Robert Pontelle, a partner in the firm's Los Angeles office, represents utility, industrial, commercial, financial and residential clients involved in entitlement, permitting, financing and litigation matters related to the development and use of real property. He advises clients and leads development teams on a variety of land use issues related to planning and zoning matters, subdivision and permit approvals and environmental issues, including endangered species issues. A large portion of his practice also involves litigation related to environmental and development matters, including compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act. He also represents utility clients in California Public Utilities Commission proceedings related to the construction of energy transmission infrastructure.
Robert serves as a member of the Land Use Committee of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, which develops the trade association's policies regarding land use issues in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. He received both his B.A. and J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1996 and 2000, respectively.
- Represents a developer seeking approvals for the first offshore wind project off the West Coast of the United States.
- Seconded land use and regulatory licensing counsel for Southern California Edison, a regulated investor-owned electric utility with a service area covering approximately 50,000 square miles and almost 14 million people, advising on land use and environmental issues related to obtaining approvals from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and other agencies for new and expanded electrical generation, transmission and distribution facilities throughout the service area. Recently obtained CPUC approval of a 90-acre electrical substation in Chuckwalla Valley desert and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management approval of a 150-mile-long transmission line.
- Represents Westfield, LLC, one of the world's largest shopping center developers, advising on the adequacy of environmental review for several new and expanding retail centers and prosecuting and defending litigation matters regarding retail shopping centers under CEQA and other land use laws. Obtained successful result in a land use lawsuit involving a controversial project in Arcadia, California.
- Represents Home Depot U.S.A, Inc., one of the nation's largest home improvement supply retailers, advising on the acquisition of necessary local and state entitlements for the construction of new stores and associated retail centers, and defending project approvals in litigation brought under CEQA and other land use laws. Obtained entitlements for stores in cities of Fullerton, Long Beach, Palmdale, Lancaster, Covina, West Covina, Compton and Bellflower, California.
- Represents Playa Capital Company, LLC, the developer of Playa Vista, one of the largest master planned communities in the City of Los Angeles, advising on the adequacy of environmental review documents, assisting in obtaining local approvals and litigating the defense of those approvals in litigation brought under CEQA and other land use laws. Secured successful litigation defense of entitlements for the second phase of development.
- Represents BENHAR/Editing Film Center, Inc., advising on the adequacy of environmental review, the acquisition of necessary local entitlements and building and safety issues related to the redevelopment of an industrial office complex in Hollywood, California designed to provide office space to companies engaged in film and related media support services. Obtained entitlements from the City of Los Angeles.
- Represents The Prudential Insurance Company of America, one of the nation's largest capital lenders, advising on land use and environmental issues, including species impact issues associated with legacy real estate assets and the securing of entitlements related to those assets. Secured extension of entitlements for RainbowVision Project, a large mixed-use community in Palm Springs, California.
- Represents Conejo Recreation and Park District, a public agency, advising on land use and environmental issues related to the development of new park facilities, and defending the District's approval of park facilities in litigation challenges brought under CEQA and other land use laws.
"An Up-and-Down Year for California's Big-Box Developers," California Real Estate Journal, December 11, 2006.
December 11, 2006