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As land use issues continue to evolve and become more complex, our land use attorneys help clients find creative solutions. We advise private and public sector clients in all aspects of development and permitting, including land use litigation. From small remodeling projects to major residential, commercial, industrial and mixed-use development, we assist on zoning and permitting matters in cities, counties, and special districts throughout California.

Public Hearings and Approvals

Our knowledge of local, regional and state agencies helps us minimize roadblocks. Our attorney team includes current and former board and commission members in Bay Area jurisdictions and regional agencies, former city planners, and advanced degree holders in related land-use fields. This experience provides unique insight for guiding clients through the land use process and representing clients before city councils, boards of supervisors, planning commissions, zoning boards, and commissions.

Supporting the Development Team

We work with client project teams to prepare documentation to obtain land use approvals, including development agreements, tentative and final subdivision maps, complex project applications, conditions of approval, and environmental review documents. Working closely with architects, surveyors, engineers, contractors and others, we help streamline the process. Our practical experience untangling the local, state and federal regulations that govern land use applications (including CEQA, the Subdivision Map Act, and wetlands, air quality, and congestion management regulations) keeps your project on track.

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Our attorneys are resolution-oriented, using their experience to find creative solutions to complex issues. As needed, we help clients defend their rights through litigation and alternative dispute resolution, including negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. We have successfully represented clients in matters throughout California involving issues related to CEQA, the Subdivision Map Act, exactions and development fees, building moratoria, and similar issues.

From project inception to public approval, we provide legal counsel throughout the land use arena:

  • Mixed use projects
  • Public/private partnerships
  • Residential and commercial condominiums
  • Planned unit developments
  • Industrial
  • Commercial
  • Hospitals and medical facilities
  • Vineyard development
  • Geologic Hazardous Abatement Districts
  • Subdivision processing and approval

 

  • Represented landowner in CEQA action challenging the county’s approval of Specific Plan amendments, the environmental impact report and development agreement for a large commercial and residential project on neighboring property

  • Represented real party in interest and worked with city to defend city’s reliance on CEQA exemptions in approving a mixed-use, transit oriented infill development project

  • Obtained approval of new roller coaster for amusement park over significant neighbor opposition and following more than 20 public hearings

  • Represented developer and worked with city in the preparation and approval of a joint EIS/EIR for a large residential and commercial development project on real property transferred pursuant to the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Act

  • Represented developer in negotiating complex construction, loan, intercreditor and lease agreements for acquisition, financing, construction and leasing of the $72 million mixed-use center, which included a jazz museum, condominiums, restaurants and parking.

  • Represented client in dispute involving the State’s claim that real property was subject to the public trust

  • Resolved numerous eminent domain cases for a public entity on favorable terms involving complex acquisitions for grade separation projects affecting access, circulation and parking.

  • Received favorable court ruling in a case involving a city’s improper suspension of an issued building permit and enactment of an emergency ordinance to prevent construction of the client’s project

  • Negotiated acquisition of adjacent surplus land from neighboring public entity to allow clients to maintain and expand their yard and create buffer from incompatible uses

  • Obtained a $27 million verdict for a shopping center owner in an eminent domain case involving acquisition of a significant portion of the center’s parking for a transit station

  • Representing owners of coastal property, obtained a ruling from the California Court of Appeal, that a State Lands Commission policy restricting coastal development was an illegal, underground regulation and could not be used to prevent the landowners from developing their property. (Bollay v. California Office of Administrative Law, et al., California Court of Appeal Case No. C 063268 (Sacramento County Superior Court Case No. 34-2008-80000072).)

 

Publications

Webinar: How the “Housing Crisis Act” (SB 330) Can Ease Approvals for Housing Development Projects

Webinar: How the “Housing Crisis Act” (SB 330) Can Ease Approvals for Housing Development Projects

10/29/2020 | Wendel Rosen LLP

Todd Williams and Patrick Tuck – experienced attorneys at Wendel Rosen in land use and real estate matters – shared their knowledge on how to use SB 330 to get…

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NEPA’s Turn on the Trump Chopping Block

NEPA’s Turn on the Trump Chopping Block

07/27/2020 | Wendel Rosen LLP

As it has with other environmental laws, the Trump administration has taken aim and fired at the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”).  In record time, changes to the regulations proposed…

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Ninth Circuit Finds Oakland’s Attempt to Block Coal Shipments Violated Development Agreement

Ninth Circuit Finds Oakland’s Attempt to Block Coal Shipments Violated Development Agreement

06/03/2020 | Wendel Rosen LLP

In a decision announced on May 26, 2020, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the City of Oakland could not enforce regulations that would have prohibited the shipping…

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Date Category Publication Title
06/01/2020 Publication Wendel Rosen LLP Governor Issues Executive Order Suspending CEQA Deadlines for 60 Days and Revising Related Noticing Procedures
05/26/2020 Publication Wendel Rosen LLP Clean Water Act Permitting Reaches Groundwater
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05/14/2020 Publication Wendel Rosen LLP Court of Appeal Overturns City Council Denial of Use Permit Based on Councilmember Bias
05/08/2020 Publication Wendel Rosen LLP Superior Court Validates Cupertino’s Streamlined Approval of Major Affordable Housing and Office Project
04/29/2020 Publication Wendel Rosen LLP New Bay Area Shelter-in-Place Orders Permit All Construction to Resume
04/21/2020 Publication Wendel Rosen LLP State Legislators Criticize Bay Area Health Officers’ “Arbitrary” Shelter-in-Place Rules Limiting Housing Construction
04/01/2020 Publication Wendel Rosen LLP Bay Area Counties’ Extended Shelter-In-Place Order Imposes Strict Limits on Development and Construction
04/01/2020 Publication Wendel Rosen LLP COVID-19: How Wendel Rosen’s Real Estate Litigation Group Can Assist
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03/19/2020 Publication Wendel Rosen LLP Impacts of the Bay Area Shelter-In-Place Orders on Development and Related Litigation
06/20/2019 Publication Client Update City of Oakland Releases Opportunity Zone Prospectus
03/01/2019 Publication Wendel Rosen LLP California Housing Bills Impacting 2019
01/23/2019 Publication Client Update Planning Commission Meeting to Discuss Draft Downtown Oakland Specific Plan
04/01/2018 Publication Contra Costa Lawyer Update on Housing Projects in Contra Costa Developers_ Innovative Ways to Help Cities Address the Housing Crisis
01/03/2018 Publication Amara Morrison and Todd Williams Slate of New Housing Bills Take Effect January 1, 2018
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03/27/2017 Publication Neal Parish and Todd Williams California Supreme Court Rules Public Employees’ Personal Email Accounts are Subject to CA Public Records Act
05/20/2016 Publication Todd Williams Governor Seeks to Streamline Approval of Multifamily Housing Projects
04/20/2016 Publication Robert W. Selna Oakland City Council Approves Impact Fees
03/24/2016 Publication Wendel Rosen LLP Oakland Proposed Developer Fees Updated March 24, 2016
01/29/2016 Publication San Francisco Chronicle Ideas to turn abandoned Oakland properties into affordable homes
01/25/2016 Publication Robert Selna Oakland Proposed Developer Fees Summary
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09/28/2015 Publication Todd Williams Governor Signs AB2 Allowing for a New Tool to Combat Blight in Disadvantaged Communities
06/29/2015 Publication Neal Parish and Todd Williams Inclusionary Housing Stays
06/17/2015 Publication Neal Parish California Supreme Court Endorses City Authority to Adopt Inclusionary Housing Ordinance
03/03/2015 Publication Wendel Rosen LLP CA Supreme Court Provides Key CEQA Guidance Regarding Categorical Exemptions
08/07/2014 Publication Todd Williams No CEQA Required When Agencies Adopt Citizen Sponsored Initiatives

Events

BPC Expert Briefing: CEQA Update 2019

BPC Expert Briefing: CEQA Update 2019

11/18/2019 | Bay Planning Coalition

Wendel Rosen is pleased to host the BPC Expert Briefing: CEQA Update on Monday, November 18, 2019 from 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM at Wendel Rosen LLP. Join land use…

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How Oakland is Responding to Opportunity Zones

How Oakland is Responding to Opportunity Zones

10/29/2019 | SPUR

Join Wendel Rosen LLP on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 who will join a dynamic panel to discuss Opportunity Zones. Event Details The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 established…

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Jobs & Housing Coalition 2019 Legacy Event

Jobs & Housing Coalition 2019 Legacy Event

09/19/2019 | Jobs & Housing Coalition

Wendel Rosen is proud to sponsor the Jobs & Housing Coalition’s 2019 Legacy Event. The Legacy Event is Oakland’s biggest salute to trailblazing business and civic leaders. In 2019, the…

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Date Category Host Title
05/11/2019 Sponsorship Bay Planning Coalition BPC 2019 Spring Summit
02/23/2019 Seminar American Planning Association California Chapter Northern 2019 Legal Updates; to Cannabis SB 35
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01/16/2019 Seminar IRWA Bay Area Chapter 2 Annual Legal Update
01/15/2019 Seminar National Business Institute Marijuana Business Law in California
12/20/2018 Seminar Wendel Rosen LLP Landlords & Cannabis Workshop – Leasing to a Cannabis Tenant
04/19/2018 Sponsorship Bisnow Alameda County Multifamily & Mixed-Use Expansion
01/09/2018 Seminar Wendel Rosen LLP Demystifying the New 2018 Housing Laws and Update on Major Oakland Projects
05/09/2017 Sponsorship Bisnow Bisnow – Oakland Multifamily & Mixed-Use Rise and Expansion 2017
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11/10/2016 Sponsorship Bisnow Oakland Construction & Development: The Boom Continues!
10/21/2016 Seminar Contra Costa County Bar Association What Every Real Estate Attorney Should Know About CEQA
04/12/2016 Seminar Wendel Rosen Client Seminar The Latest on Oakland’s Development Impact Fees and the California Supreme Court’s Steps to Rein in CEQA
02/23/2016 Sponsorship Bisnow Bisnow – Oakland State of the Market
02/17/2016 Seminar Alameda County Bar Association What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About CEQA + New Supreme Court Developments
02/09/2016 Seminar Commercial Real Estate Women Land Entitlements
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11/10/2015 Seminar Wendel Rosen Client Seminar Easy In, Not Always So Easy Out
10/06/2015 Seminar Bay Planning Coalition Bay Planning Coalition CEQA Update
09/15/2015 Seminar Wendel Rosen Client Seminar Keeping Your Infill Project on the Approval Track
04/14/2015 Seminar Wendel Rosen Client Seminar This Land is … Whose Land?
03/27/2014 Seminar League of California Cities Planning in an Adversarial Environment
01/22/2014 Seminar League of California Cities Policy Role in Land Use Planning
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05/01/2013 Seminar A New Look at the New Oakland Coliseum District
11/30/2012 Seminar San Francisco Business Times Oakland Structures with the San Francisco Business Times
09/25/2012 Seminar East Bay Rising with The Registry
04/26/2012 Seminar Bay Planning Coalition 25th Annual Decisionmakers Conference – The Maritime Bay: Its Economic Importance to the Northern California Economy

News

Oakland Planning Commission Approves Final Development Permits for West Oakland BART Station

Oakland Planning Commission Approves Final Development Permits for West Oakland BART Station

11/18/2020 | San Francisco Business Times

Photo Courtesy of JRDV Architects Wendel Rosen attorneys Amara Morrison and Todd Williams represented Strategic Urban Development Alliance, a member of the development team BART selected to entitle and develop…

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Wendel Rosen Scores Six “Tier 1” Rankings on Best Law Firms List

Wendel Rosen Scores Six “Tier 1” Rankings on Best Law Firms List

11/05/2020 | Wendel Rosen LLP

Wendel Rosen LLP, one of the largest and most widely-recognized law firms in the East Bay, has been named to the 2021 Best Law Firms list published by U.S. News & World…

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Wendel Rosen Attorneys Selected to 2020 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars List

Wendel Rosen Attorneys Selected to 2020 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars List

07/13/2020 | Wendel Rosen LLP

Wendel Rosen LLP, the largest law firm in the East Bay representing businesses throughout the county, announced that 19 attorneys have been named to the 2020 edition of the Northern…

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Date Category Publication Title
06/01/2020 COVID-19 Articles Wendel Rosen LLP  Governor Issues Executive Order Suspending CEQA Deadlines for 60 Days and Revising Related Noticing Procedures
05/26/2020 Press Release Wendel Rosen LLP  Amara Morrison Selected to San Francisco Business Times’ Most Influential Women of 2020
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05/14/2020 Firm News Wendel Rosen LLP  Les Hausrath Appointed to Land Trust of Napa County Board of Trustees
04/29/2020 COVID-19 Articles Wendel Rosen LLP  New Bay Area Shelter-in-Place Orders Permit All Construction to Resume
04/21/2020 COVID-19 Articles Wendel Rosen LLP  State Legislators Criticize Bay Area Health Officers’ “Arbitrary” Shelter-in-Place Rules Limiting Housing Construction
04/15/2020 COVID-19 Articles Wendel Rosen LLP  Alameda County Health Officer Rebukes Oakland Over Interpretation of Alameda County’s Shelter-in-Place Order Regarding Residential Construction
04/09/2020 COVID-19 Articles Wendel Rosen LLP  Oakland’s Updated Rules for Construction During Alameda County’s Shelter in Place
04/03/2020 In the News San Francisco Chronicle  Zack Wasserman Discusses the New Study Released on Sea-Level Rise in the Bay Area
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04/01/2020 COVID-19 Articles Wendel Rosen LLP  Bay Area Counties’ Extended Shelter-In-Place Order Imposes Strict Limits on Development and Construction
03/19/2020 COVID-19 Articles Wendel Rosen LLP  Impacts of the Bay Area Shelter-In-Place Orders on Development and Related Litigation
12/03/2019 In the News San Francisco Business Times  Zack Wasserman Comments on Oakland A’s Stadium Development
12/03/2019 In the News The Mercury News  Todd Williams Reviews Court Decision Affecting Charter Cities and Housing Laws
11/25/2019 In the News The Mercury News  Todd Williams Comments on Application and Use of SB 35 Statewide
11/01/2019 Press Release Wendel Rosen LLP  Wendel Rosen Scores Seven “Tier 1” Rankings on Best Lawyers 2020 Best Law Firms List
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10/10/2019 Press Release Wendel Rosen   Wendel Rosen’s Amara Morrison Appointed to Bay Planning Coalition Board of Directors
10/02/2019 Press Release Wendel Rosen   Wendel Rosen Boosts Land Use Practice With Addition of Patrick Tuck
08/19/2019 Press Release Wendel Rosen  Wendel Rosen Lands 12 in 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America
07/09/2019 Press Release   Wendel Rosen’s Patricia Curtin and Amara Morrison Named Real Estate Forum “Women of Influence”
06/01/2019 News Nob Hill Gazette  On the Waterfront
01/09/2019 News Daily Journal  AB 2923: BART Transit-Oriented Housing Legislation
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11/20/2017 Press Release   Wendel Rosen Receives Five “Tier 1” on Best Lawyers 2018 Best Law Firms List
08/15/2017 Press Release   Firm Lands 10 Attorneys in 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America
03/10/2017 Press Release   Wendel Rosen Partner R. Zachary Wasserman Elected Chair of Bay Area Regional Collaborative
11/02/2016 Press Release   Wendel Rosen Scores Top Tier “Best Law Firms” Rankings Once Again
06/23/2016 Press Release   Three Wendel Rosen Attorneys Named to SF Business Times List of Most Influential Women in 2016
05/04/2016 Press Release   Firm Adds Three Attorneys and Broadens East Bay Land Use and Real Estate Footprint
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11/11/2015 Press Release   Firm Named to Sixth Annual “Best Law Firms” List
10/29/2015 Press Release San Francisco Business Times  Patricia Curtin Honored as a Northern California Real Estate Woman of Influence
05/12/2015 Press Release San Francisco Business Times  Patricia Curtin Named a Most Influential Woman in Business