Shiraz Tangri is a Principal in the Land Use, Environmental, and Transportation and Infrastructure Practice Groups. He focuses his practice on development of infrastructure, transportation, and real estate projects. With a breadth of knowledge in all aspects of land use entitlements, litigation and compliance, his clients are assured of comprehensive representation and advice. Shiraz’s deep bench of experience includes the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and complex multi-party and multi-site litigation involving environmental claims, public-private partnerships, water rights, contaminated properties, toxic torts, insurance coverage and products liability issues.
Shiraz fills a specialized niche within Land Use Law, advising clients on major infrastructure, transportation, and urban in-fill projects, including housing, cultural and educational institutions, and transit-oriented development. He is experienced and well-versed in the myriad of issues experienced in Land Use, such as compliance with the Brown Act and other public meeting laws, green building, adaptive re-use, air quality and permitting, renewable energy, sustainable development and transportation planning.
Early in his career, Shiraz began receiving local, state and national awards for his experience and expertise. His annual list of recognitions began in 2010 when the national legal publication Law360 named him a “Rising Star” and one of the top 10 environmental lawyers under 40 years of age. The next year, in 2011, the Daily Journal named him one of California’s “Top 25 Land Use Leaders” and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association named him among the “Best Lawyers Under 40.” In 2012, the Daily Journal named Shiraz one of California’s “Top 30 Real Estate Lawyers” and “Top 20 Under 40”, and SuperLawyers magazine named him a “Rising Star” in Land Use/Zoning and Environmental Law. In 2013, the Los Angeles Business Journal named him to its list of “Who’s Who in L.A. Real Estate Law” and in 2014 the Daily Journal named him one of California’s “Top 50 Development Lawyers.” From 2013-2018, SuperLawyers magazine listed Shiraz as a “Super Lawyer” in Land Use/Zoning and Environmental Law and from 2015-2020 “Best Lawyers in America” recognized Shiraz in the Litigation-Environmental Law category.
- Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish and Wildlife (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 214
- Save Westwood Village v. Meyer Luskin (2014) 233 Cal.App.4th 135
- Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t of Transportation (9th Cir. 2014) 770 F.3d 1260
University of California—UCLA Luskin Conference Center. Secured trial and appellate victories for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), prevailing on all CEQA and taxpayer claims filed by opposition groups to stop the construction of the $162M Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference and Guest Center—one of UCLA’s highest profile campus projects. Also obtained dismissal of the project’s primary donors from the case, arguing that this was retaliation for exercising their free speech rights, which was upheld in a published appellate case.
Crossroads of the World Redevelopment Project/ELDP Litigation.
Successfully represented the City of Los Angeles in expedited California Environmental Quality Act litigation over the redevelopment of the iconic Crossroads of the World site on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Prevailed in the trial court for this major transit-oriented development project, including 950 apartments and condos, 308‐room hotel, and 190,000 square feet of commercial space in three buildings of up to 32 stories. Also obtained a quick dismissal of the appeal of the trial court’s judgment and obtained denial of review by the California Supreme Court. The Governor certified the project as an Environmental Leadership Development Project under AB 900, which entitles the project to a compressed litigation schedule that requires resolving trial and appellate litigation in an expedited 270-day timeframe. The project preserves 1930s-era buildings and transforms a prominent Hollywood site with new affordable housing and open space.
University of California – Multi-Campus Long Range Development Planning. Served as lead land use and environmental counsel to the University of California on high-profile and complex capital development and public-private partnership projects across the statewide system. Advised the University on the CEQA review of a new generation of Long Range Development Plans to guide future development to accommodate enrollment growth of over 20,000 new students on campuses throughout the University system, including UCLA, UC San Diego and UC Merced. Working included guiding the campuses through the CEQA and regulatory approval process for individual projects that add and expand administration offices, student and workforce housing, student services, academic buildings, research centers and healthcare facilities, often using public-private partnerships and innovative funding mechanisms.
Dumbarton Rail Corridor – P3 for $2 Billion Passenger Rail Infrastructure Project. In a precedent-setting undertaking, Facebook and infrastructure developer Plenary Group established a public-private partnership with the San Mateo County Transit District to develop a new $2 Billion transportation infrastructure project that will create a new commuter rail corridor between Silicon Valley and the East Bay. Serving as lead land use, environmental and CEQA/NEPA counsel to the private development partner for the project, including advising on all local, state and federal permitting issues. The P3 project is a game-changing approach to creating commuting alternatives that help solve metropolitan area traffic congestion between residential neighborhoods and job centers.
Boring Company Tunnel Litigation. Successfully defended the City of Los Angeles’s decision to permit construction of an initial test track for underground transportation tunnels proposed by Elon Musk. Opposition groups sued, arguing that a full environmental review was required because the test tunnel could be part of a larger transportation network under the entire city. Litigation was resolved through an expedited settlement that allowed The Boring Company to proceed with developing new projects using their novel transportation technology.
Lexington Avenue Small Lot Subdivision Project Litigation. Defending the City of Los Angeles in litigation challenging the City’s approval of a planned project to demolish three small single family homes and construct 18 small lots for the purpose of a small lot subdivision. The suit alleges that the City incorrectly determined that the proposed in-fill project qualified for a class 32 exemption from CEQA. The suit also challenges the City’s grant of a zoning adjustment for both the height and lot size of the proposed project located at 6517-6533 West Lexington Ave.
County of Los Angeles—Correctional Facility Projects. Served as lead counsel in the environmental review process for two major detention projects: (1) the $2.2 billion Consolidated Correctional Treatment Facility to replace the Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles (Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the project’s budget and certified its environmental impact report in June 2018) and (2) the $137 million Mira Loma Women’s Detention Facility in Lancaster to replace the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood (Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the project’s budget and certified its environmental impact report in October 2016). Advised client on compliance with CEQA, the Brown Act, and other legal requirements applicable to the new jail projects.
Irvine Ranch Water District v. Orange County Water District. Litigation counsel for three groundwater pumpers in litigation initiated by a competing groundwater producer challenging the Orange County Water District’s administration of an unadjudicated basin. The plaintiff seeks writ and/or validation relief that would alter the way recycled water use is considered in determining replenishment assessments on all groundwater producers in the basin, to the detriment of most other producers, and also challenges the Orange County Water District’s right to regulate exports of groundwater from the basin.
Regents of the University of California—East Bay Hills Fire Risk Reduction Project. Litigation counsel in two NEPA lawsuits and a CEQA action filed by environmental groups challenging hazardous fire risk reduction activities proposed by the University of California, Berkeley, including project grant funding by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Onni Development Group. Counsel for Canadian-based developer of multiple urban, mixed-use high-rise projects in downtown Los Angeles. Represented client in the environmental review and entitlement process for three high-rise residential towers.
Los Angeles Streetcar Inc. General Counsel for non-profit public-private partnership promoting a modern streetcar system in downtown Los Angeles. LASI oversees the development, fundraising, planning, environmental review, engineering and outreach for the project. Successfully obtained project support from property owners and voters to secure local capital and operational funding for project. Assisted client in formation of community facilities district and environmental review process, including compliance with the Brown Act. In November 2016, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved the project’s environmental impact report and preferred route, the City approved the project’s financial plan in August 2018.
City of Colusa—Colusa Riverbend Estates Project. Defended lawsuit alleging violations of CEQA, civil rights for procedural due process and inverse condemnation. Worked with developer to achieve successful settlement that allowed the City to re-consider and approve the project.
Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority—SR-47 Project. Litigation counsel for a joint powers authority. Successfully defended CEQA and NEPA lawsuits challenging a $700M bridge replacement and expressway project in trials in state and federal court, and achieved appellate victories in the California Court of Appeal and the Ninth Circuit. The authority is responsible for developing transportation infrastructure for the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex.
The Related Companies—Grand Avenue Project. Counsel for developer of a $4B urban mixed-use redevelopment project in downtown Los Angeles. Successfully negotiated the settlement agreement to quickly resolve litigation over project approvals and allow project to meet milestone deadlines.
Plains Pipeline Co.—Pier 400 Project. Counsel for an energy development client. Successfully defended the approval of a $400M marine oil super-tanker terminal in the Port of Los Angeles, handling all litigation activities and successfully winning the case at trial in January 2010.
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. Counsel for a new museum and cultural center in downtown Los Angeles. Successfully represented the museum in working with Los Angeles County regarding compliance with numerous statutory obligations, including CEQA, NEPA, the National Historic Preservation Act, and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. Negotiated with community groups to complete project development on-schedule and avoid threatened litigation.
Iberdrola Renewables, Inc. Counsel for an international renewable energy developer. Represented the client in a proposed $43M acquisition of 12,500 acres in Southern California for the development of potential wind and solar power projects. Negotiated multiple aspects of the real estate transaction and coordinated land use and environmental due diligence review.
Vornado Realty Trust—Beverly Connection Project. Counsel for an urban shopping center in Los Angeles. Negotiated the settlement agreement to resolve litigation and community opposition, and obtained approvals of revised project after creating a community benefits program.
Alpine Development. Counsel for the developer of over 30 master-planned communities and commercial sites in Riverside County and Antelope Valley. Led the project teams and coordinated environmental and land use due diligence, acquisition and remediation activities.
Honors and Awards
- “Top Minority Attorneys,” Los Angeles Business Journal, 2020
- The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation-Environmental, 2015-2020
- “Top 50 Development Lawyers,” Daily Journal, 2014
- Southern California Super Lawyers list: Land Use/Zoning and Environmental Law, Super Lawyers Magazine, 2013-2018
- “Who’s Who in L.A. Real Estate Law,” Los Angeles Business Journal, 2013
- “Top 20 Under 40,” Daily Journal, 2012
- “Top 30 Real Estate Lawyers in California,” Daily Journal, 2012
- Southern California Rising Stars lists: Land Use/Zoning and Environmental Law,Super Lawyers Magazine, 2012
- “Top 25 Land Use Leaders,” Daily Journal, 2011
- “Best Lawyers Under 40,” National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, 2011
- “Rising Star,” Law 360, 2010
Presentations and Publications
- Author, “Land Use Litigation Update: Judicial Council’s COVID-19 Emergency Rules Extend Deadlines,” Real Property Law Reporter (CEB, May 2020) and In Practice (CEB.com, April 9, 2020)
Author, “Land Use Litigation Deadlines Extended by Judicial Council’s COVID-19 Emergency Rules,” Meyers Nave Client Alert, April 7, 2020
- Presenter, “Environmental Stumbling Blocks for P3 Projects: Avoiding Project Litigation and Overcoming Community Opposition,” County Counsels’ Association Spring Public Works & Contracts Conference, 2020 (cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic)
- Quoted, “After Measure S, Some L.A. Developers Say They‘ll Step More Softly with New Projects,” Spring Hill Insider, December 16, 2019
- Presenter, “Environmental Stumbling Blocks: Strategies for Avoiding Project Litigation and Overcoming Community Opposition,” P3 Higher Education Conference, 2019
- Q&A Interview, “Litigation Increases Amid Rise in L.A. City Projects,” GlobeSt.com and Law.com, August 21, 2019
- Q&A Interview, “L.A. Ramps Up Infrastructure Upgrades,” GlobeSt.com and Law.com, August 19, 2019
- Presenter, “CEQA: New Strategies for Streamlining the Environmental Review Burden,” League of California Cities Annual Conference, 2017
- Presenter, “Intersection of Transportation and Environmental Law: A Focus on Ports,” Los Angeles County Bar Association Environmental Spring Symposium, 2017
- Quoted, “Logjams, Likely Litigation Surround LA Development Measure,” Law360, February 22, 2017
- Author, “California Supreme Court Closes an Anti-SLAPP Loophole,” Daily Journal, January 13, 2017
- Author, “SLAPP Happy in 2016,” Daily Journal, December 30, 2016
- Moderator, “Development Opportunities,” Biznow SoCal Student Housing Conference, 2016
- Presenter, “Public/Private Partnerships – The 3 P’s,” 2nd Annual California Construction Law Program, The Seminar Group, 2015
- Co-Chair, 2nd Annual Public/Private Finance and Development Seminar, The Seminar Group, 2015
- Moderator, “What are the New Rules, and What Do They Mean for Cities and Developers?” 2nd Annual Public/Private Finance and Development Seminar, The Seminar Group, 2015
- Presenter, “2014 CEQA Update,” San Diego County Bar Association, 2015
- Program Co-Chair, 1st Annual “Public/Private Finance and Development Seminar,” The Seminar Group, 2014
- Q&A Interview, “Bringing the Streetcar Back to Los Angeles,” Green Building and Design, March/April 2013
- Presenter, “From the Private Sector: Investment in Transit and Community Revitalization,” Rail-Volution Annual National Conference, 2013
- Author, “Revitalization Drives Economic Development,” American Infrastructure, 2013
- Author, “Strategies for Achieving Sustainable Urban Development,” Strategies for Green Real Estate Law, 2013
- Moderator, “Evolution of Downtown LA,” Bisnow Conference, 2013
- Presenter, “Development and Transportation Planning for the Los Angeles Streetcar,” Institute of Transportation Engineers – Southern California Section and Intelligent Transportation Society of California, Annual Business Meeting, 2013
- Presenter, “NEPA, ESA & Fundamentals of Environmental Law,” Environmental Law Institute Program, 2013
- Presenter, “Encouraging Smart Growth Coast to Coast,” New Partners for Smart Growth, 12th Annual National Conference, 2013
- Presenter, “Urban Circulators for Livable and Sustainable Communities,” Rail-Volution Annual National Conference, 2012
- Presenter, “New Transportation Solutions for Downtown Los Angeles,” International Chinese Transportation Professionals Association – Southern California Chapter, 2012
- Presenter, “The LA Streetcar Project,” Building Owners and Managers Association of Greater Los Angeles, 2012
- Author, “The Modern Streetcar Movement,” American Infrastructure Magazine, Spring, 2012
- Author, “Shuttered CRAs Open Door for New Development Sources,” Los Angeles Business Journal, January 23, 2012
- Author, “The Fate of Redevelopment Agencies Lies with the State Supreme Court,” The Daily Journal, December 21, 2011
- Author, “Resolving a Legislative Challenge in the Golden State,” American Infrastructure, Fall, 2011
- Presenter, “Bringing Renewable Energy Projects to Fruition: Aligning Players, Risks and Rewards,” National South Asian Bar Association, Annual Conference, 2011
- Presenter, “Going Green in the Legal Marketplace: Taking Advantage of Opportunities Created By Climate Change and Sustainability Initiatives,” National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Annual Conference, 2010
- Member, The State Bar of California
- Member, Mentor Program, South Asian Bar Association of Southern California
- Member, California Minority Counsel Program
- Member, Executive Committee, Central City Association of Los Angeles
- Trustee, Bringing Back Broadway Initiative
- Board Member, Friends of Park 101 District
- Georgetown UniversityJD, 1995
- New York UniversityBA, English and Politics, 1992