Tess BrandonAICP, has over five years of land use and environmental planning experience, including work for both public and private clients throughout the Northwest. Her expertise includes drafting clear, implementable, and defensible regulations that achieve local objectives, and working with Planning Commissions and City Councils to shepherd those regulations through the local adoption process. On the other side of the permit counter, she assists clients on all phases of development, including feasibility analysis, code interpretation and due diligence, and permitting strategy and submittal. She has experience coordinating with representatives from local, state, federal, and tribal agencies. Her approach of clear, direct communication beginning early in the permit process has led to a successful track record for her clients.

Prior to her planning career, Tess worked as an oceanographer for the federal government. Her scientific background makes her comfortable working on complex technical problems for her clients, especially those that address the dynamic interface between the built and aquatic environments. Other services to clients include providing geospatial analysis and mapping and guidance on science-based mitigation design.

  • Experience
    • Providing long-range and current planning support to Cascade Water Alliance, a nonprofit public corporation for the planning and development of a regional water supply system. Experience includes environmental and land use permitting support for utility projects, assistance in updating property management policy and code language, and ongoing support of environmental analysis needs under SEPA.
    • Project manager for marina expansion project on Puget Sound shoreline, to include in-water and upland components. Experience includes development of permitting strategy based on client needs, management of consultants and deliverables, and coordination with local, state, and federal agencies.
    • Providing Geographic Information System (GIS) support for national renewable energy developer. Experience includes development and implementation of geospatial analysis process to meet FERC reporting requirements for national portfolio of thousands of facilities.
    • Assists public agency clients with updates and amendments to development regulations and long-range plans, including Comprehensive Plans and Shoreline Master Programs. Experience includes management of public outreach and local adoption processes.
    • Assists public and private sector clients with review and entitlement of development projects, including environmental, land use, subdivision, design review and permitting.
    • Assists public and private sector clients with due diligence for purchase and development of property. Experience includes land use and building code analysis and assessment of regulatory constraints and opportunities at the local, state, and federal level.
  • Professional Affiliations
  • Awards & Honors
  • Bar & Court Admissions
  • Government Service
  • News & Presentations
  • Thought Leadership


University of Washington
Master of Urban Planning, 2014
Master of Marine Affairs, 2014

Cornell University B.A., 2007