prepared the initial preliminary concept grading, drainage and utility plans for the City of San Luis Obispo’s Administrative Use Permit approval process.  The Civil Department coordinated and designed the final onsite and offsite construction plans, drainage report, and provided intermittent construction site inspection. Our Landscape Architecture Department created a design and layout that has visual appeal, addresses future stormwater runoff to the adjacent Prefumo Creek, preserved key existing trees while also providing additional drought tolerant and water efficient landscaping. The new irrigation system utilizes 100% recycled water from the City of San Luis Obispo.   079-2500491044-O   Stormwater quality structural control measures incorporated pervious concrete and bioswales in the design. Both of these elements work together to reduce storm runoff and encourage the water to percolate through the soil profile increasing the ground water and reducing overland flow. The initial grading of the site revealed a shallow bedrock.  This made the excavation difficult but provided beautiful, local rock for the rip rap at the creek bank. During larger storm events, the runoff will travel across the pervious concrete to the rock rip rap which is designed to slow and spread out the flow as it approaches the creek. This slowing and spreading prevents the water from eroding the creek bank and causes debris in the runoff to drop out of the water before it reaches the creek.   071-2500474455-O   The project design provides a water efficient landscape that maximizes beauty and shade coverage.  We were able to maintain a majority of the existing vegetation along the perimeter of the site. By limiting the vegetation removal it provided immediate shade coverage for the project.  The existing vegetation was incorporated into the landscape palate and storm drainage system. We removed non-native shrubs from the top of the Prefumo Creek bank and replaced them with native trees and shrubs to improve the habitat value of the creek. The landscape irrigation system design includes drip emitters, low-precipitation rate rotary heads and bubblers, all of which help to reduce water use in the landscape. The project was recently awarded Honorable Mention Green Landscape Award from the USGBC California Central Coast Chapter.
12/ 08/ 2014
For the holidays this year we asked our team to share photos of their favorite things. You can see what they chose by clicking here.
12/ 08/ 2014
It was a brisk and wet Saturday morning when the Rotary Club of San Luis de Tolosa held their annual Child Spree. Volunteers from the club, along with members of the local Interact and Rotaract groups escorted 114 children through Kohl’s Department store for an early morning shopping spree. Tom-at-Child-Spree   The children were selected by the area’s schools and identified as in need of assistance during this time of year. Wallace Group’s very own John Wallace, Tom Zehnder and Chris Gardner were on hand to help out. John-at-Child-Spree   John and Tom had their work cut out for them in finding the right size shoes, pants and shirts for their participants. Chris had the honor of photographing all the children as they visited with Santa. Everyone enjoyed a wonderful breakfast and left with giant smiles, full bellies and new clothes.
10/ 21/ 2014
I have three sisters, and also a large extended family. My dad’s side gets together once a year for a camping trip and there are usually 50 or 60 of us. With all girls, my dad needed at least one tomboy, and quite frankly he ended up with four. I have great memories of building forts and wrenching on cars with my dad. When I was growing up my grandparents had a little beach shack in Cayucos where we would spend holidays and summers, so SLO has always felt like home to me. BigRiverBeach-w   I grew up in Salinas, yes the salad bowl of the world. I made my way up to northern California, living in the town of Mendocino and then Arcata where I met my now husband Craig. After 40+ straight days of rain (yes, we were building an ark) I decided that SLO was the right climate for me. I moved here when I started at Cal Poly, Craig made the move a few years later, and we both feel very fortunate to call SLO home. Craig and I do miss the redwoods and the rivers, he was big into salmon fishing (yum! He bbq’d a fresh caught fish for our first date) and we spent a lot of time during the summers rafting and swimming. CherryCreekRaft-w   Now our days our filled with sunny weather activities, hiking, back-packing, and tending to our fruit trees and veggie garden. The love of our life is our 100-year old house, we have big dreams to restore it to its original craftsman glory. So far we have focused on the yard (it takes a few years to get good apples!) and we are in the planning stages for what we’d like to accomplish on the inside. PrizeLettuce-w   I try to fit in some form of physical activity (OK, exercise) every day, it is my “me” time and my mental break from the rest of life. My go-tos are swimming, yoga, dance, and riding my bike (yes the commute to work counts). I also spend my free time in the kitchen, I love to cook and eat, and I cooked in a couple restaurants while I was in school. My mom has a great picture of me as a little girl standing in front of the stove on a step stool making breakfast for myself, so I guess I’ve always been a fan of the Cal Poly “learn by doing” motto. Craig and I have been experimenting making hot sauce with our home grown peppers so if you like the kind of food that can burn a hole through your spoon then let’s talk. I think I burned off a few taste buds when we were in Thailand, we ate plenty of meals that left my eyes watering and my forehead dripping. WhiteLedgeBackPack-w   Questions not necessarily in order of importance: Describe what you do at WG: Play with spreadsheets. I have been known to exceed the Excel limit of 1,048,576 rows. What are you involved in outside WG? Organizations – Central Coast African Rhythm and Dance. I’ve been dancing with them for about 6 months now and I am hooked. Trying to undertake African dance has challenged my coordination more than anything else I’ve tried and it feels good to push my limits. Service groups – Coastal Cleanup! Every day is cleanup day. Craig and I usually participate with a group that is organized by the US Forest Service on the Arroyo Seco River, one of my favorite places in the world. We have also been known to spend a Saturday morning walking to the creek and filling a garbage bag. My mom has always been a big proponent of bringing a garbage bag everywhere you go and leaving a place nicer than you found it, and it has stuck with me. Favorite pastime: Eating! Favorite food: Sour cream. I eat it with pretty much everything. Describe your dream vacation: Any place where I can unplug, spend time outside, and preferably experience a new culture or activity. What’s your favorite childhood memory? Playing cards with my grandmother. What’s your secret ability? Name that tune. What is the furthest away from SLO you have been? Geographically: Thailand Culturally: Taiwan Mentally: Backpacking in Yosemite
09/ 30/ 2014
“What, me worry?” - Some of you will remember that and where it comes from. Go to university of Google to find out if you don’t! I’m not worried (and I mean it) but I am paying attention! Our American infrastructure is getting failing grades (see the American Society of Civil Engineers Report Card) and both our private analysts and government leaders have spoken openly that there is a big gap between what is needed and what exists to fund infrastructure (see the Forbes article and Reuters article on government actions).   GPA   Being a transportation specialist, I’ll focus on that aspect and explain a commonly cited reason this is true for transportation. A major source of funding for transportation infrastructure and systems has historically been the “Gas Tax” collected at the pump. The federal gas tax has not been raised in approximately two decades while its purchasing power has been eaten away by inflation and increased fuel efficiency. So why am I focused but not alarmed? Because we Americans have a long history of doing more with less (when we need to) as well as a history of creativity, boldness and ingenuity! I’ll share two quotes that reflect my thinking. The first is from a gent who faced enormous challenges and was an example of achievement in spite of or even because of those trials named Art E. Berg: “While the difficult takes time, the impossible just takes a little longer.” The second is from one of my favorite founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!” We are obviously not only planning but acting to not fail! Beyond quotes and abstracts I’ll share a local example that we at Wallace Group have been very fortunate to help the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) and the Kittelson team deliver: the US 101 Corridor Mobility Master Plan. In a nutshell it’s a plan to prioritize where our limited transportation dollars are spent to gain the best Return on Investment.   slocog   The US 101 Corridor Mobility Master Plan (101 MMP) is a San Luis Obispo county-wide effort by all our transportation agency representatives and involved stakeholders to do more with less. This plan reviewed needs and prioritized transportation improvements along the roughly 70 miles of US 101 corridor running through our County. The 101 MMP is to influence the Regional Transportation Plan that is updated every four years and is used to program transportation projects. Lots of details but the bottom line is it’s the plan where we as a region put our money for transportation. The 101 MMP had both technical and user perspective components to address needs holistically. The physical and traffic operations data was analyzed and users observations and opinions of the corridor was also gathered to help decision makers formulate the plan. A consultant team gathered/analyzed data and facilitated the public input process. An agency Task Force was formed from each of the member agencies to SLOCOG to receive information and make recommendations to the SLOCOG Board. This Task Force was comprehensive in representation and temporary, once the plan was formulated and approved the Task Force was done (approximately a 22 month effort). Knowing the 70 miles or so of the US 101 corridor was too much to handle in the time frame and budget allowance for the effort, the highest areas of need were identified as four segments for a total of approximately 25 miles. Using a performance based metrics system and then a benefit/cost ratio various potential multi-modal packages of improvements were identified for the Task Force to review. The recommendations of the Task Force were documented and a Draft Final plan is to be reviewed by the SLOCOG Board in October of 2014 with a final approval anticipated in December of 2014. I encourage readers to visit the SLOCOG website and learn more about this plan. This is just one example of community members implementing innovative ways to address great needs and challenges to our infrastructure. There are many other initiatives under way and being planned to locally and regionally address infrastructure funding and the long delay we’ve experienced in improving or even maintaining our existing infrastructure, whether transportation/water/energy or other focused.   paying   As we act locally we also see the national and local attention tuning into the real need to revamp the way we fund our infrastructure. I should note that this is different than other tax or credit programs being implemented for other reasons such as the carbon credit in CA). Congress is debating and taking (some) action, both at the federal and state levels healthy research is going on to identify a change from the gas tax model to perhaps a “VMT” (Vehicle Miles Traveled) model or even some combination of modes to fund the needs. Why? Because transportation is key to a thriving economy, not only is it critical for our everyday livelihood but for our regional and national economic vitality as well.   econ   So with these local and national examples we see not only good planning but action, to do more with less, prioritizing the improvements and healthy dialogue and measures to revamp our infrastructure funding system. But more work needs to be done at the federal, state and local level and we must pay attention! We no longer live in the 1970’s or 80’s and need to reinvent how we maintain economic vitality locally and nationally. I’m not worried, but I am paying close attention, taking action and I think we all should. We must act together, one last quote to accentuate this point: “We must all hang together or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” – Benjamin Franklin.   ben