Scott C. Smith is a partner in the Municipal Law practice group of Best Best & Krieger LLP, where he has specialized in municipal, land use and environmental law since graduating from law school in 1985. In 2011, the Los Angeles Daily Journal named Mr. Smith one of California’s top 25 land use attorneys. He serves on the California State Bar Public Law Section's Executive Committee, the League of California Cities Legal Advocacy Committee, and as Secretary of the Orange County City Attorneys Association. Mr. Smith served on the firm’s executive committee from 2006-2012.
Mr. Smith currently serves as contract City Attorney for the cities of San Clemente (2015 - present) and Aliso Viejo (2001-present). He has also served as City Attorney for the cities of Lake Forest (2004-2015), Santee (1996-2004), La Verne (1987-1991) and Big Bear Lake (1992-1996), and has provided city attorney services, either as general or special counsel, to the Cities of Yorba Linda, Claremont, Corona, La Verne, Fontana and Vista. He is general counsel to Helix Water District in San Diego County, which serves a population of approximately 250,000. He serves as associate counsel to Orange County and Santa Clara County Local Agency Formation Commissions and as special counsel to other LAFCOs.
Mr. Smith graduated valedictorian from Utah State University with a degree in political science and Spanish. He received his J.D. degree with honors from Brigham Young University Law School in 1985. He joined BB&K upon law school graduation and bar admission in 1985.
Mr. Smith worked on the team representing the Mission Viejo CSD in its bid for incorporation and has represented the City of Aliso Viejo since its first day of cityhood. He has worked with his South County city clients in opposing the international airport at El Toro and in eliminating the associated Airport Environs Land Use Plan as it applied to those clients. He has advised clients on several important public reorganizations, including the incorporation of three Orange County cities, the annexations of Lake Forest’s Foothill Ranch and Irvine’s Great Park, and major sewer and water district consolidations. He is currently assisting his city clients in negotiating or implementing development agreements providing for the financing and construction of over $200 million in public facilities. His work there includes overseeing public review, development agreement negotiations, environmental clearance, permitting, public financing and public contracts.
Mr. Smith served for 10 years as general counsel to the California Chapter of the American Planning Association and has trained new planners for that organization. He has presented papers to the International Municipal Lawyers Association on billboard abatement, transfer of development rights, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and procedural due process. Mr. Smith has served as a land use and environmental law instructor for UCSD extension and has presented UCLA extension courses. He regularly presents ethics training to public officials.
Mr. Smith served on the Solana Beach School District Board of Education from 1995-2004. He served two terms on the City of San Clemente’s Coastal Advisory Committee. He lives in San Clemente where he and his wife Wendy raise their three sons and a daughter.