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

The Time to Reinvent the Commercial Real Estate Spaces of the Future Is Now

Real Estate and Land Use partner CJ Higley was quoted in the Bisnow article, "The Time to Reinvent the Commercial Real Estate Spaces of the Future Is Now." Read the full article, here .

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Ranked in Legal 500 United States 2020

The 2020 edition of Legal 500 United States recognized Farella Braun + Martel among the leading firms in the Construction, Land Use/Zoning, and Not-for-Profit practice areas. Land use partner Steven Vettel was named to...

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News

Farella Assists Developers in Winning Balboa Reservoir Housing Project Approval

Project to create a diverse and vibrant new San Francisco neighborhood SAN FRANCISCO, August 13, 2020: Farella Braun + Martel represented a partnership of AvalonBay Communities and BRIDGE Housing Corporation in securing approval from...

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Publication

Downtown Oakland Slated for Increased Development

The City of Oakland spent the last four years developing the Downtown Oakland Specific Plan to address growth and revitalization of the downtown area over the next 20 years and to ensure that development...

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Publication

Newly Adopted California Housing Laws – Assembly Bill 1485 Streamlining the Permit Process for Housing Developments

On January 1, 2020, several housing-related bills recently signed into law by the Governor take effect. We will explain the upcoming changes in housing law through a series of updates. Our first update...

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Publication

New California Housing Laws: AB 68 Accessory Dwelling Units

On January 1, 2020, several housing-related bills recently signed into law by the Governor take effect. We will explain the upcoming changes in housing law through a series of updates. Our first update...

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News

Approval of 16,000-acre Northern California Luxury Resort Project Challenged in Court

Katherine Philippakis commented in the North Bay Business Journal article, "Approval of 16,000-acre Northern California Luxury Resort Project Challenged in Court."  Read the full article, here .

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Publication

Upcoming Changes to California Housing Laws – AB 1482 Tenant Protection Act

The Governor recently signed into law several housing-related bills adopted during the 2019-2020 state legislative session. At the start of the session, approximately 200 housing-related bills were introduced, mostly from Bay Area legislators. Many of these...

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Publication

Newly Adopted California Housing Laws - Senate Bill 330 Housing Crisis Act

Ahead of the January 1, 2020 effective date for several housing-related bills recently signed into law by the Governor, we will explain upcoming changes in housing law through a series of updates. Our first...

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