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

Ashley Breakfield Elected 2023 President-Elect of CREW SF

Ashely Breakfield Headshot
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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...

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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 .

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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

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Announces 2023 New Partner Class

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News

Planning Commission OKs Bella Union Winery at Former Provenance Facility in Rutherford

Katherine Philippakis was quoted in the Wine Business article, "Planning Commission OKs Bella Union Winery at Former Provenance Facility in Rutherford."  The goal for the “foreseeable future” is for Bella Union to produce 110,000...

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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...

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Publication

Controversial New Law Opens Door To More Residential Development In California

It has been praised as a long-overdue step to address California’s chronic housing shortage, while others have called it the “worst bill of the year.” But regardless of public opinion, the Affordable Housing and High Road Jobs...

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