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A former professional city planner, Ed Shaffer excels in achieving positive outcomes for environmental, land use, and real estate law clients. He manages regulatory practices and resolves objections by interested parties such as applicants, neighbor groups, agency staff and decision makers.
Ed represents real estate developers, commercial and industrial property owners, and public agencies. He is well versed in EIRs, development agreements and vested rights, general plans and zoning, use permits and subdivision matters.
A major aspect of his practice involves guiding projects through the complex requirements of CEQA environmental review and development approval. In the process, Ed is able to strengthen the defensibility of approvals at risk of litigation.
His prior career as a city planner and planning consultant gives him special insight into the priorities of public officials and the best path to achieving approvals that satisfy all parties. Ed is known for his attention to detail without losing sight of the client’s overall goals, whether spotting serious errors in an EIR, negotiating key terms of a contract, or making sure approval conditions are workable.
Ed works with both buyers and sellers negotiating complex real estate options and purchase agreements, performing due diligence for the transactions, clearing title issues and helping close the deal. He also handles property rights matters, resolving and documenting easements and related issues.
Ed is active in the East Bay Leadership Council, an advocacy organization promoting the economic vitality and quality of life in Contra Costa County, the Bay Area, and the state, and for many years he served as Co-Chair of the Council’s Land Use Task Force and currently sits on the Board of Directors. These efforts involve close interaction with public officials at local, regional and state levels of government as well as key business leaders.
- Residential Development – Successfully advised developer client and guided consultants and city staff in a complex land use matter to obtain approval for a 1,300-home development in Kern County, overcoming organized opposition by environmentalists, neighbor groups and other special interests. Successfully defended the approval in CEQA litigation brought by the Sierra Club.
- Commercial Development – Guided planning and approval of a three-million square foot mixed commercial master plan community in Merced County involving CEQA review and the full range of approvals including general plan and zoning amendments, municipal services, planning, development agreement, and annexation.
- Industrial Development – As counsel to a major industrial facility, negotiated complex deals to lease surplus sites for a commercial power plant and a solar generation facility, documented cogeneration arrangements and easement rights and addressed related land use and real estate issues.
- Hospital Development – Assisted Marin Healthcare District in planning and approval for major reconstruction of Marin General Hospital to satisfy seismic safety requirements and modernize medical facilities and services, involving close interaction with District and County officials, multi-phase project planning and CEQA review, and a sequence of District Board approvals.
- J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1986
- Masters of City and Regional Planning, Rutgers University, 1975
- B.A., Boston University, 1973
- State Bar of California
- American Planning Association
- East Bay Leadership Council, Former Co-Chair of Land Use Task Force, Board of Directors, former Chief Legal Counsel
- Contra Costa Bar Association, Chair, “Food from the Bar” Committee (Annual fundraiser for Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano)
- Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent Rating