Land Use, Entitlements and CEQA

Land Use, Entitlements

Our land use practice involves the representation of developers, property owners, investors, contractors, and financial institutions in a wide variety of development and construction projects including residential, commercial, alternative energy, recreation, public-private and corporate and university campuses.

SSL’s land use attorneys have built their reputation by consistently obtaining flexible and defensible land use and development entitlements in every type of environment – including urban, rural, suburban, coastal and redevelopment. We have handled, from beginning to end, some of the most complicated projects in California. We also represent the developers of smaller projects, who sometimes simply need us to intervene at certain critical points in the entitlement process.

Our practice also encompasses the negotiation and documentation of critical land use contracts including development agreements, CC&Rs, disclosures, and design and construction agreements with architects, engineering and design professionals, general contractors and construction managers, and a variety of industry trades.

We realize that land use entitlements serve a business goal, and understand the ways in which entitlements can affect later aspects of a development, including financing and disposition. This understanding allows us to assist clients in structuring entitlements and the timing and financing of infrastructure investments to best meet their underlying business strategies. Moreover, when development by others has the potential to harm our clients’ interests, we have the expertise to intervene to prevent, mitigate or eliminate that harm.


  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) issues (compliance, assistance in preparation and defense of EIRs)
  • California Planning and Zoning Law (general plans, specific plans, zoning ordinances and development agreements)
  • Subdivision Map Act issues and problems
  • Regional planning issues (Coastal Commission; Bay Conservation and Development Commission)
  • Water Supply Assessments and Verifications
  • Initiatives and referenda (voter adopted legislation)
  • Brownfields and contamination issues
  • Cultural resource and historic preservation issues
  • Wetlands and endangered species
  • Agricultural preservation, conservation and open space easements
  • New community planning and development
  • Property acquisition land use due diligence