Steven T. Mattas
Steven Mattas is the City Attorney for the City of Walnut Creek and Town of Los Altos Hills, and Assistant City Attorney for the City of South San Francisco. He also serves as General Counsel for the Tri‐Valley Transportation Council, Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, Ventura County Transportation Commission, Sunol Smart Carpool Lane Joint Powers Authority, South San Francisco Conference Authority and Monterey County Housing Development Corporation, as well as Special Counsel to several public agencies (including Alameda County Transportation Commission and San Francisco County Transportation Authority) and private developers. Steven focuses his practice on land use, transportation, environmental law, public agency elections and municipal law.
Recognized statewide for his land use work, Steven is the managing co-editor and an update coauthor of numerous chapters in the leading comprehensive publication on land use law, California Land Use Practice, published and updated annually since 2006 by Continuing Education of the Bar. He also authored and contributed to several chapters of the book, including those covering general and specific plans, sustainability and climate change regulations, housing, specially regulated land uses, and compliance with federal, state and regional agency requirements for wetlands and endangered species, wastewater and stormwater discharges, annexation issues, and much more.
Steven frequently authors articles and gives presentations on land use law, public agency compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, density bonus and adult business regulations, among other topics. He has spoken before the California State Bar, the League of California Cities (LOCC) and many other organizations. He previously served as the City Attorney Department representative to the LOCC’s 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.
- General Counsel to Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission. Provide assistance with a wide range of matters, including implementation of a ½ cent sales tax measure to improve the transportation network, advising on an amendment to the Transportation Expenditure Plan, drafting form co‐op agreements for the distribution of local sales tax revenue from Measure D, reviewing and editing draft co‐op agreements with Caltrans for highway infrastructure projects including auxiliary lanes and bus-on-shoulder projects, advising on real property title issues and property acquisition for the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network (MBSST/Coastal Rail Trail), preparing form right‐of‐entry agreements, and drafting and editing numerous professional services agreements.
- General Counsel to Tri-Valley Transportation Council. Advise on a comprehensive scope of matters regarding transportation planning and administering traffic impact fee revenues, including updating the SEP, drafting a funding agreement regarding reimbursement of Measure J funds for the construction of the I‐680 Southbound HOV Lane Gap Closure Project, providing guidance on potential conflict‐of‐interest issues for TVTC appointees, and guiding TVTC on changes mandated by SB 743 which changed the evaluation criteria for transportation impacts analyzed under CEQA.
- General Counsel to Ventura County Transportation Commission. As General Counsel to the Commission and its Board (composed of representatives from the County Board of Supervisors, city councils, and two public members), advise on numerous projects, including procurement of buses and transportation vehicles, federal highway grant funding agreements, applications for state funding grants, Caltrans co‐op agreements, goods movement agreements and infrastructure projects, interchange funding agreements, rail line management agreements, and funding agreements for freeway improvements related to increasing transportation efficiency (carpool lanes and HOT lanes). Also counsel Commission staff regarding grant, contract and allocation agreements.
- General Counsel to Sunol Smart Carpool Lane JPA. Services include extensive review and editing of the joint powers agreements and foundational documents, advised on RFPs for an Express Lane Evaluation Study, drafted express lane maintenance agreements, delegated administrative review for I‐580 express lane toll disputes, disposed of decommissioned I‐680 Express Lane equipment, drafted toll system software agreements, edited agreements with the Bay Area Toll Authority, and drafted protocols for securely handling personally identifiable information. (The Sunol Smart Carpool Lane JPA includes a subset of the members from the Alameda CTC and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.)
- Special Counsel to the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC). Advised on various aspects of implementation and contracting for the I-580 toll collection system, including interpreting various provisions of the I-580 consulting services agreement for the system, evaluating consultant performance relative to contract requirements and standards, drafting required notices and correspondence in connection with the contract, advising on liquidated and other damages provisions, assisting with negotiations related to consultant performance pursuant to the contract, assisting with negotiations and strategy development related to potential claims and calculation of damages under the contract, assisting staff in implementation of appropriate record keeping and document management best practices to best protect the agency’s interests under the contract, and advising on strategies for mitigation of damages.
- General Counsel to Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission. Amended the contract between the SCCRTC and the City of Santa Cruz for the environmental review, permitting, construction, and maintenance of two sections of the Segment 7 Rail Trail, a 35‐mile pedestrian and bicycle trail next to a section of train tracks. Added provisions that accounted for the maintenance of vegetation, installation of a new drainage system and bridge, and permitting requirements, among other matters.
- General Counsel to Tri‐Valley Transportation Council. Drafted a funding agreement for the TVTC, Contra Costa Transportation Authority, and City of San Ramon regarding the reimbursement of Measure J funds for the construction of the I-680 Southbound HOV Lane Gap Closure Project.
- General Counsel to Ventura County Transportation Commission. Advised the Commission on compliance with Federal Transit Administration contract requirements and guidelines. In a litigated matter, successfully opposed a tenant’s request for a preliminary injunction to prevent the Commission from terminating the tenant’s leases, and then obtained summary judgment against the tenant in an unlawful detainer action relating to a lease for tourist train operations.
- General Counsel to South San Francisco Conference Center Authority. Serves as General Counsel to the South San Francisco Conference Center Authority, which manages, operates, maintains and promotes the South San Francisco Conference Center. Legal services include transaction, litigation and compliance counsel for matters involving Labor and Employment, Public Contracts, Governance, Land Use, Public Finance, Brown Act, Public Records Act, Event Space Lease and Use Agreements, and Concessionaire Agreements.
- University of California at Merced, public/private master development. Represents the University of California at Merced in implementing preliminary aspects of an innovative public-private master development plan to accommodate a planned increase in students from 6,800 to 10,000. The pioneering project involves negotiating a range of new and innovative agreements, such as utility services and transportation agreements with the City of Merced and Merced County, as well as agreements to implement wetland mitigation requirements.
- BART Cooperative Agreement, City of South San Francisco. Negotiated a cooperative agreement between the City of South San Francisco and BART related to the South San Francisco BART Station and the use of BART/SamTrans right-of-way for a linear park above the underground transit system. The League of California Cities awarded the linear park, known as Centennial Way, the 2010 Helen Putnam Award.
- JAKS, LLC. Retail Commercial Overlay District Zone Change, Hemet Calif. Assisted JAKS in obtaining approval of a zone change to establish an overlay zone allowing retail and light industrial uses on a 37-acre parcel.
- Bay West Cove Specific Plan, Zoning and Owner Participation Agreements, City of South San Francisco.Reviewed, edited and advised on the adoption of specific plans, zoning ordinances and precise plans for commercial, biotechnology research and development, and hotel development adjacent to San Francisco Bay. Reviewed the project’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and related California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) findings. Prepared, drafted and served as co-lead negotiator for multiple owner participation agreements with multiple property owners in the specific plan/redevelopment area to provide community benefits including a hotel and bay front park and open space improvements.
- Hollywood Park Specific Plan, Development Agreement and Owner Participation Agreement, City of Inglewood and Inglewood Redevelopment Agency. Negotiated and prepared a development agreement and advised on the specific plan and owner participation agreement for the re-use of the Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood. The project authorized 2,995 residential units, 620,000 square feet of retail, 75,000 square feet of office, a 300-room hotel, and renovation and expansion of an existing on-site casino.
- Oyster Point Life Sciences and Technology Campus and Marina Ferry Village. Served as lead negotiator for the City of South San Francisco and its former redevelopment agency for a public-private partnership for a 2.25-million-square-foot life sciences and technology campus, including office and research facilities, two hotels, retail marina and public recreation open space on the San Francisco Bay waterfront. Advised on the preparation and negotiation of (1) a general plan amendment, specific plan amendment, zone change, subdivision map and owner participation agreements, (2) disposition and development agreement that involved the sale of City-owned land and provided public and private financing for public infrastructure improvements valued at more than $70 million, and (3) agreement with the harbor district regarding facility improvements.
- L37/KASA Mixed Use Development, City of South San Francisco. Negotiated and prepared development agreement and purchase and sale agreement for mixed use transit-oriented development including retail, public parks and 800 market-rate, affordable and live-work residential units on former redevelopment agency property near a BART mass transit station and a newly constructed civic center campus.
- Langbein Property, Sonoma County. Advised a property owner on obtaining changes to a draft general plan to maintain current use rights. Steven also advised the property owner on actions necessary to obtain a general plan amendment and zone change to allow for residential development on the property.
- Crows Landing Naval Air Facility Re-use Project/CCP West Park Development, County of Stanislaus. Advised the County of Stanislaus on a program and project-level EIR associated with the development of a general plan amendment, specific plan and disposition and development agreement for the re-use and redevelopment of the 1,528-acre former Landing Naval Air Facility and 1,268 adjacent acres. The proposed industrial and commercial development included an inland rail port and airport. Major environmental issues included greenhouse gas emissions, water supply and traffic impacts.
- Elmwood Area Commercial and Residential Development, City of Milpitas. Prepared and negotiated a draft disposition and development agreement and land use entitlements, including a vesting tentative map, for the City of Milpitas and its redevelopment agency. The project included a 683-unit market rate and affordable residential development, 180,000-square-feet commercial development for automobile dealerships, 6 acres of public parks, 8.4 acres of open space and extensive streetscape improvements.
- Frontier Community Builders Residential and Public Recreational Project, City of Lodi. Assisted the City of Lodi to prepare and negotiate development agreements, land use entitlements (general plan amendment, zoning, annexation, tentative map and growth management allocation) and an EIR for a master plan development of approximately 1,900 residential units and a community park. The development also provided financing and land for substantial public infrastructure improvements.
- Genentech Facilities Master Plan Update and Master Environmental Impact Report, City of South San Francisco. Advised the City on the preparation and adoption of the Master Land Use Plan and Master EIR for the Genentech campus expansion project, adding 3 million square feet of office, research and development, and light industrial development to the existing corporate campus. Also provided community benefits.
- Georgia Pacific Mill Site Re-use Plan, City of Fort Bragg. Guided the City of Fort Bragg and its redevelopment agency in the entitlement process for the re-use of the coastal 425-acre Georgia Pacific Mill Site. Advised on CEQA compliance; site remediation; development of a specific plan and related land use entitlements (including Coastal Act compliance and negotiation of a development agreement); conveyance of open space; and preparation of redevelopment documents associated with the site’s re-use.
- Milpitas BART Station EIR and Supplemental EIR, City of Milpitas. Assisted the City of Milpitas in reviewing and commenting on draft and final EIRs for the proposed BART stations within the city. Also helped secure project design options requested by the city.
- Milpitas Midtown Specific Plan, City of Milpitas. Helped the City of Milpitas prepare a specific plan and EIR and related findings for the Midtown Specific Plan area. The specific plan anticipates the redevelopment of approximately 1,000 acres of existing development within midtown Milpitas and the addition of 4,000 residential units and retail and commercial development in a pedestrian-friendly environment.
- Milpitas Project Area No. 1 Redevelopment Plan Amendment and Related Residential and Commercial Development, City of Milpitas and Milpitas Redevelopment Agency. Assisted the City of Milpitas and its redevelopment agency with preparing a redevelopment plan amendment and related CEQA documents to expand Milpitas Redevelopment Project Area No. 1 and to facilitate residential and commercial development and construction of public facilities, including a new library, health center, two parking garages and streetscape improvements. Also negotiated and assisted in preparing agreements with the county for payments of tax increment revenue generated from the project area.
- West Downtown and North Downtown Specific Plans, City of Walnut Creek. Assisted the City with the preparation and adoption of specific plans and community benefits programs related to mixed use, office, commercial, entertainment and market rate, affordable and live-work residential development within the downtown Walnut Creek area.
- Reynolds Ranch Mixed Use Development, City of Lodi. Advised the City of Lodi on preparing and negotiating a development agreement, land use entitlements (general plan amendment, zoning, annexation, tentative map and growth management allocation) and an EIR for a commercial, office and residential development. The 220-acre project included a Blue Shield Call Center, retail and residential developments, parks, a fire station, a school and other facilities.
- South San Francisco Wastewater Treatment Plant and Collection System and Storm Water Drainage System Projects, South San Francisco. Counseled the City of South Francisco on preparing and editing draft environmental review documents and related findings for a $100 million retrofit and expansion project for the wastewater treatment plant, sewer system and stormwater collection system in South San Francisco.
- Terrabay Specific Plan, Zoning and Development Agreement and Related EIRs, City of South San Francisco. Reviewed and edited specific plans, zoning ordinances and precise plans for a mixed-use development—including low- and high-density housing, open space, public infrastructure and amenities, and 600,000 square feet of office and retail development on San Bruno Mountain. Also reviewed and edited phased EIRs and related CEQA findings for the project and negotiated development agreements for all development phases.
- Wavecrest Mixed Use Development, City of Half Moon Bay. Assisted the City of Half Moon Bay with the preparation and approval of the Wavecrest Specific Plan, a development agreement, a tentative map, a coastal development permit and an EIR for a mixed-use development near the coast. The project included residential and commercial development, open space, and public amenities (sports fields, coastal trail, etc.).
Honors and Awards
- The Best Lawyers in America, Municipal Law, Land Use and Zoning Law, 2024
- AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
- “Top Rated Lawyer in Land Use and Zoning,” Martindale-Hubbell
- “Top 25 Municipal Lawyers in California,” Daily Journal, 2011
Presentations and Publications
- Presenter, “SB 9 And The “End of Single Family Zoning” in California: What You Need To Know,” Meyers Nave webinar, September 27, 2021
- Managing Co-editor, California Land Use Practice, CEB, 2006-2020
- Update Coauthor, California Land Use Practice, Chapters 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 14 and 21, CEB, 2020
- Author, “New Law Creates Streamlined, Ministerial Approval Process for Certain Housing Projects,” Meyers Nave Client Alert, October 2017
- Presenter, “Redevelopment in the Post-Redevelopment Agency World: How Will it Work? What Are the Keys to Success?” PEMA Luncheon, 2012
- Presenter, “Liquor Stores, Bars and Nightclubs: Conditional Use Permits and Best Practices for Regulating Alcohol Sales,” League of California Cities (LOCC) Annual Conference, 2011
- Presenter, Sustainable Development Strategies: “Get Informed and Participate in Developing the Regulations or Get Run Over,” California State Bar Real Property Section Annual Meeting, 2009
- Presenter, “Public & Private Partnerships,” Sonoma County Bar Association, 2008
- Presenter, “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
- Presenter, “The Development Process in a Nutshell,” California State Bar Annual Conference, 2008
- Presenter, “Advanced Zoning and Land Use,” Lorman Seminar, 2007 and 2006
- Presenter, “California Land Use Practice Annual Update,” Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) 2007
- Presenter, “The Development Process in a Nutshell,” The State Bar of California, 2006
- Presenter, “Land Use Update,” LOCC, 2006
- Presenter, “Zoning and Land Use in California,” Lorman Seminar, 2006
- Presenter, “A Year in the Life of a Development Deal,” Lorman Seminar, 2006
- Presenter, California Land Use Practice, Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) 2006
- Presenter, “SB 1818 Density Bonus Law – The New Math,” LOCC, City Attorney Continuing Education Series, 2005
- Presenter, “Major Land Use Laws,” NBI Seminar, 2005
- Presenter, California Zoning Practice Update, Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) 2004 and 2005
- Presenter, “California Land Use: Current Issues in Subdivision, Annexation and Zoning Law,” 2002
- Author, “Regulating Adult Business,” Western City Magazine, 1992
- Author, “Americans with Disabilities Act: Obligations Imposed on Public Entities,” Public Law Journal, Vol. 16, No. 2, 1992
- Member, The State Bar of California
- University of California at Davis, King Hall School of LawJD, 1991
- University of California at Los AngelesMA, Architecture and Urban Planning, 1988
- University of California at IrvineBA, Social Ecology with an emphasis in Urban Planning, 1986