Chelsea Maclean

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Chelsea Maclean is a California attorney in Holland & Knight's West Coast Land Use and Environment Practice Group who counsels clients on all aspects of land use development.

Ms. Maclean conducts due diligence for the acquisition, disposition and leasing of property. She regularly advises institutional investors, lenders, developers, landowners, lessees and lessors, and governmental entities with regard to land use restrictions and agreements, as well as entitlement processing and permitting requirements. With extensive experience developing plans that minimize legal, political and business risks for her clients, Ms. Maclean drafts and negotiates transactional agreements to effectuate coordinated strategies. She prepares development agreements, assignment and assumption agreements, affordable housing agreements, easement agreements, improvement agreements, service agreements and maintenance agreements, in addition to providing land use assistance on purchase and sale agreements, leases and other real estate agreements.

Clients throughout California call on Ms. Maclean for assistance in obtaining general plan, zoning, use permit, variance and other entitlement approvals and permits on the West Coast. Ms. Maclean counsels on all aspects of regulatory compliance under federal, state and local laws, with a particular concentration on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Planning Law, Subdivision Map Act, State Density Bonus Law and Housing Accountability Act. Specifically, Ms. Maclean's CEQA experience includes helping clients ensure adequate analysis of greenhouse gas, transportation, air quality, noise and other impact issues facing transit-oriented and urban infill development. Ms. Maclean is also well-versed in the implementation of tiering, streamlining and exemption mechanisms.

In addition, Ms. Maclean defends environmental analysis, as well as planning and zoning compliance, at both the administrative and judicial levels. Ms. Maclean advocates for clients in the enactment and amendment of state and local land use statutes and regulations. She also represents clients seeking and reporting on grants.

Ms. Maclean currently serves as co-chair on the San Francisco Urban Land Institute's Programs Committee, which provides high-quality educational programs and opportunities for relationship building and career advancement among the real estate organization's Bay Area members. After participating in Holland & Knight's 2013 Rising Stars program, Ms. Maclean now acts as co-chair of the Women's Initiative in the San Francisco office, which organizes networking, mentoring and career advancement opportunities for women attorneys.

Honors & Awards

  • 40 Under 40, San Francisco Business Times, Class of 2019
  • Urban Land Institute, San Francisco Programs Co-Chair
  • Holland & Knight Public and Charitable Service All-Star, 2014
  • Holland & Knight Rising Star, Class of 2013
  • Honorable Mention, Wiley W. Manual Award for Pro Bono Legal Services, Legal Aid of Marin, 2012
  • University of California Hastings College of Law, Adjunct Professor, Spring 2011


  • San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association
  • California State Bar Association, Environmental Section
  • American Bar Association
  • Urban Land Institute