With a wealth of experience that allows them to assess projects through multiple lenses, Venable’s cohesive California land use and zoning team works with clients to bring some of the most complex and challenging real estate developments to fruition.
Venable’s land use attorneys represent property owners; housing, retail, and industrial property developers; self-storage companies; and Fortune 500 companies throughout California. Our extensive practice covers all aspects of land use and zoning, including due diligence research to assess the development potential of a property (along with title research, permits, and zoning and planning history), pre-development feasibility analysis, real estate project entitlements and zoning services, easements and other property disputes, historical designations, code compliance and enforcement, LEED certification and green building compliance, development agreements, compliance with state and local regulations, and community outreach. Our entitlement work is focused primarily in California, but our team conducts due diligence on a variety of property types throughout the United States.
We frequently provide counsel on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Ellis Act (which allows property owners to get out of the rental market), the Coastal Act (which regulates developments in the coastal zone), and various housing laws and incentive programs, including the State of California Density Bonus Law and the City of Los Angeles Transit Oriented Communities program. To ensure a streamlined approach to the entitlement and permitting process, our team often acts in a project management role, coordinating with the various agencies. Similarly, to avert any legal challenges to a project, we build a robust administrative record, while engaging with community groups and other stakeholders to address any concerns. For every project, our primary objective is to ensure our clients reach their development goals without delay and within budget.
Land Use Litigation
With seasoned land use litigators on our team, we advocate on behalf of real estate developers and owners for the right to entitle and develop their properties. While building a meticulous administrative record that enables us to withstand any legal challenges, we have handled numerous cases involving California Code CCP 1085 and CCP Section 1094.5. We also handle easement, subdivision, and other property disputes; a wide variety of writ of mandamus cases involving multiple cities and counties throughout California; and compliance cases against various government agencies.