Arielle Harris is an attorney whose practice focuses on land use and appellate matters.

Strategic Guidance During the Land Use Entitlement Process

Arielle represents developers, landowners, and public agencies in connection with entitlements and environmental review and permitting for residential and mixed-use projects, transit-oriented infill developments, corporate campuses (including technology and biotechnology), office and industrial parks, retail, military base reuse projects, as well as public infrastructure projects (including water and solar).

She assists clients through all aspects of the administrative land use process, including pre-acquisition due diligence, environmental review pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), obtaining approvals of general plan amendments, specific plans, subdivision maps, and conditional use permits, negotiating and drafting development agreements and subdivision improvement agreements, as well as post-entitlement matters involving approval of final maps and subdivision improvement agreements, project implementation and compliance, and permit and map extensions. Arielle also regularly advises clients on maximizing protections under the state housing production laws such as the Housing Accountability Act and Density Bonus Law.

Defending Land Use Entitlements and CEQA Determinations & Documents

Arielle also helps project applicants, landowners, and public agencies resolve disputes arising out of the land use entitlement and permitting process. An experienced litigator, she represents clients in administrative hearings as well as in litigation at both the trial and appellate court level. She has successfully resolved cases involving claims under CEQA, the California Planning and Zoning Law, Public Trust Doctrine, as well as cases involving easement disputes, due process claims, and related matters.


Residential, Commercial, Retail, and Industrial Development; Public Infrastructure; and Brownfields Redevelopment

Assisted Fortune 100 technology company with land use and environmental due diligence for acquisition of 60+ acre site for research and development campus in Southern California.

Assisting Fortune 100 technology company with entitlement and development of data centers in Silicon Valley, including assistance with state and local permitting and environmental review under CEQA.

Assisting real estate investment firm with expansion and upgrades to industrial site in the City of American Canyon.

Assisted residential developer with due diligence, land use permitting, and CEQA review for various townhome and single-family home residential developments throughout Northern California.

Assisted real estate investment firm in obtaining vesting tentative tract map, conditional use permit, Oak tree permit, and approval of Mitigated Negative Declaration under CEQA for 137 lot residential subdivision in unincorporated Los Angeles County.

Assisted property owner in obtaining conditional use permit for redevelopment of existing property with new retail development project in the City of Richmond.

Assisted non-profit community organization with obtaining approvals for commercial condominium conversion of existing building for purposes of acquisition of condominium unit.

Assisted residential real estate developer on land use entitlements, environmental review under CEQA, and regulatory permits for 184-unit apartment project in the City of Petaluma.

Assisted residential real estate developer on land use entitlements and supplemental environmental review under CEQA for 199-unit apartment project in the City of Rancho Cordova.

Advised park district on all land use aspects of the transfer and reuse of approximately 2,200 acres of the former naval base, including remediation and land use controls, NEPA and CEQA compliance, endangered species, and compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).

Water and Storm Water Projects

Represented city on a joint environmental document being prepared under CEQA and NEPA for a $120 million stormwater management and infrastructure project. Advised client on regulatory and permitting requirements for federal special use permits, land use entitlements, coastal development, Section 106 of the NHPA, and sovereign lands administered by the California State Lands Commission.

Advised county, as a responsible agency, on evaluation and approval of groundwater pumping project in the Mojave Desert.

Advised municipal utility and water district, as CEQA lead agency, on its application to the State Board for an extension of its permit to divert and store up to 125 million gallons per day (140,000 AFY) of surface water from the Mokelumne River for municipal purposes.

Energy and Mining Projects

Assisting property owner with land use permitting, subdivision, and CEQA review for development of battery storage facility.

Advised two aggregate mining operators on all permits and entitlements for mining up to 1.35 million cubic yards of construction-grade alluvial sand from the San Francisco Bay, Suisun Bay, and western Delta. Advised the clients on completion of the Project EIR with the California State Lands Commission and helped secure permits from the Bay Conservation and Development Commission and the Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Advised solar developer on development of a 200+ megawatt photovoltaic solar farm, including compliance with California planning and zoning laws and preparation of an EIR.

Advised public water and energy agency on an EIR for a 200 megawatt photovoltaic solar farm.

Advised public agency on CEQA and California Coastal Act compliance for installation of pole top distribution stations


Awards & Affiliations

Honors & Recognitions

Northern California Super Lawyers, 2023

Professional Affiliations

Bay Area Council

Bar Association of San Francisco, Environmental Law Section, Executive Committee Member

Bay Planning Coalition (BPC), Board Member

Building Industry Association of the Bay Area (BIA Bay Area)

California Building Industry Association (CBIA)

State Bar of California, Environmental Law Section

Urban Land Institute

Bar & Court Admissions

  • State Bar of California


J.D., University of California College of the Law, San Francisco, 2008

B.A., University of Michigan, 2004

at Cox Castle

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