Land Use & Property Rights

Anytime you are protecting or asserting your rights to use your property, our land use and property rights attorneys have the experience to protect your interests and constitutional rights.

Our clients, who include residential, industrial, and commercial developers, as well as land owners and users, seek advice, advocacy and litigation services from our team with regards to:

  • Environmental issues under state and federal law, including the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
  • Entitlements
  • Property rights
  • Redevelopment
  • Zoning
  • Problems with governments
  • Disputes with neighboring property owners
  • State laws, local ordinances and municipal contracts
  • Eminent domain
  • Regulatory taking of property
  • Unconstitutional restriction on uses or changes in uses
  • Permitting, processing, negotiation and litigation with government agencies 

Land Use

We advise our clients and work with consultants regarding general plan, zoning, and subdivision map and permitting issues, including obtaining, utilizing and protecting entitlements and vested rights in real property.

In conjunction with environmental consultants and planning departments, we work to develop defensible environmental documents, appear before local agencies and defend against challenges (e.g., from neighborhood groups, labor, competitors). We also draft various agreements in connection with the development process.

Property Rights 

  • Problems with Governments.   Regulatory takings, extractions, condemnations, exactions and eminent domain are issues that property owners often face when local, state and federal governments exercise their powers to regulate or property. Our attorneys, several of whom have served in elected office or on regulatory bodies, have a deep understanding of legislative and regulatory developments and wide experience in dealing with governments that use and sometimes abuse their powers. 
     
  • Disputes with Neighbors. Accessing your property and using your property may be restricted by easements, boundary disputes, CC&Rs, or deeds that limit your ability to develop your property or to make the best use of your property.  When those problems arise, you will need lawyers with a lot of experience resolving property disputes through negotiation and litigation.  Anytime you are protecting or asserting your rights to use your property, Hopkins & Carley's attorneys can draw upon many years of experience in such disputes to assist you.
  • Represented the owner of a coastal property in defense of the right to control public access across private property.
  • Represented the owners of mobile home parks in the permitting process and in litigation to get approval to close parks and convert them to other uses.
  • Represented a major museum in negotiations with the City of San Jose and a developer of a high rise project on property occupied by the museum.
  • Represented a mobile communications infrastructure builder in the permitting process for cell towers and antennas in cities across Northern California.
  • Represented a private school in the acquisition, entitlement, financing and development of elementary, middle school, and high school campuses.
  • Represented the owner of a historic property in asserting a vested property right to remodel under approved plans.

Property Owners and Developers Take a Hit from Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court opened the door for a new form of exaction from property owners and real estate developers by refusing to hear an appeal from a decision by the California Supreme Court upholdin... Read more »

Land Owners Need Not Wait for the EPA to Drop the Hammer

Thanks to the Court's recent decision in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., property owners and developers can have their day in court sooner rather than later. Read more »

"A victory for property owner rights": How the Supreme Court's Waters of the US-related ruling impacts builders

In an effort to define, once and for all, what that means exactly, the EPA finalized its Clean Water Rule in 2015, which lays out which bodies of water are considered "waters of the United States (WOT... Read more »

Boon for Affordable Housing

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision not to review a ruling from the California Supreme Court in Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose gives cities across the country a road map to use zon... Read more »

Risks of Accepting the Conditions of a Permit "Under Protest" If You Plan to Litigate

Accepting the conditions of a permit "under protest" and proceeding with the project while attempting to litigate the conditions can be risky. Read more »

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