Megan A. Jennings

Partner

Megan Jennings advises clients on a broad range of land use and environmental permitting, transactional, and compliance issues. Megan counsels project developers throughout the notoriously challenging California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review and land use entitlement process. She has particular experience finding practical solutions to complex development issues for renewable energy projects, medical facilities, corporate/R&D campuses, and multifamily/mixed-use facilities.

In addition to land use matters, Megan counsels clients on compliance with state and federal environmental regulations, in particular, the Clean Water Act, Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, and endangered species laws. She regularly negotiates environmental and land use aspects of real estate, financing, and corporate transactions and draws on her extensive entitlement experience in land use litigation matters.

Notable Representations

Oyster Point Redevelopment Project
Advised on land use entitlements for the $3 billion redevelopment of approximately 80 waterfront acres in South San Francisco, through a complex public-private partnership with the City of South San Francisco. After obtaining major land use entitlements for a 2.25 million square foot biotech R&D project, Megan assisted with completion of a land swap with the City, public and private financing, infrastructure development, approval from the Bay Conservation and Development Commission for extensive public improvements at the shoreline, and finally advised on the sale of the entire privately- owned portion of the project for over $300 million.

First Solar, Inc.
Advise First Solar, a major developer of utility-scale photovoltaic solar facilities, on environmental, land use, natural resource, and real estate aspects of complex solar permitting, transmission, and facility development, including compliance with NEPA and the CEQA, the federal and California Endangered Species Acts, the Williamson Act, and local zoning and related laws and regulations.

Kaiser Foundation Health Plan
Counsel on all facets of Kaiser’s entitlements process for major hospital and medical office facilities, including strategic planning and CEQA advice, negotiation of long-range development agreements, and implementation for planned medical centers in the cities of Sacramento and Dublin.

UDR, Inc.
Advise a leading developer and owner of apartment communities on multiple Bay Area residential acquisitions and development projects, including entitlements for a 220-unit transit-oriented residential development in a politically challenging local climate, following the settlement of litigation raising novel claims under the state’s Housing Accountability Act. 

Panoche Valley Solar Project
Representing Consolidated Edison Development in all efforts to entitle, defend and settle ensuing litigation in relation to the controversial 250 MW Panoche Valley Solar project. The project required approvals from multiple local, state and federal agencies, and both CEQA and NEPA environmental review documents. Successfully assisted the defense of three lawsuits, ultimately ending in a comprehensive settlement that includes placing over 25,000 acres of habitat into a conservation easement.

Professional Activities

Megan serves on the Planning and Zoning Commission for the City of Albany, California and the Executive Advisory Board for the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment at Berkeley Law. She is a member of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), the Environmental Law and Real Property Law sections of the California Lawyers Association, and the Bar Association of San Francisco. During every year of her practice, Ms. Jennings has received the State Bar’s Wiley W. Manuel Certificate for Pro Bono Legal Services, as well as recognition as a Pro Bono Hero from Berkeley Law for exceptional mentorship and support of students.

Education

Megan received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), with a Certificate in Environmental Law (2007) and her B.A. with high honors from the University of Montana (2001).