Lisa Plowman


Lisa Plowman was appointed Santa Barbara County’s next Planning and Development Department director Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors.

Plowman has more than 19 years of experience assisting private and nonprofit developers with land use entitlement and planning processes and previously worked for the Planning and Development Department.

She will assume the job from Dianne Black, who has served as interim planning director since March 2018 following the retirement of Glenn Russell.

“After many years in the private sector, I’m excited about the opportunity to lead the Planning and Development Department through the county’s Renew 2022 transformation effort,” Plowman said.

County Executive Officer Mona Miyasato said Plowman can bring a new perspective to the job based on her consulting work, knowledge of the community and understanding of the department’s operations.

“Her breadth of knowledge from working in the private sector, with her experience and clear understanding of our complex land use issues, puts her in a unique position,” Miyasato said.

For the past five years, Plowman has served as principal and planning manager of RRM Design Group, a multidiscipline design firm with more than 130 employees and four offices in California.

In addition to managing RRM Design Group’s Santa Barbara office and 20 employees, Plowman has overseen the entitlement process for all private development projects and worked with public agencies on long-range planning projects.

Prior to joining RRM Design Group, Plowman was planning manager of Peikert Group, where her role included leading land use consultations and entitlement strategy for clients and managing the design and entitlement process for residential, mixed-use and commercial projects.

Before becoming a consultant, Plowman worked in the County Planning and Development Department for 11 years, leaving in 2005 as the deputy director, a role she held for two years following nine years as a planner and supervising planner.

“Ms. Plowman will be an excellent leader of the Planning and Development Department during this pivotal time in our county’s history,” said 2nd District Supervisor Gregg Hart.

Miyasato also thanked Black for her service as the interim director.

“Dianne has had a long tenure with the county of almost 35 years, and we will miss her wealth of experience, encyclopedic knowledge and tremendous commitment to the Planning and Development Department and county,” Miyasato said.

This report was compiled by Mike Hodgson, associate editor for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. He can be reached at


News Editor

Mike Hodgson is news editor at the Santa Ynez Valley News, where he writes about local government, special events and the people who live in the Valley. He has been a photographer, writer, news editor and managing editor at weekly newspapers since 1972

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