David Waite has substantial real estate transactional and project development expertise providing strategic counsel to public entity, developer, and corporate clients at the local, state and federal level on land use, environmental and regulatory matters.  David’s practice broadly encompasses regulatory and administrative compliance proceedings, including navigating complex land use approvals and environmental clearances under the California Environmental Quality Act.  David’s land use practice includes development agreements, annexations, discretionary land use permits, infrastructure agreements, public-private partnerships, subdivisions, variances, zoning, environmental, regulatory compliance, and legislative matters.

 Representative projects include multifamily development, affordable and market-rate housing, master-planned communities, regional shopping centers, industrial, high-rise development, transit-oriented mixed-use development, senior housing, assisted living, hospitals, medical office buildings, cemeteries and mortuaries, concert venues, schools, golf courses, hotels, resorts, Brownfields redevelopment, and solid waste facilities.

Collaborative Engagement

David is a member of an accomplished team of real estate, land use and environmental attorneys, each with unique areas of specialized expertise.  David is a collaborative lawyer often coordinating and working side by side on complex projects with a team of professionals including architects, transactional attorneys, engineers, land planners, environmental and community relations specialists.  Throughout his practice, David is actively engaged with community representatives, business leaders, elected officials, public planning officials, and building officials.

Land Use and Environmental Litigation 

David has a substantial land use and environmental litigation practice.  He has litigated numerous environmental and land use disputes to final judgment throughout the California trial courts and the Court of Appeal.  David’s litigation practice includes disputes and challenges under the California Environmental Quality Act, the Planning and Zoning Law, and the initiative provisions of the California Elections Code.  He has litigated many environmental cleanup, remediation and cost recovery disputes involving contaminated real property.  He negotiates complex settlements on numerous environmental and land use disputes. 


Defending multiple lawsuits brought pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act challenging a regulatorily mandated water quality compliance project and a separate recycled water project proposed for the Santa Clarita Valley in Los Angeles County.   

Transactional and land use representation of a national hospital system to develop a hospital and wellness facility anchored master-planned community located in Bakersfield, California.

Prosecuting land use, environmental and inverse condemnation litigation on behalf of a property owner against the California Department of Transportation arising out of decades long slope failures on property located adjacent to freeway.  

Processing land use and regulatory approvals for a national restaurant owner and operator to develop multiple drive-through restaurants located throughout the State of California.

Representing multiple commercial property owners in litigation prosecuting a successful challenge to Malibu’s Measure R which proposed to limit commercial development in the Malibu Civic Center.

Representing the owner of a regional shopping mall located in the City of Thousand Oaks to redevelop a portion of an existing mall to include a 165-unit multifamily housing project.

Representing owner of existing office property located in Oxnard, California to redevelop property to multi-family mixed-used development with market rate and affordable housing.

Representing concert venue owner and operator in securing a variety of use permits from multiple jurisdictions located throughout southern California.

Representing developer of high-rise downtown Los Angeles mixed-use project utilizing the City’s Transfer of Floor Area Ordinance to develop a 43-story mixed-use project including 319 residential units and 160 hotel rooms.

Representing owner of 36-acres of agriculturally zoned land in Ventura County processing a pre-annexation and development agreement and related land use approvals to develop 250 units of residential housing in the City of Ventura.

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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 a 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. 

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. 

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). 



Speaking Engagements

Awards & Affiliations

Honors & Recognitions

Best Lawyers, Environmental Law | Land Use and Zoning Law | Litigation - Environmental, 2023

Los Angeles Times, CRE Visionary, 2022

Southern California Super Lawyers, 2011-2022

Los Angeles Business Journal, Top 100 Lawyers, Finalist, 2021

Recommended Attorney, Real Estate, Legal 500 USA, 2017

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

Los Angeles Headquarters Association, President, 2023; Board of Directors, 2016 - 2023

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 & Court Admissions

  • State Bar of California


J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1986

B.A., New York University, 1983

at Cox Castle

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