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Land Use

A well-crafted land use approach can be the difference between success and failure in your real estate endeavors. Let our experienced Land Use attorneys be part of your team as you navigate legal challenges from conception to completion.

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Land Use


No matter your role in a real estate development project, our Land Use attorneys bring specialized expertise to meet all of your land use, planning and entitlement requirements. Recognized as a Metropolitan Tier One practice by Best Lawyers® in their Best Law Firms rankings and part of Procopio’s broader Real Estate team, our attorneys work as an integral part of your development team of architects, engineers, contractors and other consultants.

Real estate developers and businesses benefit from our specialized experience in zoning, land use, planning, and entitlements for all product types including residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, and mixed-use projects, as well as project advocacy before local, regional and state agencies. We can also assist you in negotiating and drafting Development Agreements and by reviewing and drafting legally defensible environmental documents, land use ordinances, permit findings, and similar land use regulatory documents.

With Procopio’s Land Use group, you’ll be able to work with land use planning specialists who can provide entitlement project management services, including coordination and management of the development team, preparation and coordination of permit application packages at the inception of a development project, through the entitlement process including coordination of public outreach, and negotiation with local, regional and state agency staff and decision makers, to defending hard-won project approvals in court.

Procopio’s Land Use attorneys provide clients with a wide array of legal services, including:

  • Zoning issues;
  • Land use ordinances;
  • Project planning;
  • Entitlements;
  • Development agreements;
  • Permit findings;
  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and California Coastal Act (CCA) issues;
  • Clean Water Act (CWA) permits, decisions and appeals.
  • Density bonus issues;
  • And many more.


As a leading practitioner of CEQA, CCA, CWA, and other environmental review regulations, Procopio assists with the preparation and review of environmental impact reports and other planning studies and project documents to ensure compliance.

Our practice areas include a full range of administrative environmental review processes including:

  • Identifying an initial strategy including the use of all possible exemptions;
  • Working with applicants and agencies to develop defensible project objectives;
  • Developing a realistic schedule from review through final approvals;
  • Reviewing and providing input to draft documents, responses to comments and cycle issues reports and staff reports;
  • Reviewing and commenting on public draft environmental review documents;
  • Representing parties in public hearings; and
  • Drafting findings, resolutions, mitigation and reporting plans, zoning ordinances, plan amendments; development agreements and other development entitlements.

Our Land Use attorneys represent public agencies, private entities and public interest groups on a wide variety of matters related to land use planning and the acquisition of permits and other entitlements. Our many years of experience encompass a broad scope of activities and laws, including:

  • Assistance with site acquisition and due diligence;
  • Amendment and adoption of general plans, community plans, specific plans, redevelopment plans and zoning ordinances;
  • Interpretation and application of the State Planning & Zoning Law, the Subdivision Map Act, the Williamson Act, State and Federal Endangered Species Acts, the Coastal Act, and other related land use statutes; and
  • Drafting development agreements, finance plans, easements, memoranda of understanding, and other development-related documents and entitlements.

Our Land Use attorneys assist property owners with resource-constrained property, the permitting of creative development plans, the establishment of mitigation banks, and finding resolutions for tough constraint issues that could significantly limit or deter the economic development of property. We draft and negotiate the transactional documents involved in the transfer of real property to ensure that environmental responsibilities and liabilities are apportioned in accordance with the intent of the parties and that appropriate insurance protection is obtained when necessary. We also have significant experience with property contamination and brownfields matters representing public entities and private clients.

Below are just a few of the many matters Procopio Land Use attorneys have engaged in for their clients:

  • Represented a large retail developer in obtaining land use approvals for the redevelopment of part of a large regional shopping center.
  • Represented a large multi-family developer in obtaining land use entitlements and CEQA approvals for a large mixed-use project.
  • Represented a developer in obtaining land use entitlements and CEQA approvals for a controversial shopping center project.
  • Represented a social services organization in obtaining land use entitlements for a transitional housing facility.
  • Advised a large multi-family joint venture in land use entitlement issues related to a large downtown mixed-use project.
  • Completed land use due diligence in connection with acquisition of a $50 million, 1,000-unit residential project.

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