Steven T. Mattas


Steven Mattas is the City Attorney for the City of South San Francisco, City of Walnut Creek and Town of Los Altos Hills. He also serves as General Counsel for the Ventura County Transportation Commission and South San Francisco Conference Authority and as special counsel to several public agencies and private developers. Steven focuses his practice on land use, environmental law, public agency elections and municipal law. The Daily Journal selected Steven as one of the “Top 25 Municipal Lawyers in California” for 2011. And in both 2013 and 2014, Steven received the Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating, the highest possible rating from members of the Bar.

Recognized statewide for his land use work, Steven is the Co-Managing Editor of Continuing Education of the Bar’s important reference book, California Land Use Practice. In addition to serving as co-editor, he authored and contributed to several chapters of the book, including those covering general and specific plans, sustainability and climate change regulations, housing, and specially regulated land uses. He co-authored the chapter on compliance with federal, state and regional agency requirements, which includes discussion of wetlands regulation, endangered species regulation, wastewater and stormwater discharges, annexation issues, and much more. In 2013, Steven was recognized as a “Top Rated Lawyer in Land Use and Zoning” by the Martindale-Hubbell register of preeminent lawyers.

In addition to his active legal practice and his work on California Land Use Practice, Steven frequently authors articles and gives presentations on land use law, redevelopment law, public agency compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, density bonus regulations, the regulation and amortization of adult businesses, and other topics in his realm of experience. He has spoken before the California State Bar, the League of California Cities and many other organizations. He previously served as the City Attorney Department representative to the League of California Cities’ Housing, Community and Economic Development Committee and the Environmental Quality Committee. Steven has also served as an expert witness on land use and Fair Housing Act issues for the City of San Diego.

Honors and Awards

  • Recipient, AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell; 2013, 2014
  • Recipient, “Top Rated Lawyer in Land Use and Zoning,” Martindale-Hubbell, 2013
  • Recipient, “Top 25 Municipal Lawyers in California,” Daily Journal, 2011

Presentations and Publications

  • Speaker, “Redevelopment in the Post-Redevelopment Agency World: How will it work? What are the keys to success?” PEMA Luncheon, 2012
  • Speaker, “Liquor Stores, Bars and Nightclubs: Conditional Use Permits and Best Practices for Regulating Alcohol Sales,” League of California Cities Annual Conference, 2011
  • Panelist, Sustainable Development Strategies: “Get Informed and Participate in Developing the Regulations or Get Run Over,” California State Bar Real Property Section Annual Meeting, 2009
  • Speaker, "Public & Private Partnerships," Sonoma County Bar Association, 2008
  • Speaker, "Sustainability Regulations: Surveying Trends Involving Voluntary, Mandatory and Incentive Based Standards and Analyzing the Legal Framework and Relative Successes and Challenges of Various Standards,” California Environmental Law Conference, 2008
  • “The Development Process in a Nutshell,” California State Bar Annual Conference, 2008
  • "Advanced Zoning and Land Use," Lorman Seminar, 2007
  • Adam U. Lindgren and Steven T. Mattas, “California Land Use Practice Annual Update,” Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) 2007
  • "Advanced Zoning and Land Use," Lorman Seminar, 2006
  • “The Development Process in a Nutshell,” The State Bar of California, 2006
  • "Land Use Update," League of California Cities, 2006
  • “Zoning and Land Use in California,” Lorman Seminar, Fresno, California, May 2006
  • “A Year in the Life of a Development Deal,” Lorman Seminar, 2006
  • Adam U. Lindgren and Steven T. Mattas, California Land Use Practice, Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) 2006
  • "Advance Land Use and Zoning," Lorman Seminar, 2006
  • Steven T. Mattas and Kyle La Londe, "SB 1818 Density Bonus Law – The New Math," League of California Cities, City Attorney Continuing Education Series, 2005
  • "Major Land Use Laws," NBI Seminar, 2005
  • Adam U. Lindgren and Steven T. Mattas, California Zoning Practice Update, Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) 2004 and 2005
  • "California Land Use: Current Issues in Subdivision, Annexation and Zoning Law,” 2002
  • Steven T. Mattas and Jerry Haag, “Regulating Adult Business,” Western City Magazine, 1992
  • Steven T. Mattas, “Americans with Disabilities Act: Obligations Imposed on Public Entities,” Public Law Journal, Vol. 16, No. 2, 1992

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Member, The State Bar of California


  • University of California at Davis, King Hall School of Law, JD, 1991
  • University of California at Los Angeles, MA, Architecture and Urban Planning, 1988
  • University of California at Irvine, BA, Social Ecology with an emphasis in Urban Planning, 1986