Rutan & Tucker’s Land Use/Natural Resources Group melds the decades of experience and expertise of its Real Estate and Public Law departments to offer a complete range of services to clients in both the public and private sectors.
Our public agency work has deep roots: Firm founder A.W. Rutan drafted the legislation that created the Orange County Water District early in the last century. Since then, the Firm has grown to become almost synonymous with government agency law, participating in the creation and growth of the city of Irvine and other cities and special districts, the redevelopment of the Port of Long Beach and other areas of Southern California, and the expansion of the Anaheim Resort area. The Firm is the city attorney for seven municipalities in Southern California and special counsel to dozens more, and represents redevelopment agencies, school districts, water districts and municipal financing authorities throughout the state.
It is this comprehensive knowledge of the processes and participants at the cities and other public agencies that has given Rutan & Tucker a unique perspective that is valued by its private clients, which include Arnel Development, Northrop Grumman, John Laing Homes, Highpointe Communities, Pacific Bay Homes, Fairfield Residential, Chapman University, McCarthy Cook & Co., Robert Mayer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Company, Mozart Development/Classic Communities, the David & Lucille Packard Foundation and Hines Horticulture. The Firm offers a full spectrum of services and can lead a project from land acquisition through the entitlement process to the negotiation of construction contracts and ultimately the sale or leasing of the finished product. Should litigation arise, we stand ready and able to protect the interests of our clients, whether public or private, in court.
While we consider our experience and the quality of our attorneys to be our greatest asset, we also are mindful of the need to maximize efficiency, minimize costs, and maintain free-flowing communications. We therefore seek to limit the number of attorneys responsible for handling a client to the fewest number necessary under the circumstances. Specialized work is generally handled by an experienced practitioner on an "as needed" basis only. In this way, our clients can take advantage of our wide experience in the most cost-effective manner. Whether working for a public entity or an individual or company with business before a public entity, we are committed to both excellence and cost-effectiveness.
No other California law firm can match Rutan & Tucker’s near-century of experience in both the public and private sides of land use and natural resources law. No one can better our commitment to service and value. We stand ready to put this breadth and depth of experience to work for you.
Areas of Specialization
- Zoning, planning, and land use entitlements
- Development agreements
- California Coastal Act permitting
- California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
- Subdivision Map Act
- Initiative/referendum and political advocacy
- Federal and California Endangered Species Acts
- Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP) / California Natural Community Conservation Plans (NCCP)
- National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
- Clean Water Act Section 404 Wetlands Fill Permits / California Fish & Game Code section 1600 streambed alteration agreements
- Storm water and development run-off issues
- Real estate development infrastructure financing (Mello Act, Community Facilities District)
- Water law
- Writ of mandate, inverse condemnation, and Civil Rights (42 U.S.C. section 1983) land use litigation
- Zoning matters relating to religious uses under Religious Land Use and Institutional Persons Act of 2000