Overview

Liz Klebaner advises private and public agency clients on a variety of complex land use and environmental matters, including California Environmental Quality Act, National Environmental Policy Act, California Coastal Act, Williamson Act, Subdivision Map Act, Planning and Zoning Law, and federal and state environmental regulatory compliance. Liz also litigates in state and federal court. Liz’s coverage of new CEQA legislation and other CEQA-related developments has appeared in trade publications and in online and print environmental law news outlets. Liz also frequently speaks on CEQA, NEPA and coastal law matters.

Liz is Co-Chair of Nossaman’s Pro Bono Committee. Her work as Committee Co-Chair includes mentoring junior attorneys, fostering partnerships between Nossaman and pro bono legal services organizations, and overseeing charitable contributions to organizations that deliver pro bono legal services. Liz also handles pro bono immigration and asylum matters.

Experience

Experience

COMPLIANCE COUNSELING & PERMITTING

Cook Hill Properties, LLC. Lead CEQA counsel for developer sponsored specific plan project in the City of Montebello proposing up to 1200 single family homes, internal circulation network, backbone water system and supporting infrastructure, parkland and hiking trails and a 260-acre nature reserve for the threatened California gnatcatcher. The project proponent was granted all approvals in June 2015.

Lennar Homes of California. CEQA, Planning and Zoning Law and environmental law counsel to developer of residential communities. Issues include disclosure, documentation and mitigation of transportation and vehicles miles traveled impacts under SB 743 and impacts to climate change and state jurisdictional waters.

Diversified Pacific Development Company. CEQA/NEPA compliance and litigation defense services and administrative proceedings representation for more than 5 master planned development projects totaling more than 1500 acres and providing more than 6,000 market rate and affordable housing units in the Inland Empire area of California. Duties include assisting the client in obtaining local land use approvals and completing defensible CEQA/NEPA documentation. Issues include identification, disclosure and mitigation of project air quality and greenhouse gas emissions.

Kojima Development. CEQA/NEPA and state and federal permitting counsel for development projects in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Nossaman’s duties include obtaining local land use approvals and development agreements, completing defensible CEQA/NEPA documentation. Issues include General Plan consistency in connection with management of sensitive species and vegetation communities.

Town of Hillsborough. CEQA counsel to Town in connection with the development of CEQA documentation for privately-proposed residential development project. The project involved Subdivision Map Act, General Plan consistency, open space and conservation management issues, as well as compliance questions relating to CEQA’s mandate for analysis of a reasonable range of feasible project alternatives.

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Provide CEQA counsel to Authority in connection with public-private partnership agreement between the Authority and Google LLC.

San Francisco County Transportation Authority. Provide CEQA compliance advice to Authority.

Orange County Transportation Corridor Agencies. Provide public law and environmental compliance and strategy recommendations for corridor extension projects. Counsel on key issues, including transportation planning, CEQA and NEPA compliance, state public records and open meetings requirements and Mitigation Fee Act compliance matters.

San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). Lead CEQA and NEPA counsel to SANDAG in connection with the Airport Connectivity Project and the Revitalization of the Old Town Campus in downtown San Diego. Assisted in the drafting of and provided legal expertise relating to streamlining legislation (AB 2731 ) in support of same. Advised SANDAG in the preparation of CEQA documentation for a high-profile environmental restoration project proposed to enhance a currently degraded coastal lagoon between the Cities of Oceanside and Carlsbad.

Rainbow Municipal Water District. Provide CEQA compliance advice to District in connection with the District’s detachment from the San Diego County Water Authority and a variety of projects and programs.

Kern County Water Agency. Counsel client regarding the development of a $25 billion infrastructure project (California Delta Conveyance Project) to improve water supply and fulfill federal and state Endangered Species Act, as well as CEQA and NEPA requirements.

LITIGATION

Rainbow Municipal Water District. Achieved settlement of all claims filed against the District by Otay Water District in connection with District’s determination to exempt actions from CEQA review. The settlement resulted in the affirmation of the validity of the District’s CEQA compliance actions and the avoidance of litigation costs. The matter settled prior to the filing of any dispositive motions or the court’s setting of merits briefing.

Solana Beach. Successful defense of Solana Beach in a Coastal Act and constitutional law challenge to a California Coastal Commission-certified land use plan for the City of Solana Beach. The California Court of Appeal issued a published decision in Beach & Bluff Conservancy v. City of Solana Beach (2018) 28 Cal.App.5th 244, finding for the City on all issues.

Laguna Beach Golf and Bungalow Village, LLC. Successful defense of real party in interest in CEQA and municipal code challenges to Coastal Development Permit and related CEQA approvals issued by the City of Laguna Beach and appeal of Orange County Superior Court decision in Fudge v. City of Laguna Beach.

Cook Hill Properties, LLC. Judgment for client, Cook Hill Properties, LLC., in both the California Superior Court and the California Court of Appeal, in Citizens for Open and Public Participation v. City of Montebello, involving defense of City CEQA, Subdivision Map Act, Development Agreement statute and Planning and Zoning Law approvals for a 1200-unit residential project and 260-acre nature reserve in the City of Montebello.

City of Bakersfield. Judgment for client, City of Bakersfield, in both petition for writ of supersedeas seeking emergency stay and subsequent appeal of Kern County Superior Court decision in Citizens Against 24th Street Widening Project v. City of Bakersfield upholding CEQA documentation for a highway improvement project. The California Supreme Court denied review on February 6, 2017.

Metro Gold Line Construction Authority. Represented client, Metro Gold Line Authority, in parallel CEQA challenges brought by the City of Pomona and the City of San Dimas. Achieved dismissal of litigation within one year after it was filed.

Insights

Publications

Blog Posts

Speaking Engagements

Organizations

Community & Professional

Los Angeles County Bar Association, Member

California State Bar Environmental Law Section, Member

Orange County Bar Association, Member

Council of Infill Builders, Member

Honors

Honors & Recognitions

Named to the Women of Influence: Attorneys list by the Los Angeles Business Journal, 2021

Listed, The Legal 500 United States, Industry Focus - Environment - Litigation, 2021-2022

Education

Admissions

Languages

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