Executive Interview With Adam Rush of CASC

By: Sara Scarbo

Adam Rush is an experienced planning director with the main objectives of providing efficient and cost-effective land use and planning services for a wide-variety of public and private clients.

Throughout his career at the County of Riverside Planning Department he has developed a strong background in Community Planning and Environmental Compliance. That experience also includes Transportation and Community Planning activities and long range strategic plans.

Adam is also a graduate of Claremont McKenna College (CMC) with a dual bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy. Rush furthered his education and went on to receive his Master’s in Public Policy and American Politics from Claremont Graduate University.

S: Tell us a little about CASC Engineering & Consulting?

A: CASC Engineering and Consulting, Inc. (CASC) was established in 1993 to provide professional consulting services to a variety of industry sectors. CASC is a mid-sized consulting firm that combines the personal touch of a small firm, with the stability of the large publicly-traded consulting conglomerates. CASC was established to provide Civil Engineering, Water Quality, Environmental Planning, Survey, Natural Resources, and Landscape Architectural Services, including but not limited to Contract Planning and Plan Check Services, CEQA Practitioner Services, Municipal Water Quality Inspection, document preparation, and management in compliance with the Clean Water Act and Municipal Stormwater Permits. CASC is a certified SBE firm #1440120. CASC has over 25 years of experience providing services to numerous governmental agencies, local water districts, public utility companies, local utility districts, school districts, private enterprises, and industry groups. Our entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to innovation have allowed us to maintain a competitive cost structure, and offer superior services managed by our talented local labor force. Our diverse portfolio of services offered has allowed us to maintain stability even through rough economic conditions. Our multi-year, multi-million-dollar contracts with Caltrans and Southern California Edison, among others, demonstrates our ability to weather economic cycles and to see your projects through to completion.

S: As a Director of Planning at CASC, what types of projects do you focus on?

A: As the Director of Planning the goals and objectives of our Department is to provide quality support services to a wide array of residential, commercial, industrial, solar, and master planned communities. CASC provides project management and environmental support documentation to both municipal and private sector clients. CASC has served the following Cities:

County of San Bernardino City of Placentia
San Bernardino Co. Public Works City of Tustin
County of Riverside TLMA LA County Dept. Public Works
Riverside County Flood Control City of Los Angeles DWP
Riverside County EDA John Wayne International Airport
City of San Bernardino Los Angeles USD
City of Colton City of Industry
City of Redlands City of San Dimas
City of Rialto City of Pacoima
City of Grand Terrace City of Covina
City of Fontana City of El Monte
City of Upland City of Manhattan Beach
City of Montclair Hollywood-Burbank Airport
City of Ontario City of Modesto
City of Rancho Cucamonga EMWD
City of Highland Caltrans
City of Loma Linda City of Rancho Mirage
City of Riverside Riverside USD
City of Corona Moreno Valley USD
City of Norco City of Santa Clarita
City of Perris San Bernardino County Sheriff
City of Wildomar Colton JUSD
City of Lake Elsinore Perris Union SD
City of Murrieta Corona Norco USD
City of Temecula Coachella Valley Water District
City of Moreno Valley SANBAG
City of Hemet County of San Diego
City of Yucaipa City of Big Bear
County of Orange Metropolitan Water District
City of Anaheim City of Yorba Linda
Los Angeles World Airports (LAX/VNY/ONT)


Here is additional information about what we provide:

Planning Services: From vision through implementation, CASC’s Planning division provides comprehensive Land Use evaluation and Zoning Compliance Services. In addition, CASC has consistently provided Environmental Services and CEQA/NEPA compliance to municipal agencies and public utilities. CASC employs certified planning staff (e.g., AICP) and five decades of CEQA and professional planning services to Cities and Counties through our years of direct public agency experience.

Natural Resources: CASC’s team of experienced biologists provide comprehensive biological resources evaluation and consultation services for a variety of projects and varying ecological resources requiring CEQA/NEPA documentation and resource agency permitting.  Our biologists determine project requirements and field studies, manage permitting, agency negotiations, construction monitoring, mitigation installation, and permit compliance.  Field evaluations are conducted by experienced and permitted specialists to ensure data collection accuracy and objectivity.  Our experience translates into a high-quality document with the appropriate level of biological evaluation, resource mapping, and project management.

GIS:  CASC utilizes Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to create powerful tools for data-driven decision making. As a system that can collect, analyze, and display complex geospatial data, GIS can combine multiple layers of information in seamless visualizations or spatial analytic models. These models and tools can be customized to fit each individual community needs. CASC offers a variety of geospatial services from demographic and spatial analysis, cartographic services, natural resource and conservation mapping, land use planning, scenario planning, 3D modeling, to Web GIS. CASC’s expertise with GIS software, GPS equipment, and extensive data library provides relevant, up-to-date and concise knowledge for analyzing existing conditions as well as providing visuals for future scenarios.

S: How do you add value to your clients?

A: With our four southern California Offices, CASC eliminates the travel time and logistical challenges facing out-of-the-area firms. By serving primarily the public sector, our clients benefit from top-notch local labor whose families live, work, play, and go to school within your region, ensuring that the project funds are circulated and re-circulated in town. According to economists, “a dollar earned by a worker turns over seven times before it leaves town”, which means that every $50,000 in services provided by CASC will provide a $350,000 boost to the San Bernardino County economy.  

S: What is the most rewarding aspect of your career?

A: The most rewarding aspect of my career is providing affordable and sustainable development for families like my own. Being a father of three small children, I believe everyone should have a safe, sustainable, and affordable community to live, work, and play. A place that they can call home and that will not irreparably damage the environment. Seeing these communities flourish is the best part of my day.

S: What is the most challenging aspect of your career?

A: The most challenging aspect of my career is navigating and managing the multiple jurisdictions at the Federal, State, and Local levels, achieving project completion through the complex web of regulations within an ever-changing political environment.

S: How has your educational background and work experience prepared you for success?

A: While not having an education in Land Use or Environmental Planning, I had to “learn-on-the-fly” through my training and experience with clients. However, my Public Administration and Political Science background and education has prepared me to manage multi-million-dollar projects, with diplomacy and finesse. Much of our work is political in nature and having an understanding of the key stakeholders has become an invaluable opportunity.

S: What’s a recent project of which you’re particularly proud?

A: CASC is currently preparing the land use plan and environmental documentation of a new master planned community, within the unincorporated area of Hemet, CA (near Diamond Valley Lake). The proposed project is approximately 412 acres and provides a wide spectrum of residential housing, from high density to estate lots. In addition, the proposed plan boasts a new college campus, museums, a hotel, and over half the property dedicated to permanent open space.

S: What challenges and new developments do you predict in your field?

A: Changes in regulations and increases in fees, of all types, continue to create concerns amongst the development industry. As our housing crisis looms and home prices continue to rise development fees should stabilize and local economic incentives should foster a “business-friendly” environment.

S: What competitive advantages can CASC offer to local governments and the business with which they partner?

A: Regardless of where your agency is located, CASC is a local leader, providing services in Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. CASC provides the bandwidth of a large corporate entity along with the personal touch of a small firm. We can handle projects of any size and bring long-standing relationships with municipalities across the region.