Christopher W. Garrett

  • Partner
  • Echristopher.garrett@lw.com
  • 12670 High Bluff Drive
  • San Diego, CA 92130
  • USA
  • T +1.858.523.5458
  •  
 

Profile

A partner in the San Diego office, Christopher W. Garrett has practiced law with the firm since 1981. His practice centers on environmental law, municipal law, and land use law throughout California and the Western United States. His areas of expertise include federal, state, and local regulation of air pollution, water quality, hazardous waste, solid waste, wetlands protection, endangered species preservation, and other environmental and land use laws, including municipal law, public finance, and government contracts requirements.

Mr. Garrett has particular knowledge of air pollution laws and regulations and compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In addition, he regularly counsels clients to ensure that documents prepared in compliance with these statutes can be defended in subsequent litigation. He also has extensive experience in handling litigation concerning compliance with CEQA and NEPA, representing developers, public agencies, and project opponents throughout California.

Mr. Garrett has been recognized as a “Leading Lawyer” by The Legal 500 2016 and he was recognized as a 2015 California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) by the Daily Journal. Best Lawyers 2015 and 2018 named him “Lawyer of the Year” for Land Use and Zoning, an honor awarded to a single lawyer in a practice area. He was also recognized by the Daily Journal 2014 as one of California’s Top 50 Development Lawyers.



Watch this video to learn more about Latham’s 

Energy & Infrastructure Project Siting & Defense Practice

Experience

Mr. Garrett has counseled a variety of manufacturing companies and other businesses on compliance with the Federal Clean Air Act, California air quality laws, including the California Clean Air Act, California Air Toxic Hot Spots Act, and local air pollution control district rules and regulations. He has also reviewed negative declarations, statements of no significant impact, environmental assessments, environmental impact statements, and reports for compliance with CEQA and NEPA. Further, he has developed a specialty in City and County zoning and planning regulations, including compliance with California's General Plan law, Government Code provisions on zoning and planning, and procedures necessary for obtaining conditional use permits, planned unit development approvals, and Coastal Commission permits.

Another specialty of Mr. Garrett's is working with developers to ensure that their projects are protected against subsequent changes in the law, voter initiatives, or changes in permits granted to developments. This area includes application of the vested rights law, California's special provisions for development agreements and vesting tentative maps and other mechanisms to prevent restrictions upon already approved developments.

Mr. Garrett is a member of the San Diego County Bar Association and the Natural Resources Law Section of the American Bar Association. He also belongs to the Association of Environmental Professionals.

Thought Leadership

  • California Court of Appeal Finds EIR’s Air Quality Analysis Deficient -  03 May 2018
  • California Court of Appeal Upholds Partial Award of Attorneys’ Fees to Successful CEQA Litigant  -  18 April 2018
  • California Court of Appeal Upholds City’s General Plan Update Against CEQA Challenge  -  27 February 2018
  • California Supreme Court: Government Communications on Private Accounts Are Public -  16 March 2017
  • California Supreme Court Addresses CEQA Supplemental Review; Rejects “New Project” Test -  03 October 2016
  • Clean Energy Law Report: California Supreme Court Addresses Subsequent Review Under CEQA; Rejects Lishman “New Project” Test  -  21 September 2016
  • US Court of Appeals Affirms District Court Judgment Upholding Federal Approval of Tule Wind Project on NEPA, Migratory Bird Act, and Bald & Golden Eagle Act Claims -  08 June 2016
  • Clean Energy Blog: California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County  -  13 May 2016
  • Clean Energy Blog: Sixth Circuit and Challenges to Clean Water Rule  -  25 February 2016
  • Clean Energy Blog: Updated CEQA Guidelines Proposal in California -  26 January 2016
  • Clean Energy Law Report: Sixth Circuit Stays Obama Administration’s New Clean Water Rule Nationwide -  15 October 2015
  • Clean Energy Law Report: California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Case Challenging 2010 Bay Area Air Quality Management District Air Quality Thresholds -  14 October 2015
  • Clean Energy Law Report: Federal Judge Grants Injunction Blocking Clean Water Rule From Taking Effect  -  03 September 2015
  • Clean Energy Law Report: California Supreme Court Upholds City of San Jose Inclusionary Housing Set-Aside Ordinance  -  15 June 2015
  • California Supreme Court Protects CEQA Categorical Exemptions -  05 March 2015
  • Clean Energy Law Report: Climate Action Plan for San Diego County Struck Down Under CEQA -  12 November 2014
  • The Carlsbad Desalination Project — A Case Study of Permitting and Approvals -  09 October 2014
  • California Development: Proposed Amendments to CEQA Guidelines Significantly Change Transportation Analyses -  August 14, 2014
  • 2013 in Renewable Energy Project Litigation -  01 April 2014
  • Clean Energy Law Report: Federal Approval of Tule Wind Project Upheld in District Court on NEPA, Migratory Bird Act, and Bald & Golden Eagle Act Claims -  26 March 2014
  • Clean Energy Law Report: Court of Appeal Confirms AB 32 Target Is Proper CEQA Significance Threshold -  22 March 2014
  • Clean Energy Law Report: Decision on Cape Wind Offshore Wind Farm -  19 March 2014
  • Clean Energy Law Report: Ninth Circuit Upholds NEPA and NHPA Analysis for Hawaii High-Speed Rail System -  26 February 2014
  • Clean Energy Law Report: Ocotillo Wind-Energy Project Prevails in NEPA and Migratory Bird Treaty Act Challenges -  22 November 2013
  • The Public Servant - Koontz Decision Extends Property Owners’ Constitutional Protections -  01 October 2013
  • Koontz Decision Extends Property Owners’ Constitutional Protections -  17 July 2013
  • Developers’ Communications with Agencies Not Privileged: California Appeals Court Holds -  10 July 2013
  • Proposition E Update: Technology Companies Leading Development Wave in San Francisco's Mid-Market  -  27 June 2013
  • Clean Energy Law Report: Potential Changes for the California Environmental Quality Act in S.B. 731 -  30 April 2013
  • Video: Chris Garrett Talks About the Energy & Infrastructure Project Siting & Defense Practice -  21 November 2012
  • New Decision Limits CEQA Categorical Exemptions -  February 24, 2012
  • Recent Legislative Changes Affecting Pending and Future Projects Under CEQA -  October 13, 2010
  • California Supreme Court’s Decision Provides Important Requirements for Preparation of Environmental Documents -  March 18, 2010
  • New York Issues Greenhouse Gas Guidance for Environmental Impact Statements Under SEQRA -  August 17, 2009
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009—Land Use Implications for Cleantech Projects -  March 4, 2009
  • Addressing Climate Change Through Land Use and Transportation Planning: California's SB 375 and SB 732 - A Legislative Trend? -  March 1, 2009
  • Addressing Climate Change Through Land Use and Transportation Planning: California’s SB 375 and SB 732—A Legislative Trend? -  December 2, 2008
  • When A Project Uncovers Native American Human Remains: AB 2641 Revises the Process, While Preserving Landowner’s Key Role -  November 13, 2006
Mr. Garrett was named a "leading lawyer" for his work in Land Use/Zoning.The Legal 500 US 2014 - 2016
Bar Qualification
  • California
Education
  • JD, Northwestern University School of Law, 1981
    Member, Northwestern Law Review
  • BA, Northwestern University, 1978
Industries
  • Energy - Power
Practices
  • Environmental Litigation
  • Water Quality
  • Project Siting & Approvals
  • Environment, Land & Resources
  • Real Estate
  • Project Development & Finance
  • Energy Regulatory & Markets