Cox, Castle & Nicholson's Land Use and Natural Resources Practice is unparalleled in the western United States, with tremendous depth and breadth of expertise across the entire spectrum of land use law. We have successfully helped clients navigate through the permitting process for just about every kind of development project in existence, including mixed-use, in-fill, master planned communities, new towns, skyscrapers, apartments, hotels, wind farms. solar farms, landfills, recycling centers, quarries, power plants, hotels, hospitals, corporate and institutional campuses, manufacturing facilities, office buildings, warehouses, shopping centers, transportation improvements, and infrastructure. We also represent government agencies and quasi-governmental agencies such as cities, counties, water districts, special districts, hospital districts, and universities on a variety of large-scale planning efforts and major projects.
We invite you to learn more about our specialized expertise within our Land Use and Natural Resources Practice, including those listed below.
Land Use Approvals
We have extensive expertise in representing clients in administrative processes related to local general plans, specific plans, zoning, conditional use permits, variances, coastal development permits, ROW grants, and State Lands Commission leases. We take projects through every phase of development from pre-acquisition due diligence to final certificates of occupancy, including advice and representation through every legislative, administrative, and political process.
We have reviewed, written, defended and challenged many hundreds of documents prepared to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Vested Rights, Development Agreements, And Vesting Tentative Maps
We are experienced in all aspects of vested rights law, including vesting tentative maps, development agreements, and common law vested rights matters.
Fees, Exactions, And Dedications
We interpret, negotiate, and, when appropriate, challenge the imposition of school, park, traffic, utility and public art fees, and other dedications and exactions imposed by local jurisdictions.
We process all types of subdivisions and related approvals, including tentative, parcel and final maps, lot-line adjustments, and certificates of compliance.
Grading, Foundation, Building, And Other Permits
We assist our clients in obtaining all types of construction permits.
Public Improvement And Reimbursement Agreements
We negotiate and draft a wide range of public improvement and reimbursement agreements.
Water And Wetland Issues
We work closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, local water districts, regional water quality control boards, and flood control districts to obtain permits to conduct work in streams, wetlands, and other waters.
We guide projects through the process of obtaining incidental take authorization under federal and state wildlife protection laws. This includes assisting in the preparation of Habitat Conservation Plans under section 10 of the Endangered Species Act, Natural Community Conservation Plans, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
Historic Preservation, Design Review, And Architectural Regulation
We are experienced in dealing with all types of historic, design review, and architectural regulations.
Our attorneys have considerable experience in redevelopment law, including the negotiation, preparation, and interpretation of owner participation agreements, disposition and development agreements, and pass-through agreements for reimbursement of tax increment revenues, as well as the ongoing implementation of projects and long-term commitments in the post-redevelopment era.
We represent both governmental agencies and property owners in eminent domain proceedings and litigation, and have extensive trial and appellate experience in this specialized area.
We have experience in drafting, interpreting, and litigating land use ballot measures. We advise clients who are both proposing and opposing ballot measures, including measures that promote land use development projects. We have litigated ballot measures throughout California trial and appellate courts.
We prepare land use and environmental permitting opinions to support the acquisition and/or financing of development projects.
We regularly litigate land use and natural resources matters, including the defense of project approvals and environmental review, at all levels of the state and federal courts. We represent clients in both state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout California. We are experienced at mediating and settling land use cases where feasible. Our attorneys have litigated many of the leading land use and natural resources cases in the state.
Specialized Agency Practice
We regularly represent clients before the full gamut of specialized state and regional agencies involved in land use and resources matters, including permitting, administrative litigation, and environmental reviews. Our agency experience includes the state and regional water boards, air districts, the Public Utilities Commission, the Energy Commission, the Coastal Commission, the State Lands Commission, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, the Building Standards Commission, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the Native American Heritage Commission, and other regulatory and advisory agencies.