Experience doesn't make us smarter, but it does steer us to solutions where the less-experienced might only see problems. Experienced land use counsel is particularly critical in California, for it is here that creative "been down this path before" thinking is needed to meet the challenges of an often-daunting convergence of federal, state, and local land use regulation.
Focusing on CEQA, the Coastal Act, Development Agreements, planning and entitlement, and land use litigation, Tim’s practice takes him to communities from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border. He has successfully defended his clients' projects in courtrooms throughout the State.
His insight has been shaped by work on some of California's most complex entitlement efforts, experience in private land development, years as a real estate and land use litigator, and public service. As a result, he provides an uncommon blend of experience, technical expertise, and strategic thinking focused on getting that "Yes" from government.
Tim has managed entitlement for a major landowner’s properties 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 Law Professor. His experience and expertise were recently honored with his selection by his peers as the Orange County “Lawyer of the Year” for Land Use and Zoning, as published in the 2020 edition of the highly respected The Best Lawyers in America. In 2012, Tim was named by California's leading legal publication, The Daily Journal, as one of "California's Top 30 Real Estate Lawyers."
As part of Cox Castle & Nicholson's Land Use & Natural Resources team, Tim brings to his clients the considerable resources of one of the largest full-service real estate law firms in the nation. The Cox Castle land use team was honored by US News & World Report in 2015, 2018, and 2020 as the nation's "Law Firm of the Year" for Land Use and Zoning.
Land Use Litigation
Litigation: CEQA, Coastal Act, takings, and other land use litigation in Orange, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and San Francisco counties.
PLANNING AND ENTITLEMENT (Limited Examples)
Coastal Zone Projects: Aerie (Newport Beach), Bolsa Chica (Huntington Beach), Newport Coast (County of Orange, Newport Beach), Villa Venetia (Marina del Rey), Hoag Hospital (Newport Beach), Paradiso del Mare (County of Santa Barbara), Windward (Huntington Beach), and single-family homes in Carlsbad and Newport Beach.
Single-Family Residential Projects / Communities: Baker Ranch (Lake Forest), Paseo del Sol (Temecula), Sommers Bend (Temecula), Brookside (Walnut), Bolsa Chica (Huntington Beach), Newport Coast (Newport Beach), Paradiso del Mare (County of Santa Barbara), Windward (Huntington Beach), Deep Creek (County of San Bernardino), SouthShore (Oxnard), Pacific Point (San Juan Capistrano), One Ford Road (Newport Beach), Colby Circle Townhomes (Claremont), Tustin Ranch (Tustin).
Multi-Family Projects: Aerie (blufftop condominiums, Newport Beach), Eleven10 West (260 units, Orange), Villa Venetia (240 waterfront units, Marina del Rey), The Marc (416 units, San Marcos), Alexan Orangewood (1000 units, Platinum Triangle, Anaheim), Bayview Landing (seniors affordable housing, Newport Beach), 1901 E 1st Street (254 units, Santa Ana), Colby Circle (Claremont).
Malls: Santa Monica Place (Santa Monica), Fashion Island (Newport Beach), Garden Walk (Anaheim).
Retail Projects: Retailers in Newport Beach, Oxnard, Santa Ana, Laguna Beach, San Clemente, and Anaheim. "Big Box" entitlement and litigation in Anaheim, Torrance, Perris, Ontario, among others.
Mixed Use Projects: Gene Autry Experience (Platinum Triangle, Anaheim), Alexan Pacific Grove (278 units, Orange), Palomar Station (San Marcos), and Vantis (Aliso Viejo).
Commercial/Industrial Projects: Pacific Commercentre (County of Orange), Baker Ranch (County of Orange), various projects in Orange and Los Angeles counties and throughout Inland Empire.
Oilfield Operations: Newport Banning Ranch, a coastal oil field in Newport Beach.
Hotels: A five-star resort in Dana Point, boutique hotel and tennis club in Newport Beach.
Health Care Facilities: Major hospital campus expansion (Newport Beach), Oasis Wellness Village MOB Master Plan (Palmdale), 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.
Open Space/Recreational: County Regional Park dedications (Upper Newport Bay, Back Bay, and Upper Peters Canyon), Bayview Park (Newport Beach).
- Press Release, Best Lawyers, 8.18.22
- Press Release, Best Lawyers®, 8.19.21
- Press Release, Best Lawyers®, 8.21.20
- News, The Best Lawyers in America®, 8.16.19
- Twenty-Nine Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Have Been Selected for the 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.Press Release,
The Best Lawyers in America®, 8.16.19
- Twenty-Six Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Have Been Selected for the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.Press Release,
The Best Lawyers in America®, 8.15.18
- Thirty-five Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Recognized As 2018 Southern California Super Lawyers & Rising StarsPress Release, Southern California Super Lawyers, 7.10.18
- Twenty-Three Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Have Been Selected for the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.Press Release, The Best Lawyers in America®, 8.15.17
- Thirty Six Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Recognized As 2017 Southern California Super Lawyers & Rising StarsPress Release, Southern California Super Lawyers, 6.7.17
- News, GlobeSt.com, 3.6.17
- News, The San Diego Union Tribune, 3.3.17
- Twenty-One Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Have Been Selected for the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.Press Release, The Best Lawyers in America®, 9.12.16
- Twenty-Two Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Have Been Selected for the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.Press Release, 9.12.16
- Press Release, Southern California Super Lawyers, 6.6.16
- Press Release, Best Lawyers in America, 8.17.15
- News, Law360, 7.16.15
- Thirty Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Recognized As 2015 Southern California Super Lawyers And Six Named As Rising StarsPress Release, 1.23.15
- Cox, Castle & Nicholson Launches New “Lay of the Land” Blog to Explore State and Federal Regulation of Land Use and Development in CaliforniaPress Release, 12.9.14
- Press Release, 7.18.14
- Press Release, 7.17.14
- Twenty-Four Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP Attorneys Are Selected To Be Published In The 2013 Super Lawyers Business EditionPress Release, Super Lawyers Business Edition Magazine, 1.21.13
- News, Daily Journal, 8.15.12
- News, Daily Journal, 4.23.12
- News, Law 360, 4.20.12
- Press Release, 4.17.12
- Webinar, 6.30.20
- Webinar, 6.24.20
- Conference, Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, Monnterey, California, 3.25.19
- Conference, 100 Spectrum Center Drive, Irvine, CA, 3.7.19
- Conference, The Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage, California, 3.25.18
- Sponsorship, Aerie, Corona Del Mar, CA, 3.2.17
- Sponsorship, BIA Orange County Chapter , Irvine, CA, 10.18.16
- Reception, Tangata Restaurant at the Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, California, 2.10.16
- Conference, Fess Parker Doubletree Resort, Santa Barbara, California, 3.24.15
- County Counsel's Association of California - 2014 Spring Public Works And Contracts & Environmental Law And Regulation ConferenceConference, Westin Hotel, San Diego, California, 5.15.14
- Seminar, IHP Capital Partners, Newport Beach, California, 3.5.14
- Client Alert, 6.21.19
- Client Alert, 1.18.17
- Client Alert, 1.9.17
- Client Alert, 11.29.16
- Client Alert, 10.31.16
- Client Alert, 4.20.16
- Client Alert, 2.22.16
- “Mixed-Income Development”: The California Supreme Court Declares that San Jose’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance is ValidClient Alert, 6.15.15
- The Decision in Berkeley Hillside: The California Supreme Court Clarifies the Rules for Using Categorical Exemptions Under CEQAClient Alert, 3.2.15
Awards & Affiliations
Honors & Recognitions
The Best Lawyers in America, 2020 Edition, “Lawyer of the Year,” Land Use & Zoning Law, Orange County
The Best Lawyers in America, Land Use & Zoning Law, 2007-2021
California's Top 30 Real Estate Lawyers for 2012, The Daily Journal
Building Industry Association of Orange County, Board of Directors, 1994-2006, Executive Committee, 1995-1996, Housing Committee, Co-Chair, 2000-2009
Chapman University School of Law, Adjunct Professor (Environmental Law Practice), 2005-2011
Urban Land Institute, Orange County/Inland Empire
California Law Revision Commission, 1985-1989 (Appointee of Governor George Deukmejian)
Huntington Beach Planning Commission, 1978-1980, 1981-1983; Chairman: 1979, 1982-1983
Community Foundation of Orange, Board of Directors, 2001-2009, President, 2006-2008
Foundation for the Great Park, Board of Directors, 2005-2013
Home Aid Orange County, Board of Directors, 1998-2014, Executive Committee, 2006-2009; 2011-2014
Orange County Youth Sports Foundation, Board of Directors, 1977-Present; President, 1981-1982
Bar & Court Admissions
- State Bar of CaliforniaU.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitU.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