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Hanson Bridgett LLP

Kristina D. Lawson

Kristina D. Lawson


Hanson Bridgett LLP
California, U.S.A.

tel: 925-746-8474
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Kristina specializes in complex entitlement, land use, environmental and municipal matters. Clients turn to Kristina for help with the interpretation and application of local General Plans, specific plans, zoning ordinances, and the Subdivision Map Act; local land use initiatives and referenda; and state and federal laws covering natural resources, air and water. She is a respected authority on California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance and strategy.

Kristina represents clients in local, state and federal administrative and judicial proceedings throughout California, primarily in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area and California’s Central Valley. In addition to her land use practice, Kristina often advises clients on public policy and government relations strategy.

In addition to her professional work, Kristina is a former local elected official. From 2010–2014, she served on the city council and as the mayor of the city of Walnut Creek. Kristina also previously served on the Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority’s board of directors, on the Association of Bay Area Governments’ regional planning committee, and as the vice chair of the League of California Cities’ environmental quality policy committee. In 2015, Kristina was appointed by Governor Brown to the Medical Board of California.

Recognized in January 2014 by the Daily Journal as one of the Top 20 Under 40 lawyers in California, Kristina is also an active member of the Bay Area Council and Urban Land Institute and a frequent author and speaker on land use and environmental law topics.

Bar Admissions

  • California


J.D., cum laude, Santa Clara University School of Law (2002)
B.A., University of Arizona (1998)
Areas of Practice
Professional Career

Professional Associations

  • Medical Board of California
  • Bay Area Council CEQA Reform Task Force
  • Contra Costa Council Land Use Task Force
  • Environmental Liability, Enforcement & Penalties Reporter, Contributing Editor (2008â??2009)
  • California Water Law and Policy Reporter, Contributing Editor (2008â??2009)
  • California Land Use Law and Policy Reporter, Contributing Editor (2005â??2008)
  • East Bay Commercial Real Estate Women, Board of Directors (2006â??2011)
  • State Bar of California
  • Contra Costa County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

Professional Activities and Experience

  • Best Lawyers in Northern California - Land Use & Zoning Law, Best Lawyers® (2019-2020)
  • Best Lawyers in America - Land Use & Zoning Law, Best Lawyers® (2019)
  • Northern California Super Lawyers, Land Use/Zoning (2016-2019)
  • Bay Area Power Women, Bisnow (2016)
  • Top 50 Development, Land Use and Municipal Infrastructure Lawyers, Daily Journal (2014)
  • Top 20 Under 40, Daily Journal (2014)
  • 50 Lawyers on the Fast Track,The Recorder (2012)
  • 40 Under 40, San Francisco Business Times (2012)
  • Rising Star, Northern California Real Estate Women of Influence (2011)
  • 20 Under 40, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network (2010)
  • Rising Star, Northern California SuperLawyers magazine (2010–2012)


"Court Strikes Down Alameda Impact Fees in Boatworks, LLC v. City of Alameda" co-author, Land Use Alert (May 2019)
"Will CEQA Test Boring Co.'s Transit Projects?" author, GlobeSt.com (December 2018) 
"SB 50: As Housing Crisis Continues, Senator Weiner Announces Revised Upzoning Legislation," co-author, Land Use Law Alert (December 2018)
“The End of the Road for LOS Analysis of Traffic Impacts,” Environmental Leader (March 2016)
“California Cities Have Widely Variable Response to Housing Crisis,” Multi-Housing News (February 2016)
“The Housing Debate Heats up in California,” Western Real Estate Business (February 2016)
“California Legislature Debating 2015 Climate Leadership Legislation,” Environmental Leader (March 2015)
“Reform CEQA to help live with drought,” San Francisco Chronicle (January 2015)
“California’s New Energy Efficiency Challenge,” co-author, GlobeSt.com (January 2015)
“California Proposes Overhaul of Standards for Transportation-related Environmental Impact Analysis,” Environmental Leader (August 2014)
“Making Wine out of Water,” co-author, GlobeSt.com (April 2014)
“Regional Regulators Turn up the Heat,” Western Real Estate Business magazine (April 2012)
“Contemporary Zoning Conflicts – An Evolving Landscape Presents New Challenges,” Commercial Investment Real Estate magazine (January-February 2012)

“The Rise of the Responsible Agencies – CEQA Compliance in a Regional Focused Environment,” Environmental Liability and Enforcement Reporter (April 2011)

“Another Agency to Rain on Your Parade,” San Francisco Daily Journal (May 6, 2010)
“Women in Commercial Real Estate,” CREW Network Publication with the CREW Network Industry Research Committee (2010)
“Glass Ceiling or Sticky Floor, The State of Women’s Advancement in Commercial Real Estate,” CREW Network Publication with the CREW Network Industry Research Committee (2009)
“Buyer Beware,” Commercial Investment Real Estate magazine (May-June 2009)
“Back to Basics Due Diligence: Ensuring Use and Minimizing Risk,” California Real Estate Journal (May 2009)
“Repositioning Your Real Estate Career to Succeed in an Era of Change,” CREW Network Publication with the CREW Network Industry Research Committee (2008)
“CEQA’s Neverending Story – Post-Entitlement Enforcement of Mitigation Measures,” California Land Use Law and Policy Reporter (June 2008)
“Prohibiting Big Macs and Rollbacks: California’s Ever-Expanding Regulation of Retail End-Users,” California Land Use Law and Policy Reporter (December 2007)
“Climate Change: New Impact Laws Affecting Development Projects,” BUILDERnews magazine (July 2007)
“Thinking Globally When Acting Locally: How Will CEQA Adapt to a Changing Environment?” California Real Property Journal, Vol. 25, No. 2 (2007)

“‘Rapanos’ Wetlands Decision Doesn’t Void State Regulations,” San Francisco Daily Journal (July 2006)

“Settling With Certainty – California Courts of Appeal Grapple With Challenges to the Settlement of Land Use Litigation,” California Land Use Law and Policy Reporter (April 2006)
“Legislating a Density Bonus to Boost Affordable Housing,” San Francisco Daily Journal (September 2005)
“Cases Prove Need to Follow CEQA Requirements,” San Francisco Daily Journal (May 2004)

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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