Farella real estate and land use lawyers provide comprehensive coverage for real estate owners, investors, developers, landlords, and tenants who require attentive, high value representation in transactions and land use matters throughout California and beyond. We offer clients a sophisticated, full-service, legal practice and the competitive advantage gained from the firm’s longstanding presence in Northern California, including the Napa Valley. Our clients benefit directly from our first-hand knowledge of the players, deals, and political landscape affecting today’s real estate markets.

Clients

For a range of savvy real estate clients, we are engaged to handle myriad legal matters that can range from deal structuring to entitling, purchasing, building, leasing, and disposition. Because we understand the importance of active listening and know how to achieve our clients’ commercial goals—whether they are looking to grow a local platform, expedite entitlements and manage exactions, or expand or reduce a property portfolio—we effectively deliver desired outcomes.

We staff nimble teams—led by one or more Farella partners who remain actively engaged in every facet of a matter. We become valued members of our clients’ deal teams, work hard to understand each client’s business, and in many cases, develop ongoing trusted advisor relationships, working beyond immediate deal issues to address corporate, finance, tax, environmental, regulatory, insurance, construction, and litigation.

Land Use and Zoning

Both local and national real estate developers depend on our extensive understanding of the political nuances affecting the land use and entitlement landscape in Northern California, with a particular focus on San Francisco and the Wine Country. Our team is adept at solving zoning issues that are critical to client success. We frequently work closely with city councils, boards of supervisors, and planning commissions, interacting with decision makers and departmental staff to streamline processes in pursuing client objectives.

To maximize our clients’ opportunities, our specialized knowledge in evolving land use regulations and valuable industry contacts to move matters forward with greater efficiency. 

Scope and Depth

We offer exceptional experience and know-how in addressing deal specific needs, such as architectural and construction agreements and Historic and New Markets Tax Credits. Among our team members are a former San Francisco supervisor and a former San Francisco deputy city attorney who add first-hand experience and insight that helps clients navigate complex real estate deals in the Bay Area.

Also, to accommodate smaller, privately-held family businesses, our transactional, estate planning, and business succession planning teams are deeply involved in the real estate practice. When disputes arise, our litigation teams appear in courtrooms throughout the region and across the U.S. to protect and defend our clients’ interests. 

Professional Involvement

Our industry commitment goes beyond solving legal puzzles for our clients. We are active in major trade groups, including the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), CREW San Francisco, and Lambda Alpha International (LAI). Our wine industry focus is augmented by our involvement in the California Association of Winegrape Growers, the Napa County Farm Bureau, and the International Wine Lawyers Association.

Noting our decades-long presence in Napa Valley and our St. Helena office serving the needs of our wine industry clients, the widely-read legal news source Law360 recognized our firm as a “California Powerhouse” in 2018. Our lawyers also regularly appear in national and California-based rankings from U.S. News - Best Lawyers, the Daily Journal, and The Legal 500 United States.

Firm Highlights

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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Publication

Treasury Department Guidance Will Stimulate Opportunity Fund Investments

The Opportunity Zones Program (OZ Program) aims to infuse capital into low-income communities known as qualified opportunity zones (QOZs) by offering tax-advantaged investments benefiting electing Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF) investors including: A temporary deferral...

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Publication

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: Legal Strategies for Smoke-Exposed Grapes

Following on last year’s Northern California firestorm in Napa, Lake, Sonoma, Mendocino, Butte and Solano counties, various North Bay regions have also seen wildfires in 2018. A large wildfire in Mendocino and Lake counties...

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Publication

Opportunity Zone Program Drives Investments to Low-Income Communities

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Publication

San Francisco’s HOME-SF Density Bonus Program: Three Key Changes Important to Developers

On July 31, 2018, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors approved changes to the City’s local density bonus program, known as HOME-SF. Introduced by Supervisors Katy Tang and Ahsha Safai, the new ordinance seeks to...

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Announces 2019 New Partner Elevations

SAN FRANCISCO, January 22, 2019: Farella Braun + Martel LLP is pleased to announce the election of senior associates Quinn Arntsen and Daniel Callaway to the partnership effective January 1, 2019. “Quinn and Dan...

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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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