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 “TopRated Lawyers in Land Use and Zoning;” and the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Who’s Who in L.A. Real Estate Law.” The Land Use team’s environmental specialty is recognized by U.S. News-Best Lawyers® ("Best Law Firms" for Environmental Law and Natural Resources Law) and The Recorder (top 10 “Leading Environmental Practices”). 

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 $13 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 serves as Special Counsel for the Kings Entertainment Sports Complex for which we have delivered to the City of Sacramento a comprehensive range of victories to secure a new $477 million downtown arena, including keeping the professional basketball team in Sacramento, defeating all CEQA challenges brought against the EIR, obtaining an appellate court ruling denying a CEQA-related injunction to halt construction, obtaining an eminent domain win allowing the City to take over the final piece of downtown property, and defeating a proposed ballot measure for a public vote on the City’s $255 million subsidy for the project.

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.