California Development Projects

Arent Fox secures land use entitlements for some of California’s most complex and controversial development projects.

To do that, we build strategies from the ground up that are designed to work in partnership with clients’ broader business goals. This means acting as more than just legal counsel.

Led by Tim Tosta, one of the country’s top land use lawyers, we offer insight into the political context surrounding a project, work carefully with clients to assemble exemplary consultant teams, and develop strategies for building community support.

Project entitlement is not merely the result of aggressive advocacy. Our lawyers have worked on a number of high profile developments that required acute sensitivity to underlying issues and high-level strategic thinking. Success is the result of a fully integrated approach.

In recent years, we have made our name as a go-to firm for Silicon Valley tech heavyweights that are seeking permission to build new corporate campuses.

Our Focus

Our land use attorneys work with clients to secure approvals on a range of developments, including projects involving:

  • Entitlements and permitting
  • Strategic planning
  • Development agreements
  • Environmental review
  • Ballot initiatives and referenda
  • Climate change, water, and sustainability
  • Land use litigation

We routinely help clients navigate local, state, and federal land use laws and regulations that make development in California particularly complex, including CEQA, NEPA, the State Planning and Zoning Laws, the Subdivision Map Act, general and specific plans, conditional use permits and variances, zoning, and affordable housing requirements and impact fees.

Our Work

We partner with companies across a range of industries that are focused on innovation. That work has involved improving neighborhoods with state of the art offices, mixed-use, hotels and resorts, residential, and corporate campuses. Our recent projects include:

  • Facebook Headquarters. We have advised Facebook on all land use aspects of its incredible new headquarters development in Menlo Park, in the heart of Silicon Valley.
  • Menlo Gateway. We work with the Bohannon Development Company on its high-profile Menlo Gateway project in Silicon Valley, which is transforming aged industrial properties into a state-of-the-art corporate campus with a four-star hotel.
  • NEMA. This development helped introduce modern high-rise housing into San Francisco’s Civic Center.    
  • San Francisco Merchandise Mart. We obtained approvals to convert this downtown furniture mart to office and technology space, which now includes Twitter’s headquarters.