John Paul Hanna Land Use, Entitlements & Zoning - United States

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Hanna & Van Atta
525 University Avenue
Suite 600
Palo Alto, California 94301

Tel: 650-321-5700
Fax: 650-321-5639


John Paul Hanna is one of the leading land use lawyers in California, experienced in developing, buying, selling, subdividing, financing, leasing, construction, common interest developments, resort communities, permitting, entitlements, conversions, and dealing with city and county staffs, planning commissions, councils, boards of supervisors and with such state agencies as the Department of Real Estate and the Department of Social Services.

Mr. Hanna has been selected in Best Lawyers, Who’s Who in America, San Francisco’s Best Lawyers, and Silicon Valley’s Best Lawyers. Mr. Hanna has represented clients and obtained entitlements such as tentative and final subdivision maps, condominium plans and public reports for over 1,200 projects (residential, commercial and mixed-use) including more than 35,000 condominium units and over 22,000 planned development lots.

  • Menlo School
  • Phillips Academy Andover
  • Stanford University, B.A.
  • Stanford Law School, J.D.
  • Military Intelligence School (Ft. Holabird, MD)

Representative Matters:

  • Represented two different Bay Area cities in reviewing complex mixed-use common interest development project documents
  • Appeared as expert witness in cases involving real estate development, subdivisions, Department of Real Estate regulations and homeowners associations
  • Presented owner/developer of Lake Merced Hill in San Francisco, one of the early common interest developments
  • Represented the owner/developer of Golden Gateway projects, an early downtown mixed-use residential commercial project in San Francisco
  • Represents numerous homeowners associations and commercial owners associations throughout California
  • Represented the owner/developer of an 1100 unit residential/commercial/retail project obtaining approval of tentative maps for a project on Fillmore Street in San Francisco
  • Represented the owner/developer of a 2,000 lot residential resort community in Stanislaus County
  • Represented the owner/developer of Redwood Shores, a master planned community in Redwood City, San Mateo County
  • Represented the owner/developer of the Cupertino Town Center in Santa Clara County
  • Represented the owner/developer of the Apple campus
  • Represented Habitat for Humanity San Francisco, and Silicon Valley, developing affordable housing projects
  • Represented a joint venture composed of Shea Homes, Lennar and Centex in developing the Rivermark Project in Santa Clara County
  • Represented most of California’s major homebuilders over the last 40 years in developing governing documents and obtaining Department of Real Estate public reports
  • Represented owners and developers of condominium hotels in Half Moon Bay and Hermosa Beach
  • Represented owners and developers of numerous mixed-use residential, office/retail high-rise projects in San Francisco and San Jose
  • Represented owner of a landmark historic building successfully converted into office condominiums in San Jose
  • Represented receiver of a large commercial retail project (Vietnam Town) in San Jose

Hanna & Van Atta:

Hanna & Van Atta is one of the most experienced law firms in California in the area of real estate law; we are one of the premier firms in the state in the highly specialized area of matters pertaining to common interest development law.  Mr. Hanna and Mr. Van Atta’s vast expertise is evidenced by their co-authorship of “California Common Interest Developments,” which is a leading legal text on the subject.  The firm’s three partners possess over 100 years of combined experience and expertise and have specialized in all aspects of legal representation in real estate law matters. The firm has represented a variety of clients in a vast array of real estate legal matters, including:

  • Numerous developers regarding project documentation and other legal issues
  • Condominium and other common interest development associations regarding drafting, interpretation and enforcement of project legal documents and revising project documentation.
  • Commercial lenders and borrowers in all aspects of real estate lending
  • Land use matters, including subdivisions, zoning, and land use permits
  • Providing expertise and advice to homebuilders and developers throughout California regarding the Subdivision Map Act and the Subdivided Lands Act
  • Representing companies and landlords regarding commercial leasing and real estate acquisition
  • Litigation related to real estate matters

Additionally, the firm advises California homebuilders regarding the California Subdivided Land Sales Act and maintains contacts with the staff of the Bureau of Real Estate in Sacramento and Los Angeles.  The firm has formed over 3,000 community and home owners associations. We are members of the Home Builders of Northern California, the California Building Industry Association, the Community Associations Institute, the Urban Land Institute, and the Executive Council of Home Owners (ECHO). We are committed to providing the highest level of legal expertise and effective legal representation to real estate developers, and purchasers, sellers, lessors, lessees, and financers throughout California.

By maintaining the most efficient and up-to-date information in the field of common interest development, we can ensure that we are providing our clients with the best documentation for new projects and advice for existing projects in the Bay Area.  Our vast experience handling a wide variety of types of real estate related matters and representing a wide variety of clients ensures that we thoroughly understand all of the issues each project faces; this allows us to provide each client with superior representation that is tailored to the specific needs of the situation.

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