Evelyn F. Heidelberg
- J.D., McGeorge School of Law, Valedictorian
- M.P.A. in Urban and Regional Planning, University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
- B.A., University of Delaware
A veteran land use, environmental and real estate litigation attorney, Evelyn Heidelberg’s former career as a city planner sets her apart from the average land use lawyer. Known for her keen intellect, precision and innate ability to “out smart” adversaries, she is a tenacious and thorough professional who doesn’t lose sight of how to craft win-win solutions to the most complex development challenges.
As a former urban planner, Evelyn is exceptionally well-versed in overcoming regulatory hurdles in the most expeditious and diplomatic manner.
“It is exciting for me to innovate solutions to the myriad regulatory and entitlement challenges that our clients face as they move forward with their projects. My professional experience often enables me to find the proverbial ‘needle in haystack’ when it comes to overcoming regulatory hurdles. My primary objective is to simplify complex issues for all parties by engaging in an efficient and cost-effective approach in resolving contentious issues.”
Evelyn began her career as an urban and regional planner in California and Virginia, eventually transitioning into an environmental lobbying position and ultimately, the legal profession. Her work for local governments has given her an insider’s knowledge of how to pilot the choppy seas of regulatory systems – and get things done efficiently and effectively.
With over 20 years of legal expertise, she has become the go-to lawyer in a number of demanding practice areas including real estate and CEQA litigation matters, environmental enforcement actions and land use entitlements.
Unwavering in her approach to get the job done – and get it done right – she has leveraged her skills to help developers obtain city, county and Coastal Commission entitlements, and defeated administrative and court challenges to her client’s development projects. She works persistently to help her clients find value, and most recently saved a client almost $800,000 on improperly assessed impact fees in connection with minor redevelopment of a shopping center.
Prior to joining CGS3, Evelyn was a longtime partner at Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP. She also worked of counsel with Latham & Watkins in Los Angeles and as a partner for McKenna & Cuneo. In addition to her work as an attorney and a city planner, she was an independent consultant on environmental and governmental relations for major manufacturing and trade association clients, and worked for the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance in San Francisco and Sacramento.
Recent achievements include:
- Obtaining a Coastal Development Permit for a seawall from the Coastal Commission
- Representing clients in resolving encroachment and boundary disputes, both amicably and in litigation
- Representing an applicant with respect to an appeal to City Council of a Planning Commission-approved subdivision and related permits
- Defending projects against challenges under CEQA
- Advising clients on development options for challenged properties
- Representing clients in connection with major public infrastructure projects affecting their properties
- Lobbying work for clients seeking entitlements from the cities of San Diego, Del Mar, Carlsbad, El Cajon, Vista and San Diego County
- Represented Wal-Mart with respect to the proposed San Diego anti-Big Box store ordinance
- Represented PGA and LPGA in a case alleging Women’s Golf Month was in violation of Unruh Civil Rights Act. Defeated class certification.
Professional & Community Involvement
- NAIOP, San Diego Chapter Legislative Committee
- Urban Land Institute, San Diego-Tijuana Chapter Women’s Initiative / Program Committee
- Association of Business Trial Lawyers
- City Ballet of San Diego, Board of Directors
- Home Start, Board of Directors
- “Best Attorneys,” San Diego Metro Magazine (2017-2018)
- Finalist, “Celebrating Women,” San Diego Magazine (2017)
- “Commercial Real Estate Leaders,” The Daily Transcript (2016-2017)
- “Women Who Mean Business,” San Diego Business Journal (2016)
- AV Preeminent Rating, Environmental & Land Use / Litigation / Public Agencies & Charter Schools, Martindale-Hubbell
- “‘Smart Growth’ vs. NIMBYism: Welcome to San Diego” – Law.com, March 31, 2016
- “‘Smart Growth’ vs. NIMBYism: Welcome to San Diego” – GlobeSt.com, March 31, 2016
- “State Amending Proposition 65 Clear and Reasonable Warning Regulations” – December 17, 2015
- “Buyer Beware: City of San Diego Requires a Second Historic Review of Fully Entitled Projects” – January 14, 2015
- “Reform of CEQA Transportation Impact Analysis on the Horizon” – ACC FOCUS on the San Diego Chapter, September 29, 2014
- “Reform of CEQA Transportation Impact Analysis on the Horizon” – ULI San Diego-Tijuana News, September 25, 2014
- “Reform of CEQA Transportation Impact Analysis on the Horizon” – September 18, 2014