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.
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.
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).
- California Relaxes Parking Mandates to Free Up Land for Multifamily Development—but Will Neighbors and Lenders Approve?UrbanLand, 1.3.23
- Article, Urbanize: Los Angeles, 12.21.22
- Press Release, Best Lawyers, 8.18.22
- Press Release, Super Lawyers, 8.1.22
- Press Release, LA Times, 5.15.22
- David Waite Selected as the 2021 CCA Policy Committee Co-ChairPress Release, 2.1.21
- Twenty-Five Cox Castle & Nicholson Attorneys have been selected to the 2020 Southern California Super LawyersPress Release, Super Lawyers, 5.1.20
- Press Release, Urban Land Institute Los Angeles, 2.25.20
- David Waite Quoted In Commercial Observer Article - Transit-Housing Bill Back in California’s Housing Crisis FightNews, Commercial Observer, 1.9.20
- Twenty-Nine Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Recognized As 2019 Southern California Super Lawyers & Rising StarsPress Release, Southern California Super Lawyers, 7.15.19
- News, Sullivan Says SoCal, 3.12.19
- Thirty-five Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Recognized As 2018 Southern California Super Lawyers & Rising StarsPress Release, Southern California Super Lawyers, 7.10.18
- News, GlobeSt., 6.11.18
- David Waite Featured In Bisnow Article - LA's Transit Oriented Communities Program Will Benefit Developers And CommunityNews, Bisnow, 5.14.18
- News, Western Real Estate Business, 3.5.18
- News, Attorney At Law Magazine, 2.28.18
- News, Los Angeles Business Journal, 1.8.18
- News, GlobeSt.com, 1.5.18
- News, Westside Today, 12.20.17
- Cox, Castle & Nicholson Partner David Waite Awarded the CRE® Credential from The Counselors of Real Estate®Press Release, CCN Press Release, 11.29.17
- News, The Real Deal, 10.5.17
- Andrew Fogg, Kenneth Williams, David Waite, and Gregory Caligari Featured in GlobeSt. Article - Housing Costs and Land Use Top List of CRE WoesNews, GlobeSt., 9.14.17
- Press Release, The Legal 500 United States 2017 Series, 8.3.17
- News, Connect Media, 6.28.17
- Thirty Six Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Recognized As 2017 Southern California Super Lawyers & Rising StarsPress Release, Southern California Super Lawyers, 6.7.17
- David Waite Quoted In Los Angeles Business Journal Article - City of L.A. Rewrites Environmental Report RulesNews, Los Angeles Business Journal, 5.15.17
- News, The Real Deal, 4.17.17
- News, Connect Media, 3.9.17
- News, Connect Media, 3.8.17
- David Waite Was Quoted In The Wall Street Journal Article - Los Angeles Looks to Ban Major Real-Estate DevelopmentsNews, The Wall Street Journal, 2.16.17
- News, The Real Deal, 12.2.16
- News, Globe St., 6.21.16
- News, GlobeSt., 6.14.16
- Press Release, Southern California Super Lawyers, 6.6.16
- Press Release, 5.6.16
- News, Bisnow, 3.30.16
- News, FORM Magazine, 11.18.15
- News, Los Angeles Business Journal, 10.19.15
- News, Los Angeles Business Journal, 9.24.15
- News, Law360, 6.26.15
- Thirty Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Recognized As 2015 Southern California Super Lawyers And Six Named As Rising StarsPress Release, 1.23.15
- News, The Los Angeles Times - Malibu, 1.5.15
- 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
- News, Daily Journal, 8.13.14
- News, Daily Journal, 8.13.14
- News, Los Angeles Daily Journal, 7.17.14
- Press Release, 7.17.14
- News, Daily Journal, 3.18.14
- News, Los Angeles Business Journal, 3.10.14
- News, Urban Land Institute (ULI), 12.4.13
- News, Los Angeles Times, 7.30.13
- News, Globe St., 7.29.13
- Press Release, CCN Press Release, 7.22.13
- News, Malibu Times, 7.17.13
- News, Law 360, 6.28.13
- News, GlobeSt.com, 5.24.13
- News, GlobeSt.com, 5.21.13
- News, GlobeSt.com, 5.15.13
- Press Release, CCN Press Release, 5.13.13
- News, The Bond Buyer, 4.16.13
- Conference, Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 6.5.23
- Conference, Hotel Indigo DTLA, 5.3.23
- Sponsorship, Omni Los Angeles, 2.2.23
- Conference, Hotel Indigo, 6.22.22
- Conference, 3.25.22
- Webinar, 5.13.21
- Webinar, 4.8.21
- Webinar, 10.10.20
- Skid Row Housing Trust's Virtual Community Meeting6.25.20
- Webinar, 4.16.20
- Connect Los Angeles 20203.26.20
- Conference, The Cathedral, Los Angeles, CA, 3.4.20
- Conference, The Omni Hotel, Los Angeles, California, 2.20.20
- Seminar, Cox Castle Nicholson Office, Irvine, California, 11.20.19
- Conference, City Club Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, 6.27.19
- Conference, The California Club, Los Angeles, CA, 6.13.19
- Conference, The California Club, Los Angeles, CA, 6.13.19
- Seminar, DoubleTree By HIlton Hotel Los Angeles Downtown, Los Angeles, CA, 3.8.19
- Conference, DoubleTree by Hilton LA Downtown, Los Angeles, CA, 3.8.19
- Conference, The Luxe Hotel, Los Angeles, CA, 11.27.18
- Conference, The California Club, Los Angeles, CA, 11.8.18
- Conference, The California Club, Los Angeles, CA, 6.14.18
- Conference, Omni Hotel, Los Angeles, CA, 3.5.18
- Omni Hotel, Los Angeles, CA, 3.1.18
- Seminar, Crown Plaza Hotel, Ventura, CA, 2.15.18
- Conference, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, 2.5.18
- Conference, Luxe Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 12.13.17
- Conference, InterContinental Hotel, Los Angeles, CA, 10.19.17
- Conference, Hotel Indigo DTLA, Los Angeles, CA, 6.21.17
- Sponsorship, The California Club, Los Angeles, California, 4.26.17
- Seminar, DLR Group, Los Angeles, CA, 4.4.17
- Conference, The Theater at South Park Center, Los Angeles , CA, 2.14.17
- Seminar, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Beverly Hills, CA, 1.25.17
- Conference, City View Penthouse, Los Angeles, CA, 11.10.16
- ULI Lard Landowner Forum at the 2016 ULI Fall Meeting10.25.16
- Conference, Union Station, Dallas, TX, 10.25.16
- Conference, The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York City, New York, 10.6.16
- Sponsorship, California Science Center, Los Angeles, CA, 9.29.16
- Conference, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 4.19.16
- Conference, 3.22.16
- Conference, San Francisco, California, 10.7.15
- Conference, City Club, Los Angeles, California, 6.3.15
- Conference, Javits Center, New York, New York, 10.22.14
- Conference, Javits Center, New York, New York, 10.21.14
- Conference, The Olympic Collection , Los Angeles, California, 10.17.14
- Seminar, DoubleTree Guest Suites Santa Monica Hotel, Santa Monica, California, 10.6.14
- Seminar, 8.21.14
- Appraisal Institute - Northwestern Branch Breakfast Meeting: "California's Land Use Entitlement Process"Seminar, Spitfire Grill, Santa Monica, California, 4.17.14
- Conference, Omni Hotel, Los Angeles, California, 3.18.14
- Conference, L.A. Hotel Downtown, Los Angeles, California, 1.28.14
- Conference, McCormick Place Convention Center, Chicago, Illinois, 11.6.13
- Reception, The ULI-LA office, Los Angeles, California, 6.7.13
- Webinar, Strafford Webinar, 6.5.13
- Conference, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, 5.15.13
- Conference, Sheraton Hotel, Los Angeles, California, 3.20.13
- Conference, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA, 1.1.00
- Article, The Counselors of Real Estate, 8.15.22
- Los Angeles Imposes New Political Contribution Prohibitions and Ethics Commission Reporting Requirements for Real Estate DevelopersClient Alert, 6.16.22
- Article, Western Real Estate Business, 5.7.18
- Article, UCLA, 4.16.18
- Article, Daily Journal, 3.29.18
- Article, Daily Journal, 12.11.15
Awards & Affiliations
Honors & Recognitions
The Best Lawyers in America, 2023 Edition
Los Angeles Times, CRE Visionary, 2022
Los Angeles Business Journal, Top 100 Lawyers, Finalist, 2021
Recommended Attorney, Real Estate, Legal 500 USA, 2017
Southern California Super Lawyers, 2011-2021
Los Angeles Daily Journal Top 50 Development Attorneys, 2014
Martindale Hubbell “AV” Overall Peer Rating 5.0 out of 5.0
Fellow, American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL), 2016 - Present
Member, The Counselors of Real Estate, 2017 – 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 & Court Admissions
- State Bar of California
J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1986
B.A., New York University, 1983