Timothy Tosta procures land use entitlements for some of California’s most complex and controversial development proposals. According to the 2017 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers in Business, clients say Tim’s strengths are “his political connections, his unique ability to read people and issues, and a strong sense of how to get to a resolution, even with issues that seem insurmountable." Legal 500 identifies him as an "expert in California land use" and "very politically astute" with "excellent ideas on how to get projects approved as well as to garner public support." That’s why he was honored by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal as one of California’s Top 50 California Development Lawyers in 2014, and one of California’s Top Real Estate Lawyers in 2013, citing his work on the Facebook Headquarters Project in Menlo Park, California. The Facebook Project followed on the heels of Tim’s work for the Bohannon Development Company on the Menlo Gateway Project, enabling the transformation of aged industrial properties into a state-of-the-art corporate campus, which also was heralded by the Daily Journal, in 2011, as one of the State’s top five development deals.
Whether it is introducing high-rise housing into San Francisco’s Civic Center (The NEMA, San Francisco) or procuring approval to allow the conversion of an aged downtown furniture mart to office and technology uses (now Twitter’s corporate headquarters), Tim is always innovating to meet or exceed his clients’ expectations.
The diversity of Tim’s experience in product types, geography, regulatory agencies, environmental issues, and political cultures readily distinguishes him from his peers. He is much more than a lawyer. He builds entitlement teams and strategies from the ground up, working in partnership with his clients, while securing the project’s legal compliance. The variety and sophistication of his practice are briefly illustrated in the Representative Projects section below.
Tim’s record of successful entitlement, among others, includes the five star Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara, an exclusive Palm Springs residential/golf community, a major San Luis Obispo County shopping center, a rare Lake Tahoe interval ownership resort, a hilltop Malibu residential community and a unique master plan for 10,000 acres on the Orange County coast. Tim gets the job done.
Tim knows what matters to his clients — outcome, timing and value. He also understands the fundamental needs and desires of California’s communities. Bearing both in mind, he develops innovative strategies and creative solutions for complex projects, delivered with artful diplomacy, yet backed by legal precision and political sophistication. His accumulated wisdom, garnered from his more than 40 years of land use practice throughout California, enables his clients to prevail in the State’s most treacherous political environments.
Finally, Tim fully defends, in court, the entitlements that he has obtained. Among other victories, Tim argued Citizens of Goleta Valley v Board of Supervisors of Santa Barbara County, one of the State’s most significant California Environmental Quality Act decisions before the California Supreme Court. He also obtained an eminent domain settlement from the City and County of San Francisco, which is believed to be the largest recovery in California’s history for a single parcel.
Tim’s work and career have been prominently featured in numerous books and publications, including From the Ground Up by Douglas Frantz, The American Lawyer, California Law Business, California Magazine, The California Executive, the Daily Journal, San Francisco Magazine, the California Lawyer and Superlawyers Magazine.
Tim lectures at national meetings, conferences and conventions, which have included, among others, the American Bar Association, the American Institute of Architects, the American Law Institute, the American Planning Association, the California State Bar Real Estate Section, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, Counsellors of Real Estate, the California Association of Appellate Lawyers, the Urban Land Institute and the California League of Cities, City Managers Section. He regularly speaks before a variety of business groups, community organizations, and charities, and lectures at colleges and universities throughout California.