Ellen J. Garber

Ellen J. Garber joined Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP in 1987, and is a partner with the firm. Ms. Garber's practice consists primarily of representing public agencies in CEQA and land use litigation, and advising them on CEQA/NEPA compliance, including emerging greenhouse gas issues; reuse and redevelopment of contaminated property and closed military bases, including drafting land use regulatory programs, institutional controls and interagency agreements; solid waste site closure and reuse; water quality and air quality; and issues related to land use planning, municipal finance (special assessments, taxes and fees), and leasing and sale of public land.

photo by Liza Heider

Ms. Garber also represents community groups and non profit affordable housing developers in various land use matters, including CEQA and land use litigation, and advises on community health issues such as regulation of tobacco advertising. Ms. Garber has successfully challenged environmental documents for development in Oakland’s waterfront historic district and expansion of the Altamont Landfill.

Ms. Garber’s CEQA litigation experience includes, Citizens for a Megaplex-Free Alameda v. City of Alameda, et al. (2007) 149 Cal.App.4th 91 (mitigated negative declaration for historic downtown cinema restoration and construction of parking garage) and Bowman, et al. v. City of Berkeley (2004) 122 Cal.App.4th 572 (mitigated negative declaration for infill affordable housing, general plan and zoning consistency, housing bonus density statute, procedural claims).

Ms. Garber served on the Executive and Legislation Committees of the State Bar of California, Environmental Law Section. She has been an adjunct professor of CEQA and land use law at Golden Gate University, is the author of two studies regarding the use of planning and institutional controls in the context of brownfields redevelopment and military base reuse; and is a contributor to land use and environmental publications.

Ms. Garber received her law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley. Prior to attending law school, she was an urban planner for seven years in both government and private practice. Ms. Garber is a member of the Bars of the State of California, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and U.S. District Court for the Northern and Central Districts of California. Ms. Garber is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.