Land Use Law & Planning Conference

Friday, January 8, 2021
    Please Note

    The below information is from the 34th annual conference, which was previously held on Friday, January 24, 2020.

    The upcoming conference will be held on Friday, January 8, 2021, and will be offered in a virtual format.

    More information to be provided once available.

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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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