Andrew Bell advises clients on the permitting of large-scale energy and real estate development projects on private lands in California and on federal public lands across the western United States. He represents some of America’s largest private and publicly traded corporations before local, state and federal regulatory agencies on a daily basis.
Andrew’s practice focuses on environmental impact review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), permitting under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and California’s planning and zoning laws, incidental take authorizations under the Endangered Species Act, and compliance with other related federal and California natural resources laws. Much of Andrew’s work involves designing and implementing entitlement strategies that meet the client’s objectives in the most legally defensible manner possible.
- Lead land use counsel for developer of a 150 MW solar photovoltaic project on public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management. Negotiated and obtained incidental take authorizations for species listed under the Endangered Species Act and the California Endangered Species Act. Negotiated multi-party protest resolutions leading to project approval by the Secretary of the Interior.
- Obtained from the Interior Board of Land Appeals a stay and remand of BLM rejection of a 14,000-acre wind testing and monitoring right-of-way application, notwithstanding its location within an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) that prohibited wind rights-of-way. Negotiated favorable settlement with Nevada BLM regarding same.
- Advised wind project developer regarding successful entitlement of several wind projects across California, with attention to CEQA, the Endangered Species Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Clean Water Act.
- Advised developer regarding the entitlement of a proposed 12,000-unit master planned community, with attention to the defeat of an adverse local ballot measure as well as permitting under local planning and zoning laws, the Clean Water Act, the Rivers and Harbors Act, and the Endangered Species Act.
- Advised public agency developer regarding entitlement of 120-acre property with 800 residential units, recreation facilities and 150,000 square feet of commercial space; including preparation of entitlement and CEQA strategies, drafting and negotiation of development agreement, and implementation of same.
- Represented utility-scale wind energy trade organization and developer clients regarding U.S. Senator Feinstein’s proposed Desert Protection Act of 2010 and USFWS’s Draft Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines.
- Represented wind and solar developers before state and federal agencies regarding BLM’s Solar Energy Program for six southwestern states (Solar PEIS) and the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), a proposed 22 million acre state and federal habitat conservation plan for Southern California.
- Performed land use due diligence on behalf of potential lenders and buyers of more than two dozen renewable energy projects and commercial projects throughout California, ranging in value from tens to hundreds of millions of dollars.