Heather M. Minner

Heather Minner is a partner with Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP. She joined the firm in 2008 after serving as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Garland E. Burrell Jr. of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. Her practice includes municipal law, election law, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), state planning and zoning law, and real estate transactions.

photo by Liza Heider

Ms. Minner frequently assists cities and local agencies in land use and administrative matters. She has extensive experience drafting municipal zoning ordinances, including ordinances addressing recreational and medical marijuana activities. She also assists in the acquisition of public land and easements and advises public agencies on contracting, responding to Public Records Act requests, and the application of California’s anti-tax measures to public agency fees. Ms. Minner currently serves as a deputy city attorney to the City of Saratoga.

Ms. Minner also represents environmental and community groups before local governments and in the courts to protect open space across California from proposed development projects. She has litigation experience in state and federal courts including an Endangered Species Act case that led to increased river flows for steelhead trout. Ms. Minner was also a part of the litigation team that successfully defended technology-forcing air quality regulations in the California Supreme Court decision American Coatings Association v. South Coast Air Quality Management District.

As a member of the firm’s initiative and referendum committee, Ms. Minner has drafted numerous ballot measures including the San Benito County initiative measure to ban fracking that was approved by voters in November 2014, a city initiative to fund the acquisition and preservation of open space, and a referendum against the privatization of municipal wastewater services. Ms. Minner also advises cities processing initiative and referendum petitions.

Ms. Minner’s publications include Local Control of Oil and Gas Operations: Getting a Handle on Fracking and Cyclic Steaming Through Land Use Prohibitions, Moratoria, Discretionary Permits, and Citizen Initiatives, Environmental Law News (Fall 2014). She is a contributing author to The Open Space and Land Conservation Handbook (Solano Press, 2011) and a reviewer for the annual updates of The California Municipal Law Handbook (Cal CEB). In the fall of 2014, Ms. Minner spoke on the panel “Recent Developments in the Regulation of Fracking at the Local, State, and Federal Levels” at the State of California Environmental Law Section’s annual environmental law conference at Yosemite.

Ms. Minner received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law where she earned a certificate in environmental law and was elected to the Order of the Coif for graduating in the top 10 percent of her class. From 2001 to 2004, she worked at the California State Resources Agency in the Office of the Secretary and served on the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy. Ms. Minner holds an M.A. in urban planning from UCLA and a B.A. in history from the University of California, Berkeley.

Ms. Minner is a member of the State Bar of California and the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.