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Land Use

Land Use

California land use regulation is complex, involving an array of stakeholders: the developer, the city or county, other governmental agencies, citizens, environmental groups and others. The process often involves multiple hearings before planning commissions, city councils, boards of supervisors, appeals boards, and the approving bodies of other agencies. Our attorneys draw on experience and relationships to help our clients navigate this often daunting process.

Entitlements. Hanson Bridgett’s land use attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in all phases of the California land use approval process. We represent developers, property owners, investors, financial institutions, private citizens, and governmental entities across the entire gamut of all aspects of land use regulation in California. Project compliance requires an understanding of many aspects of the required approvals, including:

  • General plans, specific plans and amendments
  • Zoning ordinances and amendments
  • Initiatives and opposition to referenda
  • CEQA and NEPA compliance
  • Subdivision approvals
  • Development agreements
  • Design review and historic preservation
  • Due diligence review in acquiring, selling, leasing, and financing real estate

Relationships. Through many years of experience, our attorneys have developed close working relationships with agency staff and public officials across the Bay Area and the expertise to forge valuable partnerships in new cities. Our firm's extensive experience representing government agencies gives us a unique perspective on the practical and political workings of government. These relationships allow us to take our knowledge of our clients' business objectives and the policy goals of the government agencies to create mutually beneficial solutions. The success of our land use attorneys is due to a keen awareness of ongoing development opportunities and political constraints, and the ability to create dialogue with community, environmental, and government leaders to identify and address key community issues.

Litigation. Litigation disputing or challenging land use approvals is a fact of life in California, not only by project opponents but also by competing developers and businesses. Hanson Bridgett attorneys have extensive experience representing developers, landowners, and governmental entities in such litigation. We have advised on and litigated cases involving large commercial and residential mixed use projects, residential projects spanning thousands of acres, hotels, subdivision claims, religious facilities, office buildings, desalination facilities, and quarry operations.

Environmental Expertise. We work with our environmental attorneys to assist clients in identifying, evaluating and resolving potential environmental issues in real property acquisitions, sales and project approvals. This includes participating in the client's due diligence by analyzing existing documents and Phase 1 Environmental Assessments, and documenting existing issues to minimize our client's risk.

Key Contacts

Sean Marciniak
Sean Marciniak
San Francisco, CA