Tim Paone



Insight Beyond The Basics

The true measure of a land use lawyer's value is found not merely in the technical knowledge common to most land use lawyers, but in broad experience, knowledge, and creativity that are far less common. Mix in an understanding of the client's business goals and values, and the attorney with these uncommon traits can make a positive difference in the efficiency, cost, and success of the entitlement effort. Tim's diverse experience and distinct approach to his craft allow him to recognize and strategically pursue his clients' objectives.

Named by California's leading daily legal publication, the Daily Journal, as one of "California's Top 30 Real Estate Lawyers for 2012," Tim also has been recognized in the highly respected Best Lawyers in America every year since 2007, and named by his peers as a "Southern California Super Lawyer" every year since 2004.

Experience That Matters

Tim's insight comes not only from his entitlement background, but also from experience in private land development, his early years as a business and real estate litigator, and public service. He has managed entitlement for The Irvine Company's projects in Newport Beach, Anaheim, and Orange, served as a Planning Commission Chairman and a Governor's appointee to the California Law Revision Commission, and taught Environmental Law Practice as an Adjunct Professor at Chapman University School of Law. 

Entitlement Throughout California

Tim's practice emphasizes CEQA, the Coastal Act, development agreements, and the local planning process. He has worked on projects across California, most recently in Orange, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara,  Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. 

Courtroom Success

Tim's safeguarding of his clients' interests extends to courtrooms throughout the State of California. Whether defending against a CEQA challenge or reversing a Coastal Commission project denial, his entitlement experience and practical business perspective have produced an excellent success rate.


Residential Communities: Bolsa Chica (Huntington Beach), Newport Coast (County of Orange, Newport Beach), Shea-Baker Ranch (Lake Forest), Deep Creek (County of San Bernardino), Mountain Park (Anaheim), Eagle Crest (Escondido), Sunnymead Ranch (Moreno Valley), Pacific Point (San Juan Capistrano), One Ford Road (Newport Beach)

Residential Infill: Projects of varying types and sizes in many cities, including Anaheim, Orange, Newport Beach, Temecula, Fountain Valley, Apple Valley, Los Angeles, Santa Clarita, Walnut

Shopping Malls: Santa Monica Place (Santa Monica), Fashion Island (Newport Beach), Garden Walk (Anaheim), Shops at Rossmoor (Seal Beach)

Large Multi-Family Projects: Eleven10 West (260 units, Orange), (Villa Venetia (240 waterfront units, Marina del Rey), Palomar Station (San Marcos), Alexan Orangewood (1000 units, Platinum Triangle, Anaheim), Bayview Landing (seniors affordable housing, Newport Beach), Empire Landing (300 units, Burbank), 1901 E 1st Street (254 units, Santa Ana)

Oil Operations: Newport Banning Ranch, a coastal oil field in Orange County/Newport Beach; Huntington Beach Tank Farm (Huntington Beach)

Oceanfront/Blufftop: Aerie (Newport Beach), Paradiso del Mare (County of Santa Barbara); Windward (Huntington Beach); single-family homes in Carlsbad and Newport Beach.

Hotels: A five-star resort in Dana Point; boutique hotel and tennis club in Newport Beach

Oceanfront Homes: Homes in Carlsbad and Laguna Beach

Health Care Facilities: Major hospital campus expansion in Coastal Zone (Newport Beach); an 80-bed acute psychiatric care facility (Mission Viejo)

Schools and Churches: A private school in Orange; a Cathedral in Santa Ana; a church and entertainment center in Anaheim; school mitigation agreements in many communities.

Mixed Use: Gene Autry Experience (Platinum Triangle, Anaheim), Alexan Pacific Grove (278 units, Orange), and Vantis (Aliso Viejo)

Retail: Shopping centers in Newport Beach, Vista, San Clemente, Milpitas, and Anaheim; "Big Box" entitlement and litigation in Anaheim, Torrance, Perris, Ontario.

Commercial/Industrial: Pacific Commercentre (County of Orange), Baker Ranch (County of Orange, Lake Forest), various projects in Inland Empire

Open Space/Recreational: County Regional Park dedications (Upper Newport Bay, Back Bay,and Upper Peters Canyon), Bayview Park (Newport Beach)

Acquisition Due Diligence: Ladera Ranch (County of Orange), Marblehead (San Clemente), Warner Center (Woodland Hills, Los Angeles), Cannery Park (Davis), Garden Walk (Anaheim)

Land Use Litigation: CEQA, Coastal Act, takings, and other land use litigation in courts of Orange, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and San Francisco Counties

Publications &
Speaking Engagements


“What Will Really Solve California’s Housing Crisis?” Globe St. Interview, March 2017

“Surprise! California Has a Housing Crisis,” Lay of the Land, Cox, Castle & Nicholson, January 2017

“Commercial Development: A City That Thinks Outside the (Parking) Box,” Lay of the Land, Cox, Castle & Nicholson, January 2017

“Environmental Justice is Coming to California General Plans,” Lay of the Land, Cox, Castle & Nicholson, November 2016

“Avco at 40: What it Really Said About Vested Rights in California,” Lay of the Land, Cox, Castle & Nicholson, October 2016

“Community Character is Not a CEQA Issue – Unless It’s About Aesthetics,” Lay of the Land, Cox, Castle & Nicholson, April 2016

“How Will Justice Scalia’s Passing Impact Land Use?,” Lay of the Land, Cox, Castle & Nicholson, February 2016

“The Potential Impacts of SB 743: Did the Legislature Double Dribble?,” Co-Author with Tony Petros and JoAnn Hadfield, The Nexus, Association of Environmental Professionals, January 2016

“Divergent Views on Inclusionary Housing Ordinance Decision,”  The Planning Report, August 2015

“Mixed-Income Development: The California Supreme Court Declares that San Jose’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance is Valid,” Co-Author with Ken Bley, Lay of the Land, Cox, Castle & Nicholson,  June 2015 

“The Potential Impacts of SB 743: Did the Legislature Double Dribble?,”  Co-Author with Tony Petros and JoAnn Hadfield, Lay of the Land, Cox, Castle & Nicholson, December 2014

“Global Climate Change Impacts Land Use,” Globe St. Interview, December 2014

“Evaluating California’s Transportation Metrics,” Co-Author with Tony Petros and JoAnn Hadfield, Urban Land Magazine, Urban Land Institute, November 2014

Speaking Engagements

“Development Agreements and Vested Rights,” Lorman Webinar, July 2017

“An Introduction to the Coastal Commission,” BIA/OC NextGen Politics of Land Use Workshop Series, March 2017 (Presenter)

“Preparing for Opposition to Your Land Use Approval,” BIA/OC NextGen Politics of Land Use Workshop Series, November 2016 (Moderator)

“Sense of Entitlement,” BIA/OC NextGen Politics of Land Use Workshop Series, October 2016 (Moderator)

SB 743: Examining Potential Consequences and Solutions,” Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) 2015 Conference in Santa Barbara, March 2015 

“SB 743:  A Game Changer?” County Counsel's Association of California, 2014 Spring Public Works and Contracts & Environmental Law and Regulation Conference, San Diego, May 2014.

“The Impacts of SB 743,” ULI Infrastructure Council, Orange County/Inland Empire, April 2014.

"Water Supply Issues in California," IHP Quarterly Dealmakers Roundtable, March 2014

Awards &

Awards & Recognition

  • Best Lawyers, Land Use & Zoning, 2007-2018
  • Southern California Super Lawyers, 2004-2018
  • California's Top 30 Real Estate Lawyers for 2012, The Daily Journal

Public Service

  • California Law Revision Commission, 1985-1989 (Appointee of Governor George Deukmejian)
  • Huntington Beach Planning Commission, 1978-1980, 1981-1983; Chairman: 1979, 1982-1983

Professional Affiliations

  • Building Industry Association of Orange County, Board of Directors, 1994-2006
  • Building Industry Association of Orange County,  Executive Committee, 1995-1996
  • Building Industry Association of Orange County, Housing Committee,  Co-Chair, 2000-2009
  • California Land Use Law & Policy Reporter, Advisory Board, 1995-1999
  • Chapman University School of Law, Adjunct Professor (Environmental Law Practice), 2005-2011
  • Urban Land Institute, Orange County/Inland Empire, Infrastructure Council, 2014-2016

Community Affiliations

  • Community Foundation of Orange, Board of Directors, 2001-2009
  • Community Foundation of Orange,  President, 2006-2008
  • Foundation for the Great Park, Board of Directors, 2005-2013
  • Home Aid Orange County, Board of Directors, 1998-2014
  • Home Aid Orange County, Executive Committee, 2006-2009; 2011-2014
  • Orange County Forum, Board of Directors, 1995-2005
  • Orange County Youth Sports Foundation, Board of Directors, 1977-Present; President, 1981-1982
  • Servite High School, Anaheim, President's Advisory Board, 1998-2010


Twenty-Three Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Have Been Selected for the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.

Cox, Castle & Nicholson is proud to announce that 23 of the firm’s lawyers have been selected for inclusion in the 2018... More»

Bar and Court Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California


  • J.D., University of Southern California, Gould School of Law, 1975
  • B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1972