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My land use practice often requires intensive interaction with governmental and regulatory bodies for permits, licenses, variances or to resolve enforcement matters. The thicket of government laws, regulations and overlapping jurisdictions can ensnare even the most sophisticated businesses. I represent clients in matters relating to governmental agencies in order to anticipate and forestall problems that could lead to litigation. While highly complex, if litigation does become necessary or desirable, I can and have effectively challenged arbitrary or unlawful decisions.

I have substantial experience in zoning, development incentives, construction, building codes, planning, permits, entitlements, historic preservation, environmental impact reports and other environmental compliance issues. Basically, my experience covers the entire spectrum of development issues.

I have experience in matters involving redevelopment, unimproved land, mixed use developments, and even adaptive re-use. I have secured approval for more than a million square feet of development entitlements. I have advised public agencies with respect to many million square feet of development entitlements.

    Representative Land Use Projects

Starting with my early work on prominent projects such as the City of Santa Monica's Specific Plan for the Third Street Promenade, I proceeded to represent developers in projects such as the NoHo Commons in North Hollywood consisting of 1.25 million square feet of multi-use development and the commercial development of Playa Vista in West Los Angeles.

In addition, I have successfully represented a number of public agencies with respect to their projects. For instance, I represented the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority with respect to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) certification of the Orange Line, and with respect to other matters on the Red Line and Expo Line. Additionally, I represented the City of Pasadena with respect to the CEQA certification of the Arroyo Seco Master Plan. Also, I successfully defended the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles in a lawsuit attacking the CEQA certification of the Hollywood and Vine block project.         

John E. Mackel 2000 - 2014