Robin R. Baral
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, such as 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. Robin's environmental expertise is focused on helping 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.
Areas of Focus
California Department of Justice, Division of Public Rights, Land Law section, Law School Honors Program (2009)
Admissions and Courts
Represented a railroad company to expedite environmental permitting under the Clean Water Act, CEQA, and the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act.
Represented a Joint Powers Authority as a reviewing agency in connection with the processing of a combined 2,000-acre residential and mixed-use specific plan and an 8,000-acre industrial area plan.
Represented a city in renegotiating a development agreement for a 600-acre master development plan involving five different market-rate and affordable-housing developers.
Represented a 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 city in proceedings before the federal Surface Transportation Board to defeat a preemption determination in connection with an application for a conditional use permit to develop a crude-by-rail transfer facility.
Midland School, Board of Trustees (2023-present)
Urban Land Institute–Sacramento District, Housing Committee Chair (2021-present), Member (2012-present)
Solid Waste Association of North America, Member (2017-present)
Northern California Super Lawyers, Land Use, Zoning, Environmental, Real Estate (2021-2022)
California Lawyers Association, Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Legal Services Award (2022)
Northern California Rising Star, SuperLawyers (2015-2020)
"Records Retention Policies and CEQA Compliance," Urban Water Institute Newsletter (October 2020)