John McClendon’s practice focuses on the land use entitlement process with an emphasis on CEQA/NEPA and other environmental laws, the Coastal Act, Planning & Zoning Law, Subdivision Map Act, affordable housing and water law. An experienced litigator, he has brought and defended scores of environmental, land use, housing and water law actions, including many successes before California’s appellate courts.
On "offense," Mr. McClendon has represented numerous citizens groups in challenging controversial public and private development projects at the administrative stage before city and county decision-makers. In representing these groups in subsequent court actions, he has achieved an impressive track record of success.
On "defense," he has assisted cities, redevelopment agencies, special districts and private developers in the preparation of legally defensible CEQA/NEPA/PZL/SMA documents and findings, advising them on effective pre-litigation strategies and defending them in court. To date, all of the documents and findings he prepared for public agencies have survived judicial challenge.
On the private sector side, since 2000, Mr. McClendon has represented private clients in negotiating and structuring numerous disposition and development agreements and owner participation agreements between his clients and California cities and redevelopment agencies for development projects valued in excess of $300 Million. He also represents private clients in court defending their projects from judicial challenge.
On the public side, he has been responsible for overseeing the successful approval of numerous redevelopment plan adoptions, plan amendments, and project area mergers, including a record seven in a single year. Some of his more notable redevelopment projects include: Anaheim Plaza, Century 25 Theaters in Orange, Ontario Mills, the Ontario Auto Center and Ontario Convention Center, Jurupa Valley Spectrum, and the El Paseo Shopping Center in South Gate.
With the Legislature's recent abolishment of all California redevelopment agencies, he continues to serve as general counsel to six of California's seven Designated Local Authorities (i.e., these are successor redevelopment agencies that were abandoned by their cities). His focus on public law has also led to him accept short-term and often high-profile assignments as either interim or special counsel to public agencies. Examples include:
In 2006, he agreed to serve as the U.S. Attorney’s expert witness on California redevelopment law in a criminal action involving political corruption in the City of South Gate.
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|General Counsel||the Designated Local Authorities for the former Los Banos, Mendota, Merced, Pismo Beach, Riverbank, and Santa Paula Redevelopment Agencies||2012 - Present|
|General Counsel||Banning Heights Mutual Water Company||1999 - Present|
|Assistant City Attorney||City of Lake Elsinore||1997 - Present|
|Principal||Leibold McClendon & Mann, P.C.||1994 - Present|
|Interim District Counsel||Los Osos Community Services District||2005 - 2006|
|Special CEQA Counsel||City of Sierra Madre||2002 - 2003|
|Special CEQA Counsel||Eastern Municipal Water District||2002 - 2011|
|General Counsel||Ontario Convention Center Corp.||1998 - 1999|
|Agency Counsel||Ontario Redevelopment Agency||1995 - 1999|
|Associate||Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth||1990 - 1994|
|Summer Associate||Best Best & Krieger||1988 - 1988|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|State Bar of California, Environmental Law Section||N/A||1990 - Present|
|State Bar of California, Public Law Section||N/A||1990 - Present|
|Torres v. City of Montebello (2015) ___ Cal.App.4th ___||Appellate court affirmed trial court's determination that $150 Million contract was void ab initio|
|Coalition for Land Use Equity v. City of West Covina||Court ordered the city to set aside the project approvals|
|Citizens Opposing a Dangerous Environment v. County of Kern (2014) 228 Cal.App.4th 360||Affirmed|
|See all legal cases|
|Western City||Don't Let Tigard Scare You! Cities Can Shoulder the Burden Placed Upon Them by This New U.S. Supreme Court Decision||1994|
|California Water Law and Policy Reporter||Stay Tuned for the Next Exciting Episode of “We ‘Gotch’-Ya” or, “Don't Make Us LAF(CO)”||1994|
|University of Southern California Law School||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||1989|
|University of California - Irvine||Russian||BA - Bachelor of Arts||1986|
|Westmont College||Philosophy||BA - Bachelor of Arts||1976|
|Fuller Theological Seminary||M.Div. program||N/A||N/A|
|CEQA and Land Use Boot Camp||Introduction to CEQA and Land Use||2015|
|Government Law||Suing & Defending under CEQA||2014|
|10th Annual Advanced Seminar on CEQA||Recent Non-CEQA Cases Every CEQA Attorney Needs to Know||2014|
|Monthly MCLE Meeting||Ethics and the Environment: The California Environmental Quality Act||2005|
|The California Redevelopment Association's Redevelopment Institute||The Powers of Redevelopment||2000|
|Seminar for staff and officials of the City of Long Beach||Introduction to Redevelopment||1998|