Amara has extensive experience obtaining land use entitlements for a variety of land use projects including mixed use, residential, commercial and hotel uses. She has a breadth and depth of experience in all aspects of land use work including compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Permit Streamlining Act, planning and zoning Law, the Subdivision Map Act, and affordable housing laws, including density bonus and SB 35, which allows ministerial approvals for qualifying affordable housing projects. Her work has involved negotiation with state and federal agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Delta Protection Commission.
Amara has 26 years of experience serving Contra Costa public sector clients, including special districts, with regard to land use, zoning, development and redevelopment, environmental law, and resource protection and conservation. Prior to private practice, she was assistant city attorney for Livermore and Walnut Creek and in connection with those positions advised elected and appointed officials and staff on all aspects of municipal law including the California Public Records Act, the Ralph M. Brown Act, public finance and contracts law, solid waste, risk management and conflicts of interest, First Amendment and redevelopment law. Amara currently is co-general counsel to the Alameda County Transportation Commission and various Geologic Hazard Abatement Districts.
She has been lead counsel on the development, implementation and defense of general plans, specific plans and various neighborhood plans and development project approvals based thereon.