Accelerate Your Approval.

Navigating the approval process can feel like a maze.
You need a guide you can trust.

With 25 years of experience, I will shepherd you through regulatory obstacles, overcome political and community resistance and help you secure complicated permits and approvals.

Let’s chat.

Call or Email Donna Today   Learn More

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How I Can Help

You want the City, County, Port or Coastal Commission to approve your project as quickly and defensibly as possible. That’s where I come in. With my experience, relationships and legal knowledge, I help you predict and clear the hurdles to ensure your project has the right zoning, permits and approvals.

Land Use

To develop a project in California you’ll need permits from the local agency, you’ll deal with the Subdivision Map Act, and you’ll usually need a range of agreements from affordable housing to infrastructure and beyond. And in San Diego you’ll often also deal with the federal and state wildlife agencies, the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Regional Water Quality Control Board – and I will help you work your way through them all. I also love working on initiatives, which are an ever-growing part of the land use puzzle. I help ensure the language meets all legal requirements and strategize with you and your team on both the political and legal issues all ballot measures entail.

Let me help you make your path through the process as quick and painless as possible.

Land Use

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires state and local government agencies, like city councils, to identify the significant environmental impacts of a proposed project and see if there are feasible ways to avoid or lessen those impacts.

The agency in charge of permitting your project conducts an environmental review and creates a document (often an EIR) that provides information about the project, the areas of potential impact and whether or not those impacts can be avoided or mitigated. CEQA review is an art, not a science. I work with the agency and consultants to ensure that the review of your project is appropriate under the ever-changing statute, and that it can be successfully defended against any challenge brought by a project opponent.

Too often there is not clear and unequivocal statutory language or case law that answers the environmental analysis question, and without proper guidance CEQA can be a fog-laden maze with traps for the unwary. I help ensure that your CEQA review fully addresses the issues raised and results in an adequate CEQA document for your project.


Companies need help navigating the legislative and regulatory processes that impact them, and a strong voice to advocate for them before governmental bodies. That’s where I come in. I understand how government works, and use my political and regulatory experience to handle permitting and compliance issues for clients seeking to locate and develop new sites, relocate or expand operations.

From master planned communities to municipal solid waste disposal facilities, from hotels to affordable housing, from shopping centers to sports stadiums, I have worked on them all.

I am a registered lobbyist in the City, County and Port of San Diego and the Regional Airport Authority, and help businesses of all types that need help navigating through the city or county processes or in finding the right person to speak with about an issue that impacts their company or industry.


A Guide You Can Trust

I help you clear the hurdles that too often confront projects before, during and after development.

Personalized Attention

When you hire me, you get me, not a junior associate. You aren’t paying for training, but for the experience that you need to jump in and start solving problems from the start. And I take on only a few clients at a time, so I can give your project the attention it needs, making sure that nothing falls through the cracks.

Specialized and In-depth CEQA Expertise

My CEQA experience is extensive, deep and broad, gained from having worked for more than 20 years reviewing EIRs, Negative Declarations, Addenda, and Exemptions, negotiating appropriate mitigation measures, drafting Findings and related documents, and defending projects against CEQA challenges.

Ties to the Community and its Leaders

My deep ties to the community and its leaders derive from work experience and my leadership roles in City and Community organizations, from Civic San Diego to the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce; the Charter Review Commission to the Wetlands Advisory and the Historic Resources Boards, and more.

Let’s Chat About Your Project

Call or Email Donna Today