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Kevin Ennis

Shareholder | Los Angeles

Overview

Kevin is a trusted and reliable advisor with over 30 years of experience in counseling governmental entities on the full spectrum of issues faced by California’s public agencies and helping them get projects accomplished. He represents public and private entities throughout the state on matters of general municipal law, conflicts of interest and ethics, land use and planning, and various special projects.  Drawing from a diverse professional background of experience, including varied settings and jurisdictions, Kevin provides advice that reflects careful consideration of the unique needs and constraints of each client to find lawful and defensible pathways to accomplish the client’s goals.

Work for Clients

Kevin serves as City Attorney for the Cities of Calimesa and Moorpark, and as General Counsel for the Palos Verdes Library District.  He served as City Attorney for the City of Artesia for 19 years, and prior to that as Deputy City Attorney for eight years. Additionally, he has served as Assistant City Attorney or Deputy City Attorney for the Cities of Beverly Hills, Cudahy, Palmdale, Rancho Cucamonga, and Rolling Hills.  He serves as special land use, municipal law, and conflict of interest counsel to several other cities and districts.

Professional Experience

Kevin joined Richards, Watson & Gershon in 1986.  He developed into a widely regarded expert in the Subdivision Map Act, the Political Reform Act, and in local traffic control laws.  He also is well-versed in issues pertaining to zoning requirements, general and specific plans, discretionary permits and entitlements, and land use approvals and regulations, including California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance. Kevin also provides strategic advice on, and negotiates, structures, and documents complex land use transactions.

Professional and Community Affiliations

Member, League of California Cities Legal Advocacy Committee

American Bar Association

Los Angeles County Bar Association

City Attorney’s Association of Los Angeles County

Past President, Los Angeles County Bar Association State and Local Government Law Section

Past President, Claremont McKenna College Alumni Association

Former Alumnus Trustee, Claremont McKenna College

Former Member, League of California Cities Housing, Community, and Economic Development Policy Committee

Former Member, League of California Cities Municipal Law Handbook Committee

Experience

Cities and public agencies routinely seek Kevin’s expertise in navigating the legal and political challenges that arise during the complex planning and entitlement process for large-scale commercial, industrial, and residential development projects.

  • Bob Hope Airport Terminal Security Enhancement Project. The Bob Hope Airport Terminal Security Enhancement Project renovated and expanded Terminal A of the passenger terminal building to achieve security screening enhancements and additional fire/emergency access.  Kevin advised the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority on entitlements for the project.
  • Bob Hope Airport Property Acquisition Project. The Bob Hope Airport Property Acquisition Project enabled the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority to provide space for the relocation of airport parking lots, and expansion of aircraft taxiway.  Kevin structured and drafted a complex development agreement that enabled the airport authority to obtain necessary land from the City of Burbank for the project and to construct other airport improvements.
  • Bob Hope Airport Replacement Terminal Project. The Bob Hope Airport Replacement Passenger Terminal Project is a multi-component development that includes multiple parking structures, a terminal access road, an aircraft rescue and firefighting station, a central utility plant, and a replacement airline cargo building.  Kevin was a principal negotiator for the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority in its efforts to secure entitlements from the City of Burbank for the project.  He also advised the airport authority on strategic planning, public outreach, CEQA, and land use issues associated with the project, and he continues to provide counsel in connection new phases of the project.
  • Los Angeles Air Force Base Campus Project. Kevin represented the City of Hawthorne in connection with a 39-acre annexation from the City of El Segundo and preparation of specific plans for a complex land use project that facilitated funding for the retention of the Los Angeles Air Force Base.  The project resulted in developer funding for the design and construction of a new, consolidated campus for the base.
  • Fort Ord Redevelopment Project. The former Fort Ord army base is being redeveloped with two multi-phase mixed-used projects, the Seaside Resort Development and the Projects at Main Gate.  The 380-acre Resort development will be the largest proposed commercial and residential project in Monterey County and will feature a four-star 330-room hotel and additional residential units. The 56-acre Main Gate development includes plans for a 500,000 sq. ft. open-air, retail, and entertainment space and a 250-room hotel conference center and spa component.  Kevin represented the City of Seaside in connection with CEQA compliance, specific plan and subdivision law, and general plan and zoning amendments for the projects.
  • Rancho Cucamonga Victoria Gardens Shopping Centre. Kevin represented the City of Rancho Cucamonga in connection with the review of project entitlements and modifications to the residential components of the Victoria Gardens Shopping Centre ― a 1.3 million sq. ft. open-air mixed-use town center situated on 147 acres and spanning 30 city blocks. He advised the city on CEQA compliance, specific plan and subdivision law, and general plan and zoning law requirements.

News

Kevin has been sourced or quoted in several publications and news outlets, including the Monterey Herald, Downey Beat, Monterey County Weekly, Los Cerritos News, Cerritos-Artesia Patch, and the Yucaipa/Calimesa New Mirror.

  • Court upholds Moorpark's Agreement with Malibu Beach Project, Ventura County Star, March 16, 2017
  • Malibu Beach Project Delayed One Year, Ventura County Star, October 31, 2016
  • Monterey Downs EIR Delayed Again, Monterey Herald, December 18, 2014
  • Downtown Artesia Pedestrian Project Stalled, Downey Beat, March 2014
  • City of Seaside Files Suit, Alleging Neither Fort Ord Land-Use Initiative Deserves a Place on the Ballot, Monterey County Weekly, August 22, 2013
  • Business License Tax Hike in Artesia Postponed to July 23, Los Cerritos News, July 13, 2012
  • Artesia Stays Neutral on Water Flouridation Plan, Cerritos-Artesia Patch, May 16, 2011
  • Calimesa City Council Approves Curfew, Yucaipa/Calimesa New Mirror, January 28, 2011

Presentations

Kevin lectured for 10 years on the advanced issues involving the Subdivision Map Act laws as a continuing education instructor for UCLA Extension’s Public Policy Program. Additionally, he has delivered presentations before public officials and lawyers, including the City Attorney’s Association of Los Angeles County and the League of California Cities, on topics ranging from admission taxes, mansionization and neighborhood traffic control laws.

 Presentations include:

  • Webinar // Abstentions and Disqualifications: Conflicts of Interest and When to Step Aside
    Institute for Local Government, Los Angeles, CA, 09.2016
  • Event // Exactions and Dedications
    Richards, Watson & Gershon Seminar, Oakland, CA, 06.2015
  • Event // Planning Commissioners Training
    UCLA Extension, Public Policy Program, Los Angeles, CA, 02.2009
  • Webinar // AB 1234 Ethics Training and Update on Local Government Law
    UCLA Extension, Public Policy Program, Los Angeles, CA, 06.2008
  • Event // Legal Issues Regarding Implementation of Traffic ‘Calming’ and Neighborhood Parking Control Measures
    San Diego Traffic Engineer Council, San Diego, CA, 03.2002
  • Event // Height Limitation, View Preservation, and Neighborhood Compatibility Ordinances: Tools in Controlling ‘Mansionization’
    Annual Conference – City Attorney Department. League of California Cities, San Francisco, CA, 10.1989

Publications

Kevin is the author of Significant California Land Use Legislation, an extensive compendium prepared annually for the Planning Directors Association of Orange County from 2001 – 2014.

Other publications include:

Education

J.D., Loyola University School of Law, Los Angeles

 B.A., cum laude, Claremont McKenna College

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