Clarion Associates is a national land-use consulting firm with an unusual combination of talents in planning, design, law, and real estate economics. We specialize in developing creative solutions to difficult land use, design, and development questions. Clarion is particularly known for its expertise in plan implementation. We represent both private- and public-sector clients on a variety of planning and zoning matters.
We take pride in making connections and creating synergies between our core practice areas. We leverage our team’s diversity and capitalize on our individual strengths to provide our clients deeper insights and better solutions to complex land use challenges. Our nimble size and flexible structure enables us to have firm principals directly involved in every project and to provide tailored solutions to each client. Although some firm members are lawyers, Clarion Associates is not a law firm and does not offer legal advice.
Since our founding in 1992, we have worked across the country with hundreds of communities across a broad spectrum of place types—from rural to suburban to urban. We understand that every community is unique and requires its own tailored set of planning and implementation tools. We bring an unparalleled depth of experience in helping to craft thoughtful solutions for our clients.
We are recognized nationwide as leaders in community planning and plan implementation. Driven by a passion for what we do and a desire to continually push for new approaches to old problems, we publish on a wide variety of topics and frequently speak at national and state conferences.
We have had repeated success in organizing and leading community-driven processes that yield results. We work hand-in-hand with elected and appointed officials, staff, citizens, and diverse groups of internal and external stakeholders to build trust in the planning process and widespread support for the ultimate recommendations.
While many communities face similar planning challenges, there are no simple solutions or common answers. We bring our depth of experience, our knowledge of best practices, and our sensitivity to local conditions to bear on each project—developing tailored solutions to meet the unique needs of each client.
“Clarion Associates possesses an extremely deep and rich knowledge of land use, zoning, and regulatory issues. From our first interactions, the Clarion team has been an exemplary partner with City staff; our collaboration over the last four years has been the best experience I have had in my thirty-year career working with an outside consultant. The most valuable aspect of their consultancy was their deep appreciation for when and how to provide the professional advice of the consultant team, reflecting experience from many other cities and national standards and norms, while respecting Philadelphia’s traditions, context, and circumstances.”
“[Clarion’s] vast expertise helped guide our community through this major endeavor. I recognize that this UDC is just one of many projects [they] undertook this year and over [their] careers, but know that [their] good work has allowed my community to be on better footing, implement our shared vision, and remove barriers for public engagement in our development process.”
“Clarion impressed us with their ability to effectively facilitate the public participation process. Whether a large public meeting, a small work session with key stakeholders, or a city council meeting, Clarion proved to be a master at presenting complex information, soliciting feedback, and providing expert guidance. Finally, we found the staff at Clarion to be a genuine joy to work with. They shared our excitement about working to improve Duluth’s zoning code. In all of our interactions, they were professional, responsive, helpful, and friendly. In working with them, we as City staff felt like we learned so much; it became an educational experience as well.”
“Clarion’s expertise in the fields of land use planning and law really came through early in the process. Lake Havasu City benefited from best practices of communities across the country based on recommendations provided by Clarion. Clarion set themselves apart during the public participation process showing the ability to present complex information, solicit feedback, and provide expert guidance. Best of all, the 18 month plus project was able to stay on deadline and budget. Both the General Plan and the Development Code were unanimously adopted by our City Council.”
“The Clarion team was a terrific partner in assisting the City of Wilson with the development of our 2030 Comprehensive Plan. Wilson desired to find a new direction that focused more on revitalization and reuse of existing developed areas. Clarion was the perfect team to help lead the community through that discussion. Roger and Leigh Anne built trust within the community and developed recommendations that reflected the input of participants. Their effort and commitment to the community resulted in a plan that is guiding policy decision making and implementation of recommended community investments.”