The firm regularly assists clients in obtaining land use entitlements from local governments and regulatory agencies. These entitlements include tentative tract map approvals, conditional use permits, zone changes, general plan amendments, specific plan approvals, negotiation and approval of development agreements, and variances. The firm’s land use attorneys also specialize in helping its developer clients obtain extensions for approved tentative tract maps under the Subdivision Map Act.
During the entitlement process, the firm’s attorneys work closely with project consultants, local government planning staff, and local public officials. The firm’s land use attorneys routinely represent clients in public hearings before planning commissions, city councils, and boards of supervisors.
In addition to helping clients obtain land use entitlements, the firm’s land use attorneys actively participate in the environmental review of those entitlements, to ensure that the local government considering the project has fully complied with the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). In doing so, the firm works closely with local governments and project consultants to ensure that all environmental documents relating to the project have been properly prepared and will withstand legal scrutiny.
Controversial development projects, as well as other controversial land use entitlements, often become the subject of litigation. In addition to helping clients obtain land use approvals, the firm’s land use attorneys frequently defend those approvals in court. The firm’s land use attorneys have litigated a variety of land use cases in both state and federal court involving many different areas of the law including CEQA, the Mitigation Fee Act, the Subdivision Map Act, California’s planning and zoning law, California redevelopment law, California’s Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (“anti-SLAPP”) statute, and state and federal constitutional claims involving free speech, procedural due process, substantive due process, and takings.