Mountain View Voice

News - July 16, 2010

Former Mountain View planner dies in motorcycle crash

by Daniel DeBolt

Brad Eckhardt, a Mountain View city planner for 17 years before leaving in 2002, was killed on July 4 after losing control of his motorcycle in northern San Diego County.

At 10:30 a.m., Eckhardt, 48, lost control of his 1969 Yamaha RD350 on a rural two-lane road and slid in front of a Dodge Ram pickup truck towing a horse trailer, according to news reports. The truck was unable to stop in time and paramedics were unable to revive him at the scene.

A group of Mountain View city planners who fondly remembered Eckhardt traveled to his funeral services over the weekend in Temecula, including Planning Director Randy Tsuda, who called Eckhardt a good friend with a "wonderful sense of humor" and a calm, patient demeanor. "He loved his three kids and loved his wife," Tsuda said.

Eckhardt was planning director for the city of Perris which earned several planning awards during his tenure there. Perris city staff described him as "unflappable" and "hugely popular" in article on that city's Web site.

"Brad Eckhardt was part of our planning team that has taken Perris to the next level," said Perris City Councilman Mark Yarbrough. "His loss is devastating. I keep thinking this is just a bad dream. I am numb right now."

Born in Redwood City, Eckhardt got his feet wet in planning and spent the bulk of his career in Mountain View. Tsuda recalled that Eckhardt was an expert in complex environmental law and made significant contributions to the city's development of the buildings on city property that are now headquarters for Google.

In Perris, Eckhardt was particularly proud of what he called "making the extraordinary commonplace" by helping earn Perris the distinction of being home to the world's largest green building, the 1.3 million square-foot Hanes Brands Distribution Center, the city reports.

In recognition of his work, the city of Perris has set up a memorial scholarship fund in Eckhardt's name for Inland Empire planning students.

E-mail Daniel DeBolt at ddebolt@mv-voice.com

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