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

Publication

California's Changing Approach to Housing Policy

Hardly a day goes by without news headlines reminding us that California is in the midst of a severe housing crisis. As with any crisis situation, questions abound. How did we get here? How...

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Publication

A Watershed Moment for Renter Protections

It is tough to recognize when a watershed moment has occurred while one is in "the moment," but it won't take long for many to recognize that California is currently in the midst of one...

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Publication

How Napa County Seeks to Streamline the Winery Permit Process

Recently, local members of the wine industry in Napa County have been actively engaged with county government in discussions regarding ways to streamline the winery use permit process. Frustrated with the cost and lengthy...

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Publication

California Legislators Tackle Affordable Housing with Flurry of Proposed Bills

The California legislative session is currently underway, and several bills related to housing creation are being considered through the committee hearing process. Legislators representing San Francisco and other Bay Area cities and counties have...

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Publication

San Francisco COPA Program Rules Released

The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) released program rules for the Community to Purchase Act (COPA) on September 3, 2019. The recently enacted COPA program (codified in Chapter 41B of the...

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Publication

Keeping Tabs on Energy Efficiency – New Benchmarking Requirements for San Francisco

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020

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Publication

Attorney General Finds Impact Fees on Density Bonus Projects Invalid

In response to questions from a variety of cities across the state regarding the application of “public benefit fees” to density bonus projects, the State Attorney General’s Office published an opinion on April 9...

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