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Matthew S. Gray

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2013

Perkins Coie LLP

Matthew Gray focuses his practice on land use entitlement processing and litigation. He represents a range of local agencies, real estate developers and landowners in all stages of the land use entitlement and development process. He assists clients in negotiating and securing approval of development agreements, general plan amendments, specific plans, zoning, subdivision approvals, and annexation of property into cities and special districts; regularly appears before planning commissions and city councils; and advises clients on compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act and other federal and state regulatory programs during the development process. Matt also has experience negotiating affordable housing agreements, complex mitigation fee agreements and conservation easements; forming land-based financing mechanisms, including Mello-Roos Districts; securing cancellation or termination of Williamson Act contracts on agricultural lands; advising clients on issues relating to water supply; and using the initiative and referendum process in the land use planning context. Matt also negotiates purchase and sale agreements; site development agreements; covenants, conditions, and restrictions; and related transactional documents in connection with mixed-use, commercial, and residential development projects.



Matt litigates land use matters in the state and federal courts, having defended clients in challenges under the California Environmental Quality Act, the Planning & Zoning Law, the Subdivision Map Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act, as well as local zoning ordinances, conditions of approval and general plans. He also regularly defends landowners in eminent domain litigation, including complex matters involving challenges to an agency’s right-to-take and valuation of goodwill.



Matt has worked on a wide variety of significant land use projects throughout California, including large urban redevelopment projects, military base reuse projects, mixed-use waterfront developments, renewable energy and related infrastructure projects, regional shopping centers, and master-planned residential communities.



Matt teaches an Annual Land Use Law Review and Update course at University of California Davis Extension. He has also taught Planning Law and Legal Process at University of California Berkeley Extension. He regularly lectures on the Subdivision Map Act through California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) and before local municipal engineers’ associations.



He is an active member of San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR) and the Bay Area Council. He serves on the board of directors of the AIDS Legal Referral Panel, and previously served as a board member and chair of the Amicus Committee of Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom.

Case History

  • Other Court Admissions
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit


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Locations

Four Embarcadero Center, Suite 2400
San Francisco, CA 94111-4131
Phone: 415-344-7082
Firm Phone: 415-344-7000

Practice Areas

  • Environmental Law

Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center (J.D.)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (BA)

Bar Admissions

  • California, United States

Organizations & Affiliations

  • American Bar Association — Member
  • San Francisco Bar Association — Member
  • Contra Costa County Bar Association — Member

Clerkships

  • Federal United States Court of Appeals