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Land Use

Meyers Nave’s expertise in Land Use law is demonstrated by the fact that clients rely on us to handle their largest, most complicated and often most controversial land use related legal and regulatory matters. We serve as lead transaction and litigation counsel for many of the most innovative and highest profile institutional, civil infrastructure and economic development projects undertaken by public agencies, private enterprise and public-private partnerships throughout California. In 2014, Law360 recognized Meyers Nave as a “California Powerhouse” – “one of the leading firms for local governments and public agencies throughout the state as well as private clients focused on complex, public-facing transportation and development projects.”

Our attorneys help clients navigate a myriad of complex and interrelated local, state and federal land use laws and regulations, ranging from CEQA, NEPA and ESA to critical issues regarding general and specific plans, conditional use and variances, zoning and subdivision, and development agreements and fees. Meyers Nave’s leadership in land use law is underscored by two attorneys who have served, since 2006, as co-managing editors and chapter authors of California Land Use Practice, the state’s most comprehensive treatise on land use law annually published by the Continuing Education of the Bar. Our position at the forefront of developments in land use law is well-proven in numerous precedent-setting published appellate and California Supreme Court decisions.

Meyers Nave’s Land Use attorneys are honored in prestigious regional and state-wide rankings, including the Daily Journal’s lists of “Top 50 Development, Land Use and Municipal Infrastructure Lawyers,” “Top 25 Land Use Leaders” and “Top 30 Real Estate Lawyers”; Martindale-Hubbell’s “Top Rated Lawyers in Land Use and Zoning”; and the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Who’s Who in L.A. Real Estate Law.” The practice group leader is recognized in “The Best Lawyers in America” in the category of Litigation-Land Use and Zoning. The team’s environmental specialty has received two Tier 1 rankings in the nation’s “Best Law Firms” list developed by U.S. News–Best Lawyers® in the categories of Litigation-Environmental (Metropolitan Los Angeles, 2016) and Natural Resources Law (Metropolitan Oakland, 2015-2017). Our attorneys are also listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” in the categories of Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law, and Litigation-Environmental.

Representative Experience

Port of Los Angeles – Various Terminal Projects. Meyers Nave represents the Port of Los Angeles on numerous cargo, shipping and transportation projects for container terminals and dockside intermodal rail yards, including the China Shipping Terminal, Trapac Container Terminal, and Pacific L.A. Marine Terminal – the first oil terminal in the state in more than 15 years and the first of its kind at the Port – as well as the Clean Trucks Program designed to improve regional air quality. These projects involve local, regional, state and federal land use and environmental issues. We have won every lawsuit since we began our representation eight years ago.

Los Angeles World Airports – Expansion and Planning Projects. Meyers Nave represented Los Angeles World Airports regarding its approval of a $1.3 billion expansion, advising on a broad range of land use and environmental issues, including NEPA, CEQA, California Coastal Act, Federal Coastal Zone Management Act, endangered species laws, and various other state and federal land use matters. We also served as outside counsel for the environmental review of the $240 million South Airfield Improvement Project, the first project to be implemented under the Los Angeles International Airport Master Plan.

University of California – Campus Expansion Projects. Meyers Nave represents the University of California on multiple campus capital developments, including the North Campus Expansion at UC Santa Cruz, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Solar Energy Research Project at UC Berkeley, and a public-private master development at UC Merced. In addition to advising throughout the CEQA and NEPA review processes, Meyers Nave defends campus projects in a variety of land use and other matters, such as recently defeating CEQA, zoning, taxation, and public funding challenges to the proposed $162 million Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference and Guest Center on the University of California, Los Angeles, campus.

City of Sacramento – Downtown Arena Project. Meyers Nave served as Special Counsel to the City of Sacramento and defeated every legal challenge against the $477 million downtown arena for the Sacramento Kings NBA team, including (1) an eminent domain victory giving the City permission to take over the final piece of downtown property, (2) a published appellate decision denying a CEQA-based challenge to the project, (3) a published appellate decision denying a constitutional challenge to the special statute passed to streamline the City’s CEQA review of the proposed arena, and (4) an 11-day trial victory, recognized by the Daily Journal as a “Top Defense Result,” alleging that the public-private partnership behind the arena engaged in a secret subsidy, collusion, fraud, and illegal expenditure of public funds.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) – Southern California International Gateway (SCIG) Project. Meyers Nave represents BNSF, North America’s second-largest freight railway, in seven lawsuits (now consolidated) challenging the company’s planned $500 million rail transfer facility on CEQA and other environmental grounds. Critical to BNSF’s national business strategy, the SCIG Project will create a new near-dock rail yard for the loading of shipping containers heading to and from the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex, the nation’s largest container port.