Land Use and CEQA


Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, PC’s attorneys bring their several decades of combined experience in all aspects of land use law to serve public agency clients on any regulatory or proprietary land use matter.

From a regulatory perspective, we have drafted and defended ordinances on every imaginable land use topic, including but not limited to, zoning codes and overlays and design review regulations, telecommunication facilities siting, deemed-approved massage ordinances, water conservation and water service connection moratoriums, use of public property, and historic preservation regulations. We also provide legal support for Housing Element and General Plan amendments, including new Complete Streets Act requirements for circulation elements.

We regularly advise our clients on land use applications for entitlements under the Permit Streamlining Act and Subdivision Map Act, including project compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act. We keep abreast of changes in statute and case law impacting all areas of land use and development to help our clients do so too.

From a development or proprietary perspective, our firm has significant experience supporting our clients in various economic development projects, even after the elimination of redevelopment. Members of the firm have negotiated real property contracts with major housing and commercial developers, the United States Department of Defense, individual tenants proposed for publically-owned facilities, and several affordable housing advocates. Our participation at the negotiating table has resulted in the full range of real property agreements drafted to protect our client’s interests and minimize risk while also addressing the realistic goals and achievable deliverables of the developer or tenant. We have drafted Exclusive Negotiating Agreements, Development Agreements and Disposition and Development Agreements for many clients, as well as commercial leases, licenses, real property financing instruments (including promissory notes and deeds of trust), and restrictive covenants.

In addition to our advisory work in the broad arena of land use regulation and development, we are experienced at successfully defending our clients’ land use decisions when litigation arises in trial and Appellate Courts around California.