Gary Bell(916) 898-0049

Gary is a Shareholder of the firm and leads our Sacramento office. He currently serves as City Attorney for the City of Novato, Town Attorney for the Town of Yountville, City Attorney for the City of Auburn, and Assistant City Attorney for the City of Weed, as well as General Counsel for the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) of Napa County, the Upper Valley Waste Management Agency, the Garden Valley Fire Protection District, the Pine Grove Community Services District, the River Pines Public Utility District, and the First 5 Yuba Commission.

His practice covers all aspects of municipal law and public law, including land use, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), public works contracting, contracts, franchise agreements and franchise fees, joint powers agreements and agencies, solid waste and recycling, cannabis regulation and enforcement, municipal finance law and revenues, elections, labor and employment law, constitutional law, code enforcement, conflicts of interest, open meetings and records laws, post-redevelopment issues, and matters involving Local Agency Formation Commissions (LAFCOs).

Gary’s current projects for clients include formation of a benefit assessment district to fund sewer infrastructure; advice regarding rent control; and review of housing projects subject to AB 2011, SB 35, SB 330, and the Housing Accountability Act, to name a few. 

Before joining CHW, Gary served as City Attorney for the City of Firebaugh and advised municipal clients throughout California on a wide range of issues, including counties, cities, school districts, and special districts.

Gary graduated with highest honors from UC Santa Cruz in 2008 with a B.A. in psychology. He received his J.D. in 2012 from the UC Davis School of Law, where he was staff editor of the UC Davis Business Law Journal and a research assistant in constitutional law. While at Davis, Gary worked as a law clerk in the Governor’s Office of Legal Affairs and as a legal extern at the Placer County Superior Court.

Before law school, Gary served as a Senate Fellow for the California State Senate in Sacramento, where he staffed the Senate Local Government Committee and worked on legislation of interest to California’s local governments.

Practice Areas:
  • Public Law
  • Elections Law
  • Contracts
  • Public Works Contracting
  • Joint Powers Agencies
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Municipal Finance Law
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Constitutional Law
  • Code Enforcement
  • Land Use, Planning, and CEQA
  • Open Meetings and Records Law
  • Redevelopment Dissolution
  • Special Districts
  • California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions  (CALAFCO) 2023 Annual Conference – What’s New with New or Extended Services Outside Jurisdictional Boundaries?
  • California Special Districts Association (CSDA) AB 1234 Training (February and October 2023)
  • California Special Districts Association (CSDA) 2023 Annual Conference – Contracting Do’s and Don’ts – Public Works, Services, Materials, Supplies and Equipment
  • California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions (CALAFCO) Webinar: A Guide to the LAFCo Process for Incorporations (2023)
  • California Special Districts Association (CSDA) Webinar: How and Why Involvement in LAFCo Matters (2023)
  • California Special Districts Association (CSDA) 2022 Annual Conference: Special Districts and LAFCo – Past Successes and Future Challenges
  • California Special Districts Association (CSDA) 2022 Annual Conference: Special Taxes by Majority Voter Approval: How, When, and Why
  • League of California Cities (Cal Cities) 2022 Annual Conference: Practical Tips for Reviewing Public Works Contracts (City Attorneys Programming)
  • California Special Districts Association (CSDA) AB 1234 Training (2022)
  • California Special Districts Association (CSDA) Harassment Prevention Training (2022)
  • California Special Districts Association (CSDA) 2021 Annual Conference: Taxes, Assessments, and Fees: Recent Developments and Considerations for Your District
  • California Special Districts Association (CSDA), 2021 Special District Leadership Academy (SDLA): Outside Oversight: The Powers and Functions of Civil Grand Juries and LAFCo
  • Napa-Solano International Code Council (2019)
  • California Special Districts Association (CSDA) 2019 Annual Conference: Special District LAFCo Involvement
  • CALAFCO Staff Workshop (2019)
  • California Special Districts Association (CSDA) Webinar (2019): Special District LAFCo Involvement
  • California Special Districts Association (CSDA) AB 1234 Training (2018)
  • California Special Districts Association (CSDA) eNews (May 2021): Special Taxes Now Easier to Pass
  • Western City Magazine (Oct. 2019): Wayfair Decision Means More Sales and Use Tax Revenues for Cities
  • California Special Districts Magazine (2019): LAFCos and Involuntary Dissolutions and Consolidations
  • Western City Magazine (June 2018): U.S. Supreme Court Revisits Sales and Use Taxes in the ECommerce Age
  • The California Municipal Law Handbook (Cal CEB), Editor for Chapter 3 (Elections) and Chapter 6 (Franchises) (2016, 2017, & 2018)
  • Recipient, Daily Journal Corporation: Top 40 Under 40 (2020)
  • Member, League of California Cities Legal Advocacy Committee (LAC) & LAC Executive Committee (2020-2022)
  • Juror, Gordon D. Schaber Mock Trial Competition (2019-Present)
  • Member, CALAFCO Legislative Advisory Committee (2018-Present)
  • Member, CALAFCO Legislative Committee (2016 & 2017)