Nicki Carlsen is the co-leader of the firm’s Environmental & Land Development Group. Her practice focuses on land use, environmental compliance and litigation. She has over 20 years of experience with the federal, state and local regulations affecting development projects, including land use planning and subdivision laws, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Water Act and endangered species acts.
Through her representation of residential, commercial and industrial developers, Nicki can navigate a course of action from project inception to completion. Her land use experience extends to all project entitlements. This includes general plan amendments, specific plans, development agreements, zone changes, subdivisions, conditional use permits, variances, and grading, building and encroachment permits, as well as specialized environmental permits, such as Section 404 permits and “take” permits.
Nicki advises clients on how to comply with CEQA and NEPA statutes and oversees the adequacy of CEQA and NEPA documents. She has successfully defended project approvals in the trial and appellate courts and has also successfully prosecuted actions on behalf of property owners to obtain land use entitlements.
- Sunset Millennium Project, West Hollywood (AREA Property Partners): Facilitated approval of hotel, residential and retail project located on two blocks on Sunset Strip and defeated three lawsuits challenging EIR under CEQA in Superior Court and Court of Appeal. Provide ongoing land use and CEQA advice.
- Broad Beach, Malibu (Malibu Bay Company): Advise development team on CEQA and Coastal Act to support approval of Local Coastal Plan amendment and issuance of coastal development permit. Defend entitlements in Superior Court and Court of Appeal.
- Oak Canyon Ranch Project, Calaveras County (Rottman Froman Communities): Facilitate approval of Specific Plan, Zoning Code and Development Agreement and certification of EIR for 3,000-acre master planned community. Support development team in obtaining permit approvals from Army Corps and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
- Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood (Centrum Properties): Provide land use and CEQA advice for redevelopment of former Tower Records site.
- The Boeing Company: Provide environmental advice for facilities in California.
- Portola Center, Lake Forest (USA Portola): Negotiated Development Agreement for residential project (made possible by closure of El Toro Air Force Base). Facilitated approval of Minor Amendment to NCCP/HCP to support project. Provide continuing land use and CEQA advice.
- Santa Monica Boulevard Project, Los Angeles (McDonough): Facilitate approval of commercial and retail project on Santa Monica Boulevard.
- San Diego County Regional Airport Authority: Provided CEQA advice to Authority on demolition of existing airport facilities.
- San Diego Courthouse, Administrative Office of the Courts: Provided CEQA advice to development team regarding $500,000,000 courthouse project.
- Altamont Wind Turbines, Alameda County (FPL Energy, AES): Advised multiple wine turbine operators on CEQA, NEPA, ESA, CESA, Migratory Bird Treaty Act to secure renewal of permits to operate 5,000 turbines in Altamont Pass, addressing avian mortality issues.
- Ahmanson Ranch Project, Ventura County (Washington Mutual/JP Morgan Chase): Provided land use and environmental counseling for over 10 years on 2,500-acre master planned community. Defeated and prosecuted over 14 lawsuits to protect project entitlements.
“Compare pollution burdens across California,” Daily Journal, May 16, 2013.
May 16, 2013
Nicki Carlsen is the co-leader of Alston & Bird LLP’s environmental and land development group. Her practice focuses on land use, environmental compliance and litigation. She has experience with the federal, state and local regulations affecting development projects, including land use planning and subdivision laws, the California Environmental Quality Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act and endangered species acts.
On July 27, 2012, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) proposed stringent “Safer Consumer Products” regulations to implement California’s Green Chemistry program.
January 8, 2013
"SB 375 May Result in State Control of Land Use," Los Angeles Daily Journal, May 16, 2012.
May 16, 2012
- California Building Industry Association (CBIA): Board of Directors, Government Affairs Committee, Legal Action Committee
- Home Builders Association of the Central Coast (HBACC)
- Urban Land Institute (ULI)
- West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
- Law360's Environmental 2013 Editorial Advisory Board Member