Our land use attorneys craft pragmatic approaches and creative “win-win” solutions for our clients in new construction and historic reuse projects. In guiding development projects through complex political and regulatory processes to obtain land use entitlements, we focus on the bottom line financial goals of the project and avoid land use disputes and litigation that potentially destroy the economic viability of even the most promising projects. 

We have extensive experience in all aspects of the entitlement process, including government entity disposition agreements, development agreements, ground leases with public entities, rezonings and general plan amendments, use permits, variances, and environmental reviews under both CEQA and NEPA. Our knowledge of the political landscapes of the Bay Area and Northern California is a valuable asset. We participate in the political processes of the region in which we practice law, as many of our attorneys hold or have held high-profile political appointments.

After a project has successfully completed the entitlement process, we represent clients in the formation of joint ventures and financing structures, the development and construction phases of the project and, in many situations, through leasing and property management. We have a particular expertise in representing clients in applying for and obtaining New Markets and Historic Preservation Tax Credits. In worst case scenarios, we provide representation in disputes related to design and construction defects. 

Firm Highlights

News

50 Farella Lawyers in 2023 The Best Lawyers in America® and the Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™; 4 Lawyer of the Year Awards

Read More
Publication

How New Climate Change CEQA Thresholds Will Impact Bay Area Development Projects

Farella's CJ Higley and Donald Sobelman with guest speakers, Michael Keinath from Ramboll and Tania Sheyner from City and County of San Francisco, discuss "How New Climate Change CEQA Thresholds Will Impact Bay Area Development...

Read More
News

Farella Braun + Martel Ranked in Legal 500 United States 2022

The Legal 500 United States  2022 guide has recognized Farella Braun + Martel among the leading firms in the Cannabis, Construction, and Land Use/Zoning sections. Land use partner Steven Vettel is named to the Land...

Read More
News

Katherine Philippakis Named Among the Top Women Lawyers in California by Daily Journal

Farella Braun + Martel is proud to announce the selection of partner Katherine Philippakis to the Daily Journal ’s 2022 list of California’s "Top Women Lawyers." The annual list honors the achievements of leading...

Read More
News

Farella Attorneys Named to 2022 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Thirty-four Farella Braun + Martel lawyers were named to the Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists of top attorneys in Northern California for 2022. Super Lawyers: Carly Alameda – Business Litigation George Argyris &ndash...

Read More
News

Website lawsuits, events regulations, environmental rules: What’s new in California wine business law

Katherine Philippakis submitted commentary for the North Bay Business Journal article, "Website lawsuits, events regulations, environmental rules: What’s new in California wine business law." Read the full article here .

Read More
Publication

Napa County Land Use Update: What You Should Know About Developments in the Local and State Regulatory Arena (Webinar)

Speakers, Katherine Philippakis, Rick Tooker, and Rachel Lenihan discuss "Napa County Land Use Update: What You Should Know About Developments in the Local and State Regulatory Arena." As property owners plan new or expanded...

Read More