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, density bonus and housing streamlining legislation, 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
- Hospitals and medical facilities
- Vineyard development
- Geologic Hazardous Abatement Districts
- Subdivision processing and approval
- Secured entitlements for a master plan project in San Ramon involving 4,500 residential units, a 169-key hotel, 166,000 square feet of commercial space, along with extensive park areas and featuring multiple development agreements.
- Gained land use approvals for five separate projects in Oakland’s Jack London Square featuring over 1,000 apartment units and a hotel.
- Obtained initial and revised land use entitlements for six separate apartment tower projects in Downtown Oakland, totaling approximately 2,000 units.
- Advised a local government in connection with the largest project in California processed under SB 35 (ministerial approval for certain affordable housing projects).
- Secured land use entitlements for multi-family projects in the downtowns of Antioch, Berkeley, Danville, Fairfield, Hercules, Lafayette, Oakland, San Ramon, Vacaville, Monte Sereno and Walnut Creek to meet public agencies’ housing requirements under state law.
- Obtained entitlements for the West Oakland BART Station (Mandela Station) project including over 700 residential units, 382,460 square feet of office space, and 75,000 square feet of retail.
- Successfully defended Fremont’s Warm Springs/South Fremont Community Plan – spanning 900 acres and including up to 4,000 homes and 11 million square feet of commercial/office and retail uses – from a lawsuit claiming California Environmental Quality Act and Planning and Zoning law violations.
- Obtained land use entitlements for four large apartment buildings in Downtown Berkeley, each featuring a density bonus, to help address the City’s critical need for student housing.
- Obtained land use entitlements, including CEQA compliance, for the tallest residential tower in Oakland, consisting of over 600 units and utilizing a density bonus.
- Represented numerous developers in obtaining approvals for, and developing, large master planned communities throughout Northern California.
- Represented Oakland and the World Enterprises to develop affordable housing for formerly incarcerated people and to provide commercial space for for-profit businesses to be owned by such individuals.
- Represented one of the largest real estate developers in United States in securing land use approvals for logistic centers – including approval of a two million square foot logistics center in Oakley, CA and Sacramento County, CA.
- Represented the Oakland Athletics in connection with the purchase and redevelopment of the Coliseum site.
- Obtained land use entitlements, including CEQA compliance, and negotiated construction and management contracts for a 263-room international hotel and 250-unit apartment complex in Silicon Valley.
- Represented industrial landowners and facility owners in Alameda and Contra Costa County Counties in obtaining land use approvals to operate and expand their facilities.
- Obtained land use entitlements, including CEQA compliance and addressing historic resource issues, for the largest office complex in Oakland at over 1.6 million square feet; the project also involved drafting and negotiating a disposition and development agreement with the City.
- Secured land use entitlements for two alternative versions of an office tower in downtown Oakland, including one measuring 1.1 million square feet.
- Serve as general counsel for Alameda County Transportation Commission and other Bay Area transportation agencies; assist with environmental clearance, property acquisition and project implementation of significant regional transportation infrastructure improvements, including the $350 million GoPort project.
- Act as legal counsel to 10 geological hazard abatement districts (GHADs) in California and advise landowners/developers/local governments in forming and operating GHADs.
- Processed and secured land use approvals for mental health facilities throughout California for a major health care provider.
- Served as land use counsel to a large Bay Area provider of charter schools.
- Represented recycling and resource recovery company to expand and improve facility in eastern Contra Costa County.
- Serve as principal author of Development Easements chapter for Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) easement and boundaries treatise, and serve as annual update editor.
- Co-author national land use book, State & Local Government Land Use Liability (Thomson Reuters), updated annually.
City of Oakland Set to Release More Zoning Details and Host Meetings Regarding the Downtown Oakland Specific Plan
04/27/2022 | Patrick Tuck and Todd Williams
On April 22, 2022, the City of Oakland posted an update to its website about soon-to-be-released proposed zoning amendments and upcoming virtual meetings regarding the much-anticipated Downtown Oakland Specific Plan…Full Article
03/30/2022 | Wendel Rosen LLP
An urban development with 2,400 housing units, 2 million square feet of office space, and what is slated to become the world’s largest green roof is set to break ground…Full Article
02/08/2022 | Wendel Rosen LLP
Specific plans are a useful tool local agencies use to implement a general plan in smaller geographical areas. If an agency adopts a specific plan for which an environmental impact…Full Article
10/20/2021 | Wendel Rosen
Partners Patricia Curtin, Amara Morrison and Todd Williams discussed recently adopted laws SB 35 and SB 330 that may provide expedited processing and approval of qualifying housing projects, review recent…Full Article
09/28/2021 | Wendel Rosen LLP
Wendel Rosen Partners Dan Myers, Gregg Ankenman and Al Flor, Jr. discussed lessons learned to date from the COVID-19 pandemic and provided predictions for the future in real estate. The…Full Article
11/05/2021 | Wendel Rosen LLP
OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 5, 2021 – Wendel Rosen announces today the firm has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers as one of the 2022 Best…Full Article
08/20/2021 | Wendel Rosen LLP
Ten attorneys from the Wendel Rosen law firm have been selected for inclusion in the print edition of The Best Lawyers in America 2022. The prestigious award recognizes top legal talent nationwide across…Full Article
08/03/2021 | Wendel Rosen LLP
OAKLAND, Calif., July 30, 2021 – Wendel Rosen LLP, the largest law firm in the East Bay representing businesses throughout the country, announced that 17 attorneys have been named to…Full Article