Patricia E. Curtin

Patricia has more than three decades of experience in local government and land use law. She focuses on processing and obtaining land use entitlements for the private sector and advises the public agencies on land use and local government law. Patricia has presented and written extensively on land use topics, including co-authoring State and Local Government Land Use Liability (Thomson Reuters) and served as a Planning Commissioner in her home town for over 10 years.

Patricia assists clients in processing and obtaining approvals for complex master planned and mixed-use projects, market rate and affordable housing projects, logistic centers, hotels and resorts, educational and medical facilities; drafting and negotiating development, disposition, annexation, reimbursement, school mitigation and affordable housing agreements; application of density bonus laws, streamlining processes for development applications, and affordable housing opportunities She stays current on all the new housing/streamlining laws from the Legislature and explains their impact on local governments. Patricia periodically presents on new housing laws and the California Environment Quality Act to her clients. She also assists clients in complying with CEQA and in creating assessment and other financing districts.

Patricia also advises affordable housing providers throughout the state, and serves as a Board member of HomeAid, Northern California whose mission is to assist people experiencing or at risk for homelessness. Patricia’s practice includes obtaining permits for mental health facilities for a major provider throughout the state.  She also secures approvals for other supportive services (i.e., care homes for persons with eating disorders and safe homes for victims of human trafficking) and for affordable housing non-profit groups.  She also co-authors a national land use book; one of the chapters focuses on the unique issues relating to uses for persons with disabilities (includes mental health) under the ADA and Rehabilitation Act.

Patricia serves as legal counsel to over 12 Geologic Hazard Abatement Districts (GHADs). She counsels GHADs and represents property owners, cities, and counties in forming, annexing into and operating GHADs. As Secretary on the board for the non-profit California Association of GHADs, she works to improve the effectiveness of GHADs at preventing, mitigating, and controlling geological hazards. Patricia has written several articles and papers related to GHAD formation and implementation.


  • J.D., University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
  • B.A., California State University, Chico


Our real estate practice is one of the largest in the American West, including Arizona, California, Colorado and Nevada with experience in all aspects of the real estate development process, from due diligence, acquisition and finance, through land use permitting and entitlements, to leasing and sale.

For More Than 137 Years – Helping Our Clients Realize Their Vision For Responsible Development In The American West

Our regulatory attorneys have helped develop and define laws shaping our region for more than a century. We serve clients at all levels of state, county and municipal government as well as numerous federal agencies.


  • San Francisco Magazine, Top Women Attorneys in Northern California, 2021
  • Daily Journal, Top Women Lawyers, 2020
  • Best Lawyers in America®, Land Use & Zoning Law, 2001 – 2016, 2018 – 2020 and 2023; Lawyer of the Year, Land Use & Zoning Law, 2015, 2017
  • GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, Women of Influence, 2019
  • Northern California Super Lawyers®, 2005 – 2022
  • San Francisco Business Times, Forever Influential Women in Bay Area Business, 2016
  • San Francisco Business Times, Northern California Real Estate Woman of Influence, 2015
  • San Francisco Business Times, Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business, 2015
  • East Bay Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), Sustained Leader ECHO Award, 2013
  • Northern California Super Lawyers®, Top Women Attorneys in Northern California, 2012
  • Daily Journal, Top 25 California Land Use Lawyers, 2011
  • California Real Estate Journal, Top Women in Real Estate, 2009


  • Co-Author, “State and Local Government Land Use Liability,” Publisher West Group – Updated Annually
  • Presenter, “Streamlined Housing Approval with SB 35, SB 330 and New Housing Legislation,” Wendel Rosen LLP, October 2021
  • Presenter, “How to Prepare Findings and Conditions of Approval,” 2021 Planning Commissioners Academy, League of California Cities, March 2021
  • Presenter, “How to Prepare Findings and Conditions of Approval,” 2020 Planning Commissioners Academy, League of California Cities, March 2020
  • Presenter, “Streamlined Processing of Ministerial Projects Under SB 35,” City Attorneys’ Spring Conference, May 2019
  • Presenter, “A Brave New World? Over-the-Counter Approvals for Large Projects Under SB 35,” Sonoma State University, 35th Annual Planning Commissioners Conference, December 2018
  • Presenter, “Role of a Planning Commissioner,” League of California Cities, April 2018
  • Presenter, “Planning Commission 102 – Nuts and Bolts of Planning,” League of California Cities, April 2018


  • Board Member, HomeAid Northern California
  • Member, East Bay Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW)
  • Former Planning Commissioner, City of Lafayette
  • Founding Member and Secretary, California Association of Geologic Hazard Abatement (GHAD)
  • Member, League of California Cities
  • Member, American Planning Association
  • Former Board Member, John Muir Health
  • Founding and Former Board Member, Special Education Enrichment Development Foundation
  • Board Member, Dreamcatchers Empowerment Network


  • California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court