A Year in the Life at Opticos: 2021 in Review

For one last time in 2021, the Opticos team gathered at the office to pause and reflect upon all that we had accomplished this past year. It was a wonderful reminder of the project milestones, professional development, team building exercises, and overall fun we had in the last twelve months as we resumed meetings in the office and travelled nationwide to project sites, community engagement workshops, and speaking events.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Completed a Missing Middle Housing study in San Jose, California
  • Finalized the Columbus Code Diagnosis in Columbus, Ohio
  • Plan and Code adopted in San Rafael, California
  • Started new projects in
    • Palo Cedro, California
    • Hamilton, Montana
    • Kaua’i County, Hawaii
    • Seattle, Washington
    • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Completed an Admin Draft of Objective Design Standards for Pittsburg, California
  • Submitted an Opportunity Housing Analysis for San Jose, California
  • Completed a set of 6 Small Area Plans in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Missing Middle Scan and Deep Dive™ in Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Won NAHB Best in American Living Awards for Culdesac Tempe in Arizona and Prairie Queen Missing Middle Neighborhood in Nebraska
  • Participated in 48+ speaking events and presentations
  • Helped CNU establish a speaking fee for invited black and brown speakers
  • 100% staff retention, plus a new hire!
  • A wedding celebration and the announcement of a new baby
  • Second printing of Dan Parolek’s Missing Middle Housing book
  • New office dogs and puppies
  • Construction began on Culdesac Tempe and Hinge Flats
  • Held over 20 Lunch and Learn meetings including staff and career shares
  • Updated our website and added in new functionalities
  • Recorded a series of Form Based Code educational videos
  • Participated in the Ace Mentorship and ULI SF YLG volunteer program
  • And the most exciting, resumed work back in the office together!

“That happened this year?” was said more than once, prompting laughter but also genuine appreciation for all of the hard work that was put into making 2021 a success. From weekly team check-ins and informal lunches in the courtyard to virtual community engagement sessions and zoom meetings with developers and city staff, it has been a busy and exciting year. We look forward to sharing more milestones and project updates with you in 2022!