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
- 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).)
06/20/2019 | Client Update
On June 11, 2019, the City of Oakland released an Opportunity Zone prospectus. The 37-page document is intended to describe Oakland’s goals for the federal tax incentive program, highlight the…More
01/23/2019 | Client Update
The City of Oakland recently published a Preliminary Draft Plan, which is the first step in an effort to develop a specific plan for Downtown Oakland, defined as the area…More
Wendel Rosen LLP has been named to the list of 2020 Best Law Firms by U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers. The firm is recognized in the categories of…More
10/10/2019 | Wendel Rosen
Amara Morrison, a land use partner with Wendel Rosen LLP, the largest law firm in the East Bay representing businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and state, has been…More
10/02/2019 | San Francisco Chronicle
Partner Robert Selna spoke recently with the San Francisco Chronicle regarding a settlement between the City of San Francisco and four separate entities (a developer, condo owners and two neighborhood…More