Archives: May 2023

Sabrina V. Teller

Sabrina V. Teller

Managing Partner

Ms. Teller joined the firm in 2001 and became a partner in December 2006.  She has been the managing partner since December 2020. Ms. Teller represents public agencies, private applicants, and citizens’ groups in a wide variety of land use and environmental law matters.  Ms. Teller handles all phases of the land use entitlement and permitting processes, from local agency administrative approvals through trial and appellate litigation.  Ms. Teller’s practice includes the California Environmental Quality Act, the State Planning and Zoning Law, the Subdivision Map Act, the California Coastal Act, the California Endangered Species Act, the California Water Code provisions relating to water supplies for development, the National Environmental Policy Act, the federal Endangered Species Act, and the federal Clean Water Act provisions associated with wetlands permitting.

Ms. Teller regularly teaches land use and environmental law continuing education classes and seminars for her client agencies and professional organizations such as the Association of Environmental Professionals. She served as an editor for the California Land Use & Policy Reporter from 2005 to 2008. She also contributed to the online Environmental Law Updates published by the Environmental Law Section of the California Lawyers Association.

Representative matters include:

  • Outside counsel to the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection in 2018-2020 with respect to the preparation of a programmatic environmental impact report for the California Vegetation Treatment Program (CalVTP), which involves the use of prescribed fires and other techniques to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and to restore forest health, and in litigation over the approval of that project.
  • Outside counsel to the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority regarding CEQA compliance for projects to reduce the risk of wildfires within Marin County.
  • Representing the City of Los Angeles in several ongoing cases defending the City’s compliance with CEQA for various development projects.
  • Representing the City of Livermore in litigation defending the City’s approval of a boutique hotel.
  • Represented the Town of Loomis in litigation defending the Town’s approval of a new Costco store.
  • Outside counsel to the City of Monterey in a variety of environmental and land use matters.
  • Outside counsel to the City of Mountain View in a variety of environmental and land use matters.
  • Outside counsel to the City of Santa Cruz for a variety of infill projects.
  • Outside litigation counsel to the County of Humboldt in a variety of cannabis permitting and other land use matters arising under CEQA and the State Planning and Zoning Law.
  • Outside litigation counsel to the San Francisco Unified School District in litigation under CEQA challenging the District’s proposal to study the removal of a mural in George Washington High School.
  • Counsel to RainTree Investment Corporation regarding land use entitlements and CEQA compliance for portions of the Green Valley Specific Plan area in Perris, California.
  • Counsel to various developers of Dollar General stores regarding compliance with CEQA and local land use regulations.
  • Jointly represented the California High-Speed Rail Authority with the California Attorney General’s Office to defend the Authority’s environmental review for individual project segments of the future statewide high-speed train system;
  • Successfully defended the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board in litigation challenging the environmental review for the Board’s electrification and modernization project to improve the Caltrain commuter rail service on the San Francisco Peninsula;
  • Successfully defended the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission’s CEQA compliance for a freight rail service contract assignment and rail repair work, upheld by the Santa Cruz County Superior Court;
  • Representing landowners in Folsom and Roseville in the environmental review and subsequent implementation of specific plans for future residential and commercial development.
  • Defended the San Mateo County Community College District in cases challenging facility improvements at the College of San Mateo. In 2016, the California Supreme Court decided in the District’s favor a key question regarding the standard of review for agency decisions to rely on CEQA’s subsequent review provisions.
  • Defended the City of Monterey’s approval of a city-wide streetlight replacement project for energy efficiency in litigation challenging the City’s reliance on a categorical exemption from CEQA, upheld by the Sixth District Court of Appeal.
  • Represented Renewable Energy Systems (RES) Americas in successfully navigating CEQA, CESA, and local land use entitlement processes to obtain a conditional use permit in November 2008 for a new 103-MW wind power project on private land in Shasta County. Ms. Teller assisted RES in developing a strong biological and cultural resources mitigation program, working cooperatively with the County of Shasta, resource agencies, and environmental and tribal interests to avoid litigation after project approval.

Reported cases:

  • Save the Hill Group v. City of Livermore (2022) 76 Cal.App.5th 1092
  • Hollywoodians Encouraging Rental Opportunities v. City of Los Angeles (2019) 27 Cal.App.5th 768
  • Georgetown Preservation Society v. County of El Dorado (2018) 30 Cal.App.5th 358
  • Westsiders Opposed to Overdevelopment v. City of Los Angeles (2018) 27 Cal.App.5th 1079
  • Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College Dist. (2017) 11 Cal.App.5th 596
  • Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College Dist. (2016) 1 Cal.5th 937
  • Save Our Big Trees v. City of Santa Cruz (2015) 214 Cal.App.4th 694
  • Keep Our Mountains Quiet v. County of Santa Clara (2015) 236 Cal.App.4th 714
  • Citizens for a Green San Mateo v. San Mateo County Community College District (2014) 226 Cal.App.4th 1572
  • California Clean Energy Committee v. City of Woodland (2014) 225 Cal.App.4th 173
  • Habitat and Watershed Caretakers v. City of Santa Cruz (2013) 213 Cal.App.4th 1277
  • Tomlinson v. County of Alameda (2012) 54 Cal.4th 281
  • California Native Plant Society v. City of Rancho Cordova (2009) 172 Cal.App.4th 603.
  • Shasta Resources Council v. U.S. Dept of Interior (E.D.Cal. 2009) 629 F.Supp.2d 1045
  • Vineyard Area Citizens for Responsible Growth, Inc. v. City of Rancho Cordova (2007) 40 Cal.4th 412
  • Friends of the Sierra Railroad v. Tuolumne Park and Recreation Dist. (2007) 147 Cal.App.4th 643
  • Save Our Neighborhood v. Lishman (2006) 140 Cal.App.4th 1288
  • The Pocket Protectors v. City of Sacramento (2004) 124 Cal.App.4th 903
  • Sierra Club v. County of Napa (2004) 121 Cal.App.4th 1490


  • J.D., University of Texas, Austin, 2001
    B.A., Geography, University of Texas, Austin, 1995

Professional Affiliations

  • The State Bar of California
    • California Lawyers Association, Environmental Law Section
  • California State Courts
  • U.S. District Courts, all California Districts
  • Sacramento County Bar Association
    • Environmental Law Section
  • Lead Articles Editor, Texas Environmental Law Journal, 2000-2001
  • Editor, California Land Use & Policy Reporter, 2005-2008
  • Contributing Author, Environmental Law Updates, Environmental Law Section of the California Lawyers Association, 2017-2020
  • Selected for inclusion in the 2013-2022 Northern California Super Lawyers® magazine and Rising Stars section of the 2009-2011 Northern California Super Lawyers® magazine

Community Involvement

  • Former Member, Environmental Law Society, University of Texas School of Law
  • Former Member, Public Interest Law Association, University of Texas School of Law
  • Former Board Member, Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership- Northern California Chapter
  • Former Corporate Board Member, Francis House, Sacramento