Iris Yang is a municipal lawyer with more than 30 years of experience representing local public agencies on a wide range of issues, with an emphasis on redevelopment issues. Since the dissolution of redevelopment agencies in 2012, she has been serving as special counsel to numerous successor agencies, both in an advisory capacity and in litigation challenging the implementation of the dissolution legislation. In addition, clients have found that her extensive experience in negotiating and drafting complex agreements for redevelopment projects is very useful for new public-private partnership ventures as the economy improves.
She represents the successor agencies of Santa Rosa, Modesto, Redwood City, Apple Valley, Galt, Ventura, Ceres, Fontana, Big Bear Lake, Marin County, March Joint Powers Authority, Winters, Lincoln, Richmond and Ukiah, among others. She also successfully represented the League of California Cities in litigation challenging the constitutionality of certain provisions in the dissolution legislation that threatened local government revenues. Before redevelopment’s dissolution, Iris helped redevelopment agencies adopt and amend redevelopment plans, negotiate development agreements for affordable housing projects, shopping centers, mixed-use projects, hotels and performing arts centers, and represented them in litigation.
Since 1994, Iris has served as the city attorney for the City of Paso Robles, working on a full range of municipal issues, including land use, elections, conflicts of interest, CEQA, public financing, Proposition 218, redevelopment and litigation on a variety of issues. She has developed a particular focus on advising public agency clients on conflict of interest matters under the Political Reform Act, Government Code section 1090 and common law, as well as in lobbying, economic disclosure and campaign finance matters. She has represented both public and private clients before the state Fair Political Practices Commission and regularly provides ethics training seminars mandated by AB 1234.
Prior to joining Best Best & Krieger LLP, Iris was a shareholder with McDonough Holland & Allen in Sacramento and the chairperson of its Board of Directors.
Iris is a co-author of “Redevelopment in California” (Solano Press Books, 4th ed. 2009). From 1995-2010, she wrote and prepared the annual updates for the California chapter of “Lobbying, PACs and Campaign Financing – 50 State Handbook” (West Publishing Company). In addition, she has been an editor of the “California Municipal Law Handbook” (League of California Cities). Iris has lectured on various aspects of redevelopment law and practice for the Redevelopment Institute, the education arm of the California Redevelopment Association, the University of California Extension at both Davis and Los Angeles, and the League of California Cities. She has served on the League of California Cities’ Legal Advocacy Committee and the League’s Task Force on the Next Generation of Economic Development Tools.From 1974 to 1982, Iris worked as a reporter for The Sacramento Bee, covering local government and legal affairs. In 1978, she received a Public Service Award for Distinguished Reporting on the Administration of Justice from the State Bar of California. She is admitted to practice law in the State of California.