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Robin Baral

Robin R. Baral

Senior Counsel
(916) 491-3052

Intro

Robin Baral has more than a decade of experience practicing land use, environmental, and water law. Robin guides his clients, including private developers and public agencies, through nearly every aspect of the land use planning, development, and entitlement process and the myriad of associated local, state, and federal approvals that are often required for land development and public infrastructure. Robin has extensive experience working with developers and local agencies to negotiate development agreements, process specific plans, complex entitlement packages, and conduct environmental reviews under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). He is also adept at harnessing recent changes to the State Planning and Zoning Law to expedite permitting and development approvals.

Robin has worked with clients on planning, permitting, and public financing of projects totaling in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Examples include  groundwater and surface water treatment plants, solar and wind energy facilities, wastewater treatment plants, water bottling facilities, rail trans-loading facilities, and waste disposal facilities.

He applies his  environmental expertise to help clients develop permitting strategies for new and emerging technologies. He is particularly skilled at providing strategic counsel in response to state legislative and regulatory mandates, ranging from housing policies to water management, waste disposal, and recycling requirements.

His substantial knowledge in public finance compliments his practice specialty well. Robin works well with clients and bond counsel to establish tax and financing solutions while assisting with the review of rate-making proceedings, voter-approved taxes, the adoption of impact fees, and more.

Lastly, Robin has served as the lead attorney in a broad range of litigation matters. His cases range from defending and challenging land use entitlements, CEQA approvals, municipal finance mechanisms (Proposition 218, impact fees, CFD financing), ballot initiatives, and water rights determinations.

Education

J.D. Loyola Law School Los Angeles ( 2010 )
B.A. University of California, Berkeley ( 2004 )

Academic Distinction

California Department of Justice, Division of Public Rights, Land Law section, Law School Honors Program (2009)

Admissions and Courts

California

Represented a residential infill developer in obtaining entitlements for a 26-story high-rise in the City of Berkeley; the project was approved unanimously by the Zoning Appeals Board with no appeal to City Council. This was the first project approved in Berkeley to surpass the City’s 180-foot special height limit under the Downtown Area Plan. 

Represented a master plan developer in the entitlement of a 690-acre specific plan consisting of up to 2,700 units and 250,000 square feet of commercial space, with onsite mitigation of biological resources, through a detailed open space preservation and parks plan.

Represented a developer in the reapproval and extension of a development agreement, specific plan amendment, and related entitlements for 2,500 residential units plus retail, commercial, light industrial and other employment-generating uses.  

Representing numerous developers in processing Builder’s Remedy applications, SB 330 applications, and other streamlined or ministerial housing approvals.  

Representing a life sciences developer in standing up a new life sciences hub in the East Bay Area. 

Representing a group of car dealerships in litigating the constitutionality of a local, gross receipts business license tax.

Bay Area Council – Housing Endorsement Subcommittee, Co-Chair (2024-present)

Urban Land Institute – San Francisco District, Public Private Partnership Local Product Council (2024-present), Member (2007-present)

Midland School, Board of Trustees (2023-present)

"Developers Seizing ‘Supersized’ Density Bonus Opportunity," Daily Journal (February 2024)

Super LawyersLand Use & Zoning; Environmental; Real Estate (2015-2022)

California Lawyers Association, Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Legal Services Award (2022)

Spanish