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John M. Bowman

Partner – Land Use
(310) 746-4409
Areas of Practice 
Land Use and Environmental

J.D., Southwestern University School of Law; Paul W. Wildman Scholarship recipient 
B.S., Iowa State University; Community and Regional Planning, with distinction

John Bowman, who specializes in land use law and real estate development, has assisted clients in obtaining government approvals (entitlements) for commercial, industrial, residential, institutional and mixed-use projects throughout Southern California. John has extensive knowledge and experience in all aspects of land use law, including zoning, subdivisions, General Plans, development agreements, coastal development permits, and historic preservation, and has particular expertise in matters involving compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”).

John’s practice includes representing property owners, developers, and community groups in administrative proceedings before planning commissions, city councils, and other state and local public agencies in matters involving the use and development of land. He also represents clients in mandate proceedings (litigation) involving challenges to agency land use decisions, and has obtained favorable results for his clients in both the trial courts and the California Court of Appeal.

Representative Experience
• Obtained zone changes and other land use entitlements for several large mixed use projects in Los Angeles.
• Oversaw the preparation and processing of a joint EIR/EIS for a major expansion of a wallboard manufacturing plant in Imperial County, and represented the plant owner in connection with a legal challenge to the County’s approvals brought by a well-known environmental organization.
• Successfully defended clients in a legal challenge to the approved signage program for a high-profile real estate development project in Hollywood.
• Testified as an expert witness on zoning matters.
• Negotiated a favorable settlement in a CEQA lawsuit challenging approvals for a medical mixed use campus.
• Successfully defended an EIR for the demolition of apartment buildings and construction of a new residential condominium project on property located within an historic district in Beverly Hills.
• Obtained entitlements for a unique retail center in the mid-city area of Los Angeles involving the reconstruction and integration of a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus terminal into the project.
• Successfully represented a national grocery chain in administrative proceedings involving appeals of permits to renovate and convert a former theater building for use as a drug store in Westwood.
• Obtained certification of an EIR and project approvals for a shopping center in a redevelopment area involving the adaptive re-use of a locally-designated historic-cultural monument in Los Angeles.
• Successfully represented a publicly-held agricultural and water development company in a legal challenge to an EIR/EIS for a proposed mega-landfill project in San Bernardino County. 

Published Opinions
Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority, 57 Cal.4th 439 (2013)
Trancas Property Owners Assn. v. City of Malibu, 138 Cal.App.4th 172 (2006)
Cadiz Land Co., Inc. v. Rail Cycle, L.P., 83 Cal.App.4th 74 (2000)
Save Our Residential Environment v. City of West Hollywood, 9 Cal.App.4th 1745 (1992)
Ross v. California Coastal Commission, 199 Cal.App.4th 900 (2011)

Speaking Engagements
John has been a frequent panelist for seminars sponsored by the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Association of Environmental Professionals, the California League of Cities, CLE International, and the Valley Development Forum

Bar Admissions
State Bar of California 
U.S. Court of Appeals for California 
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California