Our land use team navigates the maze of land use regulations, review processes and stakeholder interests to obtain the necessary approvals with only appropriate and reasonable conditions, while keeping our clients’ projects on schedule. Our clients include private and public developers, universities, hospitals, Alaska Native Corporations and other landowners involved in renewable and traditional energy projects, infrastructure construction, timberlands management, winery operation, mining, commercial development, agricultural operations, manufacturing and industrial facilities, and housing projects.
- Master plan approvals and amendments
- Permitting approvals and appeals
- Zoning approvals
- Post Acknowledgement Plan Amendments (PAPAs)
- Environmental analysis and clearance
- Conditional use permits and variances
- SEPA, NEPA and CEQA reviews
- Environmental impact reports
- Development agreements
- Easements and surface use agreements
- Compliance with Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act and California Coastal Act
- Williamson Act counsel regarding solar and wind power development
- Land use litigation
- Due diligence for acquisitions, dispositions and financing transactions
- Code enforcement
Some members of our team are former municipal or county attorneys, engineers or scientists. Through years of work on projects, we’ve fostered respectful relationships with government agencies, elected officials, permitting staff, tribes and environmental groups—contributing to our value and effectiveness. We have also represented local governments and special purpose districts in controversial and complex land use matters. Taken together, we differentiate on experience, collaborative mindset, results and effective working relationships with regulators, government officials and technical experts.
Knowing that businesses have ongoing environmental compliance obligations and often manage real estate and construction activities, our team includes attorneys experienced in those areas.
California Land Use
Obtaining land use approvals in California can be particularly challenging. Many local governments write their own regulations that layer complexity on top of state and federal reviews. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and California Coastal Act can present significant obstacles, and a substantial number of projects are challenged by local community groups. Our CEQA team has deep experience, valuable relationships with agencies and industry knowledge that adds value to proposals from application through review, appeal and implementation.
Land Use Litigation
Some projects cannot avoid challenge from local or national environmental groups, neighborhood groups, labor unions or project competitors. We provide strategic, proactive counsel on how best to develop an administrative record that can withstand challenge and litigation. When a challenge is initiated, we work to minimize delays and ensure the ultimate use conditions are reasonable. Your success is rooted in our significant experience defending land use approvals at the administrative agency level and through all state and federal judicial levels of appeal.