Overview

Ryan Leaderman is a Los Angeles environmental attorney who focuses his practice on obtaining and negotiating land use entitlements for complex land use planning and mixed-use developments. Mr. Leaderman also handles securing project approvals for all types of major developments in Southern California.

Mr. Leaderman represents clients in all aspects of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), including CEQA litigation. He has extensive experience in guiding high-profile residential, commercial, mixed-use and medical/hospital development projects through the approval process. Mr. Leaderman's experience encompasses all types of land use permits, such as variances and conditional use permits, as well as general plan and zoning amendments. He also interacts regularly with governmental agencies at all levels. Mr. Leaderman assists developers in complying with CEQA, and planning and zoning regulations throughout California, with an particular emphasis on mixed-used projects in the downtown Los Angeles area.

Mr. Leaderman has successfully navigated projects to completion by balancing community concerns with the rights and needs of clients. Mr. Leaderman is well-versed in assisting with any variances, general plan amendments, zone changes, conditional use permits, subdivision maps and other entitlements or permits necessary to move a project forward. He advises clients with regard to any exaction or dedication requirements that governments may impose.

In addition, Mr. Leaderman provides counsel to help protect the viability of projects that may face potential defeat via initiatives and referenda, so-called ballot-box zoning. He has years of experience in negotiating with community groups and local government entities to achieve constructive outcomes.

Mr. Leaderman has a wealth of knowledge with the CEQA process, including requiring the preparation of environmental impact reports (EIRs) or mitigated negative declarations (MNDs) detailing the expected impacts of a project on the environment, and project opponents often litigate under CEQA to halt development. He has reviewed and supervised the preparation of many EIRs and possesses extensive experience in CEQA compliance and provides counsel with regard to the air quality, noise and traffic issues that may confront clients and their projects. In addition, Mr. Leaderman handles water rights and supply issues, analyzes water rights issues and water supply sufficiency in order to aid clients in the project development.

In addition, Mr. Leaderman deploys his wealth of land use knowledge to conduct numerous complicated land use due diligence analyses.

Experience

  • Represented client in acquiring entitlements and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review for a 256-unit and approximately 15,000-square-foot commercial mixed-use project that includes the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of a former church building located in the Koreatown neighborhood of the City of Los Angeles; the new 31-story tower would acquire a Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) entitlement
  • Represented client for a 70-story mixed use tower in downtown Los Angeles consisting of 794 dwelling units and more than 12,500 square feet of commercial space
  • Represented client in entitlements and environmental review for a 64-story, 781 dwelling unit and 6,700-square-foot commercial mixed-use tower adjacent to the thriving FIGat7th retail center in downtown Los Angeles
  • Represented client with all aspects of its project consisting of two seven-story buildings with a combined 369 apartments and 22,000 square feet of commercial uses
  • Represented client on entitlements and environmental review for a mixed-use complex in the historic South Central area of Los Angeles; the seven-story building will include 296 apartments above 5,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and a partially subterranean garage; the project includes 25 very low income residential units
  • Represented client on entitlements and environmental review for a mixed-use complex consisting of 243 dwelling units and 3,500 square feet of commercial space; CEQA compliance includes adoption of a Mitigated Negative Declaration
  • Represented client in acquiring entitlements and CEQA review for the 178 unit and approximately 37,000 square feet of commercial mixed-use 27-story tower in the Chinatown neighborhood of Los Angeles
  • Represented client in the acquisition of entitlements and environmental review for a 27-story, mixed-use project consisting of 305 dwelling units and 6,171 square feet of commercial space adjacent to the historic Eastern Columbia in the South Park/Historic Core area of downtown Los Angeles
  • Represented client in the acquisition of entitlements and environmental review for a mixed-use project consisting of 452 dwelling units more than 13,000 square feet of commercial space in the Fashion District area of downtown Los Angeles
  • Represented the developer of a mixed-use project with nearly 2 million square feet of floor area, including 1,560 dwelling units, 310 hotel rooms and almost 75,000 square feet of retail in four high-rise buildings on 6.3 acres in downtown Los Angeles
  • Represented client in the acquisition of entitlements and environmental review for a mixed-use project consisting of 154 dwelling units and 10,700 square feet of commercial space in downtown Los Angeles
  • Represented client in the acquisition of entitlements and environmental review for the 28-story, mixed-use project consisting of 208 residential condominium units and 6,700 square feet of commercial space in the South Park area of downtown Los Angeles
  • Represented client in the acquisition of entitlements for a 50-story, mixed-use project consisting of 583 dwelling units and 4,500 square feet of commercial space, and a mixed-use project consisting of a 40-story tower and 31-story 310 dwelling unit tower atop 8,000 square feet of commercial space in the South Park area of downtown Los Angeles
  • Represented client for a mixed-use, transit-oriented urban infill project in the South Park neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles; the project includes 410 apartments and 42,000 square feet of retail/commercial spaces on 1.86 acres
  • Represented client in a mixed-use project that includes 464 dwelling units, 27,000 square feet of retail and up to 14,000 square feet of restaurants in the Wilshire Center area of Los Angeles
  • Represented client in the mixed-use shopping center at the Santa Anita Racetrack, consisting of 804,000 square feet of retail and 300 residential dwelling units, as well as a 98,000-square-feet racetrack simulcast center
  • Represented client on behalf of the owner of a large high-rise office tower to review and comment on the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority proposed Regional Connector mass transit project
  • Represented client for review and comment on the California Department of Transportation's (Caltrans) environmental impact report (EIR) for an expansion of Interstate 10; filed CEQA litigation on behalf of a property owner adversely impacted and settled a lawsuit with Caltrans
  • Represented client in the acquisition of entitlements to renovate and reposition the 200-room London Hotel (formerly the Bel Age) by adding up to 23 new hotel rooms, new bars and a restaurant
  • Represented client in the proposed development of a 1.7 million-square-foot warehousing and distribution facility, counseling on preparation and approval of an EIR and a site plan

Credentials

Education
  • UCLA School of Law, J.D.
  • University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., Political Science, magna cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • California
Memberships
  • Central City Association of Los Angeles (CCA)
  • West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation, Board of Directors Vice Chair
  • Phi Beta Kappa
Honors & Awards
  • Southern California Super Lawyers magazine, 2014-2019
  • Rising Star, Southern California Super Lawyers magazine, 2007-2013

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News