Services > Land Use/Environmental/Natural Resources (“LER”)

Bringing Clarity to the Complex

Land use and environmental laws and regulations provide both opportunities and challenges for your commercial real estate venture. Whether it is a prospective purchase, sale or lease, CGS3 helps you identify, navigate and overcome the myriad environmental regulations at the local, state and federal levels.

Our in-depth experience, laser like-focus on your business goals and willingness to think outside the box in obtaining flexible and defensible land use and development entitlements – across all asset types – instill certainty in an often uncertain process, and ultimately enable you to complete a project on-time and on-budget. In addition to collaborating with our clients in solving day-to-day land use and zoning challenges, CGS3’s LER team offers best-in-class legal services in obtaining entitlements for high-profile developments, master-planned communities, urban in-fill and mixed-use projects and historic redevelopments.  

CGS3 helps clients maneuver the maze of land use and environmental regulations in the following contexts:

  • Pre-purchase/leasing due diligence;
  • California Planning, Zoning and Subdivision Law/obtaining entitlements (including design reviews, permits and subdivision and plat maps) from local jurisdictions and other agencies;
  • Rezoning and variances;
  • Master and general plan adoptions and amendments;
  • Zoning or building code enforcement actions;
  • Environmental enforcement actions by agencies regulating water quality, air quality, hazardous substances, and other resources;
  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance;
  • Impact fees, exactions and other conditions of development approvals;
  • Historic landmark designation and preservation;
  • Easements/abandonments;
  • Condemnation of property rights by public agencies; and 
  • Defense of administrative and judicial challenges to development approvals.

CGS3 LER lawyers are committed to developing innovative, forward-thinking solutions to the complex legal requirements governing land development and the many regulatory compliance challenges – solutions that ultimately result in getting your project approved on terms that make good business sense and support downstream financing, operations and disposition strategies.  Our lawyers succeed by employing a unique blend of legal sophistication and old-fashioned “know-how” as well as strong relationships with governmental officials and regulators – and an understanding that entitlements serve an important underlying business goal.


  • Letters of intent
  • Purchase agreements
  • Title review
  • Due diligence
  • Lease and contract review

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  • Acquisition loans
  • Development loans
  • Construction loans
  • Permanent and semi-permanent loans
  • Participating and convertible loans
  • Revolving credit facilities
  • Mezzanine loans

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  • Design professional agreements
  • Construction agreements
  • Design-build agreements
  • Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreements
  • Owner participation agreements
  • Subcontracts
  • Payment/performance bonds
  • CC&Rs and REAs

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  • Property management agreements
  • Listing agreements
  • Service provider agreements
  • Consulting agreements

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Commercial Leasing

  • Retail leasing
  • Office leasing
  • Industrial leasing
  • Medical leasing
  • Life science/biotech leasing

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Distressed Real Estate Workouts

  • Loan restructurings
  • Loan sales
  • Leasing and evictions
  • Deed in lieu transactions
  • Foreclosure proceedings
  • Guaranty enforcement actions
  • Receivership and bankruptcy
  • Short sales, receivership sales and REO sales

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Entity Formation and Tax

  • LLCs and partnership formations
  • Strategic tax and business law counseling
  • Entity and tax disputes
  • Federal, state and local tax controversies
  • Nonprofit corporations
  • Fiduciary duties
  • Workouts and debt discharge
  • Expert witness services

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Disputes and Litigation

  • Business and real estate negotiations
  • Ownership interests
  • Dissolution of business entities
  • Breaches of contract and business torts
  • Workouts and foreclosure of distressed property
  • Landlord/tenant lease disputes
  • Construction disputes
  • Easements and other real property interests
  • Land use decisions by public entities
  • Employment agreements and issues
  • Insurance claims
  • Holders of personal guarantees
  • Unlawful Detainers

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Land Use/Environmental/Natural Resources (“LER”)

  • Pre-purchase/leasing due diligence
  • California Planning, Zoning and Subdivision Law/obtaining entitlements from local jurisdictions and other agencies
  • Rezoning and variances
  • Master and general plan adoptions and amendments
  • Zoning or building code enforcement actions
  • Environmental enforcement actions by agencies regulating water quality, air quality, hazardous substances, and other resources
  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance
  • Impact fees, exactions and other conditions of development approvals
  • Historic landmark designation and preservation
  • Easements/abandonments
  • Condemnation of property rights by public agencies
  • Defense of administrative and judicial challenges to development approvals

Learn more