Insights
Firm News

Farella’s Don Sobelman Assists South Valley Islamic Center to Secure Cordoba Center Mosque and Cemetery Project Approval

December 18, 2019 Announcement

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 18, 2019: With the help of Farella Braun + Martel Partner Don Sobelman, South Valley Islamic Center (SVIC) has won approval for its 16-acre Cordoba Center Project in San Martin, California.

Sobelman has represented SVIC on a pro bono basis since 2012 in an ongoing California Environmental Quality Act and permit process for its Cordoba Center—a development project including a mosque, community center, and cemetery to serve the needs of the local Muslim community. The project was approved by unanimous vote of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on December 17, 2019.

Sobelman argued for SVIC at both the August Planning Commission hearing, where SVIC prevailed by a 5-2 vote, and at the December 17 Board of Supervisors hearing, where the Planning Commission’s decision was upheld on appeal, 5-0.

“I am proud of this work and thrilled that SVIC can finally move forward with the development of the Cordoba Center,” said Sobelman. “This project is so important to the approximately 100 Muslim families in south Santa Clara County who have used a barn as a mosque and gathering space for almost 20 years and have had to travel 60 miles to the nearest Muslim cemetery. After purchasing the land in 2006 and enduring a 13 year wait, SVIC can now build facilities that will not just serve the religious and cultural needs of the Muslim community, but will promote interfaith dialogue, diversity, and religious and cultural tolerance.”

SVIC is a founding member of the Interfaith Community of South County (ICSC), an interfaith organization comprised of 17 local religious institutions. The 2018 Gavilan College Community Spirit Award recognized SVIC’s history of service to the local community. 

Representation of SVIC with respect to the Cordoba Center Project was in collaboration with Downey Brand LLP, with the support of both Muslim Advocates and the Stanford Religious Liberty Clinic.

Farella Braun + Martel is a leading Northern California law firm representing corporate and private clients in sophisticated business transactions and complex commercial, civil and criminal litigation. Clients seek our imaginative legal solutions and the dynamism and intellectual creativity of our lawyers. We are headquartered in San Francisco and maintain offices in the Napa Valley that are focused on the wine industry.

Contact:
Cheryl Loof
Farella Braun + Martel LLP
[email protected]

Firm Highlights

Publication

California's Bold Step Forward Into the Contentious World of Wetlands Regulation

Read More
News

California Targets Pot Smoke Anew Under State Chemical Safety Law

Sarah Bell was quoted in the article "California Targets Pot Smoke Anew Under State Chemical Safety Law," looking at whether both pot smoke and the active ingredient in cannabis should be classified as reproductive toxics...

Read More
Publication

Changing Climate, Changing Laws: Addressing CEQA’s New Wildfire Risk Requirements in Project Development

Wildfires pose an increasingly serious threat to the public and environment in California. So it should be no surprise that the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) amended Appendix G of California Environmental...

Read More
Publication

The Uncertain Future of California’s Vehicle Emission Standards

Read More
Publication

Changing Climate, Changing Laws: Addressing New Wildfire Risk Requirements in Project Development

In this op-ed for pv magazine, David Lazerwitz and Linda Sobczynski of Farella Braun + Martel examine the levels of precaution necessary to ensure fire risk mitigation in project development. The increasingly common occurrence...

Read More
News

Farella Assists San Francisco Flower Mart With Development Project

Farella Braun + Martel represented the master tenant of the San Francisco Flower Mart in renegotiating its agreements with Kilroy Realty Corp., including a long-term master lease to permanently relocate the Flower Mart to...

Read More
Publication

Re-Imagining Environmental Governance: The Future of Environmental Law

Not to dwell on the past, but I have been struck of late reading obituaries of certain leading figures in environmental law by a recurrent theme, which is essentially captured by the following quote...

Read More
Event

BASF Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events: Planning, Preparation, and Predictions

Sarah Bell is the moderator of this BASF Environmental Law Section program, "Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events: Planning, Preparation, and Predictions." Details: This panel, featuring in-house counsel, business leaders, and consultants from multiple...

Read More
Publication

Emerging Contaminants: Coming to an NRD Site Near You!

What Are Emerging Contaminants? Emerging contaminants are chemicals in the environment for which the health risks—both human and ecological—remain unknown. They are also sometimes called contaminants of emerging concern, since the chemicals, or products...

Read More
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...

Read More