Biography

Rick Tooker is a seasoned land use planning professional with 30 years of experience navigating the many facets associated with land use rights for complex, and sometimes controversial, projects in the San Francisco Bay Area and Monterey Peninsula. He has worked in Napa, Healdsburg, Calistoga, Livermore, and Carmel-by-the-Sea, and consulted in several other cities on residential and mixed use developments, including Oakland’s City Center development. Rick is based out of Farella’s St. Helena office with a focus on the wine industry.

Rick effectively and efficiently manages diverse teams in the areas of planning, economic development, housing, building, and code compliance. He has managed preparation and implementation of general plans, master plans, specific plans, ordinances, and design guidelines.

Prior to joining Farella, Rick actively participated in the resurgence of Downtown Napa. He specifically managed projects securing entitlements for several hundred-thousand square feet of new retail, office, industrial, and residential development. He was the project manager of Napa Riverfront, Andaz, Napa Square, Main Street West, 1313 Main Street, and the Culinary Institute of America at Copia. As a community development director and planning manager in Napa, he also led the development department in permitting revitalization and construction of First Street Napa and 1300 First Street, Vista Collina Resort, and the Cinedome Plaza.

To help avoid unforeseen circumstances that could delay a project, Rick actively listens to and works with others to carefully consider a broad range of possibilities and outcomes before charting a course. He is politically astute and has earned the respect of local agency decision-makers and their staff.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • American Planning Association (APA)
  • Napa Parks and Recreation Board
  • Yountville Zoning and Design Review Board

Firm Highlights

Publication

What to Do When Commercial Leases End Up in Bankruptcy

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing many businesses to close, leaving landlords in the lurch. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to shake up the nation’s economy. Long-standing companies such as JC Penney, J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, Modell’s...

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News

Lawyers Warn Those Bracing for Prop. 19’s Tax Hit: Act Fast

Evan Abrams spoke to the San Francisco Business Times for the article "Lawyers Warn Those Bracing for Prop. 19’s Tax Hit: Act Fast."  In the article, Evan said, “If you really want to do anything...

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Publication

Cannabis Industry, Including CBD Products, Subject to New Proposition 65 Warning Requirements

Updated Proposition 65 warning requirements for cannabis products came into effect on January 3, 2021. As of that date, anyone offering for sale cannabis products in California—including hemp-derived CBD products—must provide an appropriate warning...

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Publication

Bankruptcy Provisions in COVID Relief Legislation Impacting PPP Loans, Commercial Leases and Preference Claims

With the COVID-19 pandemic stretching on into another year, businesses continue to experience adverse effects. Bankruptcy filings, especially among retailers, were higher than average in 2020, and it is likely that more companies large...

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Publication

New Year, New CMS Price Transparency Rule For Hospitals

Transparency in health care pricing can help patients make informed decisions, increase competition, and drive down the cost of health care. Accordingly, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has promulgated a new...

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Event

ACGSF: The Facts on SPACs

Drew Goodwin is a panelist at the ACG San Francisco live webinar, "The Facts on SPACs." Details: Join us for a discussion on special purpose acquisition companies. How are they raised, who invests; how...

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News

17 Firms Join Crowell in Seeking Trump's Removal

Farella is among 17 law firms joining Crowell & Moring in sending a joint letter to Vice President Mike Pence to call for President Donald Trump’s immediate removal from office and to urge Pence to invoke the 25th...

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Event

Perspectives on Virtual Proceedings: ADR & Claims Resolution in a COVID World

Erica Villanueva will be speaking at the 2021 Virtual Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar on "Perspectives on Virtual Proceedings: ADR & Claims Resolution in a COVID World."

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Elevates Five to Partner

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Event

Equal Pay Data Reporting, an Asset for the Strategic Employer

Join Holly Sutton and co-speaker, Erin Hastings, in the discussion on "Equal Pay Data Reporting, an Asset for the Strategic Employer." California’s recently passed SB973 requires certain employers to collect and report the number...

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