David P. Waite



David has over twenty-five years of land use and environmental law experience. His practice focuses on CEQA, climate change, development agreements, discretionary permits and entitlements, infrastructure agreements, public-private partnerships, subdivisions, zoning, environmental regulatory compliance, CERCLA, RCRA, and Proposition 65. David regularly appears before planning commissions, city councils, and other federal, state, and local government agencies on land use and regulatory matters. David has litigated to final judgment numerous environmental and land use disputes. He has represented a variety of developers, lenders and institutional investors on the environmental and land use aspects of workouts, debt restructurings, and foreclosures. David advises clients on transactional matters involving Brownfields and other environmentally impaired real property. 

David is a member of The Counselors of Real Estate (“CRE”).  He is also a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (“ACREL”). He has been selected by the Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of the “Top 50 Development Attorneys” in California.  David is actively involved in numerous Real Estate Industry associations. He has served as the Governance Chair and a past Chair of the Urban Land Institute's Los Angeles District Council (“ULI-LA”). He is Chairman Emeritus of the Southern California Real Estate Alliance, board member of the Los Angeles Headquarters Association, board member of the Skid Row Housing Trust, and a member of the Westside Urban Forum. He previously served on the Advisory Board of the California Infill Builders Federation.


Land Use Matters

Defending legal challenge to the land use entitlements and approvals granted by the City of Los Angeles for the development of the Millennium Hollywood mixed use project located at the Capitol Records site in Hollywood.

Processing land use entitlements and regulatory approvals for the proposed expansion of the Chiquita Canyon landfill in the County of Los Angeles.

Processing land use entitlements and regulatory approvals for the Martin Expo Town Center, a mixed use, transit oriented development site located in the City of Los Angeles.

Litigated through trial an agreement to develop a cemetery and mortuary facility at the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station ("Heritage Fields” and “Great Parks Neighborhoods").

Processed land use, environmental and regulatory approvals to develop the “Porsche Experience Center" at 53-acre Brownfield site located in the City of Carson.

Processed land use entitlements and regulatory approvals for a 1,135-unit "Ponte Vista" subdivision and mixed-use development project located in the City of Los Angeles.

Processed land use, environmental and regulatory approvals for the development and use of recycled water at cemetery and mortuary facilities located in Cypress and Covina Hills.

Processed land use entitlements and approvals for the adaptive reuse of Hollywood's Historic Security Pacific Bank to develop a boutique hotel and entertainment facilities.

Processed land use entitlements and regulatory approvals from Culver City Redevelopment Agency to construct a 12-story 250,000 square foot LEED certified office building located in Corporate Pointe.

Processed land use entitlements and approvals to develop 135-unit mixed-use, transit-oriented development in Culver City at Exposition Light Rail Station.

More »

Processed land use entitlements and approvals and permit extensions to develop a fractional interest for a private residence club located in Mammoth Lakes, California.

Secured land use entitlements and multi-jurisdictional state and federal approvals to develop the Shadowrock destination resort located in Palm Springs, California, including defending litigation initiated by the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity challenging the project approvals.

Secured land use entitlements and discretionary approvals to expand the Gardens on El Paseo shopping center located in City of Palm Desert, California.

Prosecuted a CEQA challenge against the City of Brea for failure to prepare an EIR in connection with the adoption of a hillside protection ordinance; secured entitlements and environmental clearances to develop Canyon Crest, a 369-acre/250-unit hillside subdivision.

Secured multi-jurisdictional land use entitlements to develop Spring Mountain Ranch and Springbrook Estates, two multi-unit master-planned communities located in Riverside County.

Secured specific plan approvals to develop a multi-phased 300-acre/1,500-unit master-planned community located in Fresno County.

Processed land use entitlements and environmental clearances from the City of Redlands for regional shopping center.

Secured land use entitlements and land use approvals for a variety of condominium conversion and “condo-hotel” projects located throughout Southern California.

Represented a property owner in the acquisition and repositioning of a 650-unit multi-family apartment project in Lakewood, California.

Secured land use entitlements and approvals from Culver City to convert a hospital to an educational campus for developmentally disabled children; following initial entitlements, secured land use approvals to amend the CUP to increase student enrollment.

Opposed the restart of the AES 1950s-vintage power plant located in the City of Huntington Beach; obtained restrictions on permit duration and required sale of energy under contract with California Department of Water Resources.

Successfully opposed siting of a "peaker" power plant in Baldwin Hills State Park impacting unique urban parklands.

Represented lender in connection with proposed financing of a Playa Vista master-planned community located in Los Angeles.

Prosecuted an inverse condemnation action against the City of San Diego for regulatory taking of property located in the San Dieguito River Valley.

Prosecuted a breach of contract action against the City of Thousand Oaks for breach of a development agreement.

Prosecuted legal action against the City of Calabasas, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, and the Las Virgines Municipal Water District for breach of a development agreement and vesting tentative tract maps.

Represented owner of commercial property located in historic Hollywood in a CEQA challenge directed to the CRA's findings related to the adequacy of parking facilities.

Defended CEQA challenges against the SCAQMD and the City of Rialto for construction of resource recovery facility.

Defended a property owner in condemnation proceedings brought by the Burbank – Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority on the grounds that the entity failed to comply with CEQA prior to adopting resolution of necessity.

Prosecuted a mandamus and inverse condemnation action against the City of Irwindale on behalf of the quarry operator arising out of City's unlawful denial of quarry expansion application.

Environmental Matters

Obtained environmental clearances and approvals to develop a 2,000-unit master-planned community on 161-acres of former sugar cane fields on Oahu, Hawaii.

Defended hotel and apartment owners and operators in Proposition 65 litigation involving secondhand tobacco smoke.

Defended a restaurant chain in Proposition 65 litigation involving claimed exposures to mercury in fish and seafood.

Defended a variety of Proposition 65 matters involving importation and sale of vinyl lunchboxes and sale of glassware containing colored artwork.

Prosecuted a RCRA citizen's suit for injunctive relief against the County of Orange at a closed landfill site.

Represented a company in dispute with County of Orange regarding responsibility for implementation of landfill gas control systems and other landfill environmental monitoring systems.

Prosecuted a CERCLA cost recovery action against a lessee of former gun range facility located in the City of Huntington Beach.

Defended 29 municipalities in cost recovery litigation under CERCLA involving the Operating Industries, Inc. Superfund site.

Performed transactional due diligence on portfolio of 250 golf course properties in connection with the sale of National Golf Property assets.

Represented a cemetery and mortuary owner and operator on storm water permitting and compliance proceedings.

More »

Represented a property owner in cost recovery litigation against adjacent service station owner based on migration of petroleum contamination from leaking underground fuel storage tanks.

Defended an importer of vinyl miniblinds in Proposition 65 lead litigation initiated by the Attorney General of California.

Represented a property owner in dispute with Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts involving the adequacy of landfill's environmental control systems.

Represented numerous clients seeking "no further action" status before state and local regulatory agencies regulating groundwater quality.

Represented numerous clients in structured acquisitions of environmentally contaminated sites using third party environmental insurance and risk management products.

Expert Witness Engagements

Domenigoni-Barton Properties, LLC v. City of Murietta, Riverside County Superior Court Case No. MCC 1400906, (Development Agreement).

Wu v. Magnus Sunhill Group, Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. GC045340 (Land Use Entitlements).

K&S Property, LLC v. Villa Development, LLC; Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BC 361891, November 2007 (Land Use Due Diligence).

Publications &
Speaking Engagements

Recent Publications

Supreme Court Paves Way For Property Owners To Challenge EPA Compliance Orders, The Conveyor, March 2012

New Media/Technology Companies Set A New Standard For The 21st Century Office Building, Real Estate Finance Journal, Summer 2012

Calbar Real Property Law Section Newsstand: California Redevelopment: The Winding Road Ahead, February 2012

Will Health Care Facilities Prove To Be The Antidote For Orange County's Ailing Commercial Real Estate Market?, Orange County Business Journal, 9/26/2011

Los Angeles Business Journal: Lots Of Space, Los Angeles Business Journal, 2/22/2010

Recent Speaking Engagements

"Aftermath Of The Dissolution Of Redevelopment Agencies In California – What Happens Next?," State Bar Of California 85th Annual Meeting

"Fixes For Infill Development Barriers,"  Strategic Growth Council

"CEQA Reform - Ripe For Fundamental Change?," Stimuli Breakfast, 6/20/2012

"What Does The Regional Transportation Plan And The Sustainable Communities Strategy Mean To Development?," Urban Land Institute 3rd Annual Transit-Oriented Development Summit, 6/7/2012

Awards &

Awards & Recognition

  • Recommended Attorney, Real Estate, Legal 500 USA, 2017
  • Southern California Super Lawyers, 2011-2020
  • Los Angeles Daily Journal Top 50 Development Attorneys, 2014
  • Martindale Hubbell “AV” Overall Peer Rating 5.0 out of 5.0

Professional Affiliations

  • Fellow, American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL), 2016 - Present
  • Member, The Counselors of Real Estate, 2017 – Present
  • Board of Directors, Skid Row Housing Trust, 2019-Present
  • Los Angeles Headquarters Association, Board of Directors, 2016 - Present
  • Urban Land Institute (ULI), Los Angeles District Council, Governance Chair 2015-present; Chair, 2013-2015; Advisory Board, 2006-present; Program Committee Chair, 2006-2013
  • Urban Land Institute (ULI), Community Development Council-Blue Membership Chair 2013-present
  • Urban Land Institute (ULI), Board of Governors, 2011-present
  • Southern California Real Estate Alliance, Chairman Emeritus, 2000-present
  • Westside Urban Forum, 2004-present
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association's Environmental and Land Use Sections, Barristers Program
  • Century City Bar Association, Chair Environmental and Land Use Section, 2004
  • California Infill Builders Federation, Board Member, 2008-2012



Bar and Court Admissions

  • State Bar of California


  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1986
  • B.A., New York University, 1983