California Land Use and Planning Law
(2016 - 35th edition)

By Cecily Talbert Barclay and Matthew Gray

  • Item# L35
  • ISBN: 978-1-938166-11-2
  • Copyright (c) 2016
  • Paperback
  • Price: $95.00
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California Land Use & Planning is published biennially. In the interim years, a comprehensive summary of published judicial decisions concerning land use and planning in California will be available as a free download from this website.

For over three decades, California Land Use & Planning Law has provided a succinct and definitive summary of the major provisions of California's land use and planning laws. It has been cited by the California Supreme Court and numerous appellate courts as an authoritative source.

In addition to the information provided below you may also:

Review the Front Cover of the Book
Review the Back Cover of the Book
Read the Detail Table of Contents, and Preface (PDF)

"This great book is my primary source of definitive information on California Planning Law. It's the first reference I reach for when questions about "takings," the Subdivision Map Act, and legal interpretations arise." Terry Rivasplata, co-author, CEQA Deskbook

This 35th edition summarizes two years of published decisions, statutory revisions and other agency policies and guidance, including:
  • Discussion of the California Supreme Court's decision in California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose holding that inclusionary housing programs are to be evaluated like zoning and other land use measures that restrict use, rather than as exactions (chapters 4, 15)
  • Discussion of several cases addressing the degree of deference owed to various local agency approvals or denials of applications for land use permits (chapter 4)
  • Description of the Legislature's further statutory extension in 2015 of tentative subdivision maps in some, but not all, California counties (chapter 5)
  • Discussion of the California Supreme Court's decision in Tuolumne Jobs & Small Business Alliance v. Superior Court holding that an agency's decision to adopt a voter-sponsored initiative rather than place it on the ballot is exempt from CEQA (chapters 6, 13)
  • Discussion of numerous cases decided under CEQA addressing when a project is exempt from CEQA, the permissible baseline for project review, when tiering is appropriate, when a supplemental or subsequent EIR is required, and the scope of alternatives that must be considered (chapter 6)
  • Discussion of the California Supreme Court's decision in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District affirming that CEQA generally does not require an analysis of the impacts of the surrounding environment on the project (chapter 6)
  • Discussion of the California Supreme Court's decision in Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish & Wildlife (the "Newhall" decision) in which the Court upheld use of CARB's goal of 29 percent reduction from "business as usual" as a significance threshold, but held that an individual project's 29 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions did not necessarily establish consistency with CARB's statewide goal (chapter 6)
  • Discussion of amendments to the Density Bonus Law prohibiting density bonuses for redevelopment projects on sites where affordable units exist, or have been vacated or demolished in the previous five years, unless those affordable units are first replaced (chapter 15)
  • Analysis of new regulations defining "waters of the United States" and identifying categories of waters that are exempt from federal jurisdiction (chapter 7)
  • Analysis of new case law and regulatory guidance on the scope of critical habitat designations and standards for excluding areas from such designations (chapter 8)
    Discussion of how the United States Supreme Court's recent takings guidance in Koontz has been applied to local agency regulations (chapter 12)
  • Discussion of the more rigorous quantitative approach to industrial stormwater regulation adopted by the State Water Resources Control board in its 2014 Industrial General Permit (chapter 9)
  • Discussion of cases excepting certain public interest lawsuits from anti-SLAPP protections (chapter 19)
  • Discussion of recent decisions adjusting or denying attorney’s fees sought by petitioners under the private attorney general statute (chapter 19)

For 27 years, Dan Curtin authored this book as a desk reference for those interested in California land use and planning law. Cecily joined Dan as a co-author in 2000 and worked with him to continually update the book based on their own and their partners' decades of experience representing both public agencies and private developers. Following Dan's passing in November 2006, Matt joined Cecily - first as Managing Editor and later as co-author in preserving and expanding upon the legacy Dan started with this book. Like all editions published since his passing, this book is again dedicated to Dan.


Cecily Talbert Barclay and Matthew S. Gray are both partners in the San Francisco office of Perkins Coie LLP, representing a range of local agencies, real estate developers and landowners in all stages of the land use entitlement and development process.

Cecily Talbert Barclay regularly speaks and writes on topics involving land use and local government law, including programs and articles for state and national associations and conferences. She is also the president of two nonprofit affordable housing coporations and was named 2012 San Francisco Land Use & Zoning Law “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers. She received her law degree with honors from Harvard Law School.

Matthew S. Gray graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was elected the Order of the Coif. Matt clerked for the Honorable Jerome Farris, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

This 2014 edition has benefited from the contributions made by attorneys in Perkins Coie’s Land Use and Environment, Energy, and Resources Practices including Marc Bruner, Marie Cooper, Julie Jones, Stephen Kostka, Geoff Robinson and Barbara Schussman.