A specialist in land use entitlement and community issues management, Ms. McDermott offers consulting expertise to the land development and building industries as well as to private individuals seeking assistance in maneuvering multiple jurisdictional hurdles. After serving as a partner in Government Solutions, Inc. (GSI) for 12 years, Ms. McDermott formed an entity, Entitlement Advisors, to pursue consulting assignments and equity partnerships in the land use entitlement arena. Her experience has covered multiple agencies and communities in Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Mateo Counties in working with elected and appointed officials, city, county and Coastal Commission staff, community, business and environmental organizations. Her strength is in directing large and small teams of professionals on complex land use projects, providing project management and conducting community engagement to effectively address community issues that lead to approvals for clients. She also provides expert witness testimony for attorneys addressing land use issues.
Recent project approvals include a senior affordable housing community for Lennar/Meta Housing in Tustin; a senior living community for the Diocese of Orange in an unincorporated area of North Tustin in Orange County; an assisted living and memory care community in Santa Rosa; in Newport Beach, a 17-lot custom home community on the waterfront, a 79 home condominium for The New Home Company adjacent to Fashion Island, a mixed use project on Newport Bay, a memory care facility and a Jewish Center; in Dana Point, a major LUP Amendment for the Dana Point Harbor, which was approved by the Coastal Commission; residential communities in Glendora, Buena Park, Rancho Santa Margarita and Irvine for William Lyon Homes and in Glendora for The Olson Co; an oceanfront mobile home park in Pacifica, and shopping centers in north San Diego County. These projects reflect the sophistication and credibility of the approach Ms. McDermott uses to benefit clients. In addition, Ms. McDermott provided pro-bono consulting to The Balboa Theater Foundation and obtained an approval for the restoration of a historic theater on Balboa Peninsula from the Coastal Commission. Other key clients have included C.J. Segerstrom and Sons, Host Marriott, Irvine Ranch Water District, The Koll Company, John Laing Homes for the first residential development on the Heritage Fields in Tustin (Former Tustin Marine Helicopter Base) and InSite Realty Advisors.
As a former Corporate Officer and Vice President of Entitlement and Community Relations for The Irvine Company, Ms. McDermott directed entitlement projects and community relations programs for the nation’s largest master planned urban environment on almost 54,000 acres of land it owned in Orange County, including the certification of the Newport Coast Local Coastal Plan by the California Coastal Commission. She also led negotiations for the sale of Laguna Canyon to the City of Laguna Beach and led the teams for approvals of multiple new communities and open space dedications. Her long career also includes experience as a staff member in the Planning Departments of both a small city and the County of Los Angeles. As a certified Planner, (AICP) she has been active in the Orange County Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA), serving as a Board Member and Director.
Ms. McDermott’s community involvement includes serving on the Christ Catholic Cathedral Facilities Board, Vice Chair of the Irvine Health Foundation, Former Board Member of the Pacific Club and Hoag Hospital, past Chairman of Irvine Medical Center, former Board Member of the Orange County Performing Arts Center, and the Laguna Canyon Foundation, and a variety of other civic and charitable organizations. In Newport, she serves on the board of Visit Newport Beach and Newport Beach & Company. She has been widely honored, receiving awards from the Sales & Marketing Council of the Building Industry Association, OC Metro Magazine, Orange County Red Cross, Irvine Chamber, Irvine Education Foundation and YWCA. She is a member of BIA, a Full Member of the Urban Land Institute, and the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). She and her husband reside in Newport Coast.