Whitney A. Hodges
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP
Whitney Hodges is a partner in the Real Estate, Energy, Land Use & Environmental Practice Group in the firm's San Diego office. She is the leader of the firm’s Cannabis Industry Team and serves on the firm's Pro Bono, Recruiting and Diversity & Inclusion committees, as well as numerous industry specific teams.
Areas of Practice
Whitney's practice focuses on the representation of clients involved in real estate development. She advises and represents major residential, industrial, commercial and mixed-use development projects, as well as Native American Indian tribes and renewable energy developers through all phases of the land use regulatory process and environmental compliance. Her land use experience includes real estate due diligence investigations, negotiating and drafting development agreements, processing land use entitlements, advising tribal governments on environmental and natural resources law, and appearing before governmental agencies and commissions. She also represents developers and management in traditional labor law issues, including union negotiations. Whitney also advises cannabis companies and ancillary businesses on state and local regulatory compliance and real estate transactions.
Real Estate Development
Real estate development has grown increasingly complex and controversial requiring knowledge of applicable federal, state and local laws, as well as the ability to work with a wide range of diverse interests including governmental agency staff, elected officials, landowners, environmental organizations and citizen groups. Whitney’s ability to work with such diverse interests to develop creative, practical and economical solutions is demonstrated by her involvement in the successful approval and permitting of multiple residential, commercial, industrial and mix-used developments during the past several years. Current projects include redevelopment, infill and mixed-use developments throughout southern California, including San Diego, Los Angeles and Riverside counties.
Whitney has assisted public and private sector clients in obtaining permits and approvals from various federal agencies, and has successfully guided clients through the maze of federal, state and local environmental clearances necessary for development including the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), California Fish and Game Code, Subdivision Map Act, California Community Redevelopment Law (including associated dissolution legislation and successor statutes), California Coastal Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, California Superfund Law, Tribal-State Compacts, and Multiple Species Conservation Programs (MSCP).
Whitney also has significant experience in working closely with clients and consultants on due diligence review of land use issues, which includes local zoning ordinances, general plans, redevelopment agency plans, and related land use restrictions. Her working knowledge of environmental constraints and the development process proves invaluable when investigating the potential purchase of real estate and the subsequent preparation of acquisition documents.
An experienced litigator, Whitney has handled actions involving development disputes, environmental compliance, real estate transactions, and union disputes. She has represented developers in complex civil litigation and defended challenges to development approvals.
Whitney serves as general counsel for the San Diego Humane Society and is on the Board of Directors for YWCA. Whitney is a registered lobbyist with the City of San Diego, the County of San Diego, San Diego Regional Airport Authority, the San Diego Port Authority and the City of Los Angeles. Additionally, Whitney also is a committed pro bono attorney and, in 2016, she was honored with the firm’s Bob Gerber Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award in recognition of her commitment to volunteering legal services to those in need.