34th Annual Land Use Law & Planning Conference

Friday, January 24, 2020 | Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles

Learn, network, and keep current.

land use in los angeles

Largely regarded as the preeminent land use conference in the West, the UCLA Extension Land Use Law and Planning Conference is the leading source of information on California land use legislation, case law, and the emerging issues that frame land use and development practices in the nation's most populous state.

Now in its 34th year, this one-day interdisciplinary program features a variety of knowledgeable speakers who will provide succinct and provocative updates on core state and federal case law and legislation, land use law, and planning issues.

The conference is essential for attorneys, planners, environmentalists, and developers who need to know how land use law and planning is changing and affecting their interests.

Who should attend?

All individuals involved in land use and environmental issues in California, including:

  • Public officials & planners
  • Attorneys & consultants
  • Developers & real estate professionals
  • Students interested in planning and public policy

Keynote Speaker

Kate Gordon

Kate Gordon

Kate Gordon is a nationally recognized expert on the intersection of climate change, energy, and economic development.

Gordon was appointed Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and Senior Advisor to the Governor on Climate by Governor Gavin Newsom on January 7, 2019. She has authored or co-authored numerous publications, including the Fourth National Climate Assessment's chapter on “Reducing Risks Through Adaptation Actions.” 

Prior to being appointed OPR Director, Gordon was a Senior Advisor at the Henry M. Paulson Institute, where she oversaw the “Risky Business Project,” focused on quantifying the economic impacts of climate change to the U.S. economy, and also provided strategic support to the Institute’s U.S.- China CEO Council for Sustainable Urbanization. She was also a nonresident Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.

Earlier in her career Gordon served as Vice President for Climate and Energy at the Center for the Next Generation, Vice President of Energy and Environment at the Washington D.C.-based Center for American Progress, and Co-Executive Director at the national Apollo Alliance (now the Blue Green Alliance).

Gordon earned a J.D. and a masters in city and regional planning from the University of California-Berkeley, and an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University.

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Panel Discussions

Updates, trends and assessments to keep you in the know.

CEQA 2019: The Strength of Exemptions and Other Lessons Learned  

A perennial staple and favorite at the conference, hear distinguished counsel representing all sides—petitioner, respondent, and real party in interest—survey the latest judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in the CEQA arena, providing invaluable and strategic insights as to their implications for legal practitioners, consultants, and lead agencies.


David Smith
Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP


Kevin Bundy
Of Counsel, Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger

Tina Thomas
Founding Partner, Thomas Law Group

Planning, Zoning, and Development Law:
What's New from California's Judicial and Legislative Branches?

Extra! Extra! Hear all about it! 

California courts and our state legislators worked mightily in 2019 tackling important planning, zoning and development law issues. Join our panelists as they walk through the high points of last year’s statutory and case law adventures, which will undoubtedly put you ahead of the rest on your land use trivia.


Alisha Winterswyk
Partner, Best Best & Krieger LLP


Matthew Richardson
Partner, Best Best & Krieger LLP

Matt Klopfenstein
Legislative and Legal Advisor, California Advisors, LLC

Quick Hits:

  • ESA: Potentially significant Trump changes in regulations face court challenges
  • Rent Control: Do AB 1482 exemptions swallow the rule?
  • WOTUS and WOTS: What’s in, what’s out, and where are the courts?
  • Auto Fuel Efficiency: Trump’s waiver repeal, or not, and what this means for California and beyond
  • The Ebb and Flow of Coastal Act Policy: What is Hot Today? 


David Smith
Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Matt Burris
Deputy City Manager, City of Rancho Cucamonga

Alisha Winterswyk
Partner, Best Best & Krieger LLP

The Land Use Implications of Cannabis

Which cities want it? Which cities want to block it? And what do those efforts look like in practice? What are the zoning implications for dispensaries? Licensing? Taxing revenues when banking disallowed? Growing it? Moral judgments aside, what are the private sector and local agency implications of legalized recreational pot?


Matt Burris
Deputy City Manager, City of Rancho Cucamonga


Ryan Stendell
Director of Community Development, City of Palm Desert

Lori Sassoon
Deputy City Manager, City of Rancho Cucamonga

Finding the Shortcuts: Entitlement Strategies for Siting and Approving Housing

While the white whale of “CEQA Reform” remains elusive, the Legislature has provided several important strategic options for streamlining review and curtailing potential litigation hooks for the “right” kind of housing projects in the “right” locations. Hear our experts’ strategic insights on what is meaningful, what is useless, and what can truly move housing projects forward.


David Smith
Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP


Mark Teague
PlaceWorks, Inc.

Al Herson
Of Counsel, Sohagi Law Group


Accrediting Associations

Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE)

7.0 Credit Hours

APA - American Planning Association

7.0 Credit Hours


millenium biltmore hotel

Millennium Biltmore Los Angeles

506 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90071

(213) 624-1011

Image: Millenium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (source), licensed under CC BY 2.0 


Valet parking is available at the Millenium Biltmore Hotel. Enter on Grand Avenue, between 5th and 6th Street.

Self-parking is available all-day across the street at Pershing Square, which is located at 500 South Hill Street. Entrances are located on 5th, 6th, and Olive Streets.

Rates vary.



From LAX airport and the Harbor Freeway (110) North

Take Sepulveda Boulevard to the 105 (Century) Freeway East, to the 110 (Harbor) Freeway North. Exit at 6th Street and travel four blocks before turning left onto Olive Street, and left onto 5th Street.

From the 101 South

Take 101 South and exit on Temple Street. Turn left onto West Temple Street and make a right onto Grand Avenue. 


conference attendees

Sponsor a scholarship

Make a difference

Over the years, the Conference Scholarship Programs have received funding from a variety of firms. Because of these generous contributions, educators and students from law and planning schools spanning California are invited to attend our conference series free of charge.

If your organization is interested in sponsoring a scholarship, please contact Dr. Stephanie Hoekstra at shoekstra@uclaextension.edu

Sponsoring firms receive a special conference registration rate of $495 for members of their firm or organization.

Donald G. Hagman was a preeminent UCLA Law professor and internationally distinguished scholar in the fields of land-use planning, housing law, and state and local taxation. Academic lawyers and planners know him best for his seminal work, Windfalls for Wipeouts, which has shaped the current debate about landowners' right to compensation as a result of public regulation.

In honor of Don’s work, the Hagman Conference Scholarship Fund was established to continue his commitment to bridging the academic and practitioner realms. The fund supports the annual conference attendance of faculty members and students from various law schools and graduate planning schools.

Joanne L. Freilich, AICP, was a cherished professional, colleague, and friend who brought her dedication and expertise to UCLA Extension’s Public Policy Program for 15 years. She was exceptionally gifted in integrating the expertise of faculty, public, and private sector practitioners, generating meaningful dialogue that contributed to new regulatory frameworks.

To honor the lifework of Joanne, UCLA Extension proudly established the Joanne Freilich Public Policy Memorial Fund and the Joanne Freilich Scholarship Fund, providing scholarship support for students and new planning professionals attending UCLA Extension public policy courses and conferences. The scholarship was first announced on January 28, 2005 at the 19th Annual UCLA Extension Land Use Law and Planning Conference which was held in Joanne’s memory.

Call for conference scholars!

Apply to the Joanne L. Freilich Scholarship

UCLA Extension has established The Joanne Freilich Scholarship Fund to support the transition of the next generation of planners from a formal education program to the professional field. As a scholar, the registration cost of the conference will be waived and you will also have the opportunity to participate in a unique breakfast only for scholars the morning of the conference.

Application deadline: November 25th, 2019



  • New professionals who are within one year of their graduation date from a planning and/or policy program
  • Students who have completed their coursework in a planning and/or policy program and are ready to graduate
  • Individuals employed by nonprofit organizations in a relevant field

How to apply

  1. Complete the scholarship application 
  2. Email both your resume and transcript (unofficial is acceptable) to Dr. Hoekstra at shoekstra@uclaextension.edu

Application Deadline

November 25th, 2019

Please note: Complete applications are due by November 25th, 2019. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
three business people

Get featured!

Cooperating Organizations

In addition to sponsoring scholarships, many firms and organizations have also helped us promote the conference.

As a cross-promoter, you receive:

  • Your organization’s name in our brochure
  • Your organization on a large poster at the conference
  • Special mention during the opening remarks

No monetary contribution required. If your organization is interested in helping us promote the conference, please email Dr. Stephanie Hoekstra at shoekstra@uclaextension.edu

Conference Agenda

7:45 a.m. Registration & Check-In
8:30 a.m.
Welcome & Program Overview
Dr. Stephanie Hoekstra, Public Policy Director, UCLA Extension
8:45 a.m.
Update #1
CEQA 2019: The Strength of Exemptions and Other Lessons Learned  
10:00 a.m. Morning Break
10:15 a.m.
Assessment #1
The Land Use Implications of Cannabis
11:30 a.m. Recess to Gold Room
11:45 a.m. Lunch & Scholar Presentation
12:20 p.m.

Keynote Address:
"Land Use Issues in California and How OPR is Addressing Them"

Kate Gordon, Director, CA Governor's Office of Planning and Research;
Senior Advisor on Climate to Governor Newsom
1:00 p.m. Recess to Crystal Room
1:15 p.m. Update #2
Quick Hits
1:45 p.m.

Assessment #2
Finding the Shortcuts:
Entitlement Strategies for Siting & Approving Housing
2:45 p.m. Afternoon Break
3:00 p.m.

Update #3
Planning, Zoning, and Development Law:
What's New from California's Judicial and Legislative Branches?
4:15 p.m.
Closing Comments
Dr. Stephanie Hoekstra, Public Policy Director, UCLA Extension


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Public Policy at UCLA Extension

For over 25 years, UCLA Extension has been training professionals in public policy through the annual Land Use Law and Planning Conference, CEQA seminars, as well as climate policy, education policy, health care policy, and food justice courses. 

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