Christopher J. Diaz

Partner

Tel: (925) 977-3309

Location(s)

At a Glance

Christopher recently assisted a city with granting entitlements for more than 4,000 residential units in a Transit Area Specific Plan area.
 
Christopher is serving a three-year term on the Executive Committee of the Public Law Section of the State Bar of California.
 
He is city attorney to the cities of Milpitas and Los Altos.
 

Christopher J. Diaz is a public agency attorney serving as city attorney to the cities of Milpitas and Los Altos and the towns of Colma and Hillsborough, district counsel for the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District and general counsel to the North County Library Authority. Christopher regularly helps his public agency clients in all areas of public agency law, including complex land use transactions, the California Environmental Quality Act, ethics laws and conflicts of interest.
 
Land Use and Environmental Compliance for Public Agencies 
Christopher also regularly advises public agency clients on the myriad of land use laws, including state planning and zoning laws and the Subdivision Map Act. Christopher also has considerable experience advising public agency clients on transactional compliance with CEQA, and regularly reviews environmental impact reports, mitigated negative declarations, negative declarations and initial studies. 

Of particular note, Christopher provided guidance on the following land use transactions:

  • Advised a municipality and its city council, during the course of many public hearings, on the potential denial of a large-scale home project with strong opposition from the public and environmental groups, including advising on proper legal findings, approval timeline and litigation risk
  • Advised a city client on the best CEQA approach for a controversial affordable housing project, including when to switch from a Mitigated Negative Declaration to an EIR based on the substantial evidence standard
  • Advised a town on the environmental review required for a historic Town Hall project, including various CEQA approaches and findings for same
  • Assisted a city with granting entitlements for more than 4,000 residential units located in various high-density development projects in the city’s Transit Area Specific Plan area, including advising on proper CEQA compliance, conditions of approval, legal findings required, and participated in negotiations with various developers
  • Advised a municipality on granting land use entitlements for a large auto-retailer


Open Government and Ethics 
Christopher has a strong passion for ensuring open and honest government and regularly advises public agency clients on state conflict of interest and ethics laws and the Brown Act. He has considerable experience in interpreting regulations adopted by the state Fair Political Practices Commission and has drafted various opinion letters to elected and appointed officials on compliance with the Political Reform Act and Government Code section 1090. Christopher also provided training to elected and appointed officials and public agency staff regarding AB 1234 and Brown Act compliance.
 
Christopher served on the League of California Cities’ Community Services Policy Committee as the City Attorney’s Department appointee, as well as the Resolutions Committee at the League’s Annual Conference. Christopher is serving a three-year term on the Executive Committee of the Public Law Section of the State Bar of California.
 
Although Christopher has lived in almost every major city in California, he now calls the Bay Area home. When he isn’t in the office or in a public meeting, Christopher enjoys hiking with his dog Charlie, wine tasting and spending time with friends and family. He is admitted to practice law in the State of California.
 
Education

  • University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, J.D.
  • University of California, San Diego, B.A.
 

 

Closer Look at Scrutiny Needed in Affordable Housing Laws
Authored Articles & Publications Jul 9, 2015

Closer Look at Scrutiny Needed in Affordable Housing Laws

BB&K Attorney Christopher Diaz writes about the recently decided California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose case for the Daily Journal

California’s Highest Court Upholds San Jose’s Affordable Housing Ordinance
Legal Alerts Jun 17, 2015

California’s Highest Court Upholds San Jose’s Affordable Housing Ordinance

Requirement to Construct or Provide Affordable Housing Is Permissible Under California Constitution Police Powers

  • California Voters Left Holding the Bag in the Plastic Bag Ban BattlePublicCEO, March 09, 2015 (via BBKnowledge)
  • “It’s In the Bag: Cities and Counties Can Impose Penalties for Violations of New Law Prohibiting Single-Use Plastic Bags” BBKnowledge, Oct. 03, 2014
  • “San Jose Case Could Change the Way Cities, Counties Adopt and Enforce Affordable Housing Ordinances,” PublicCEO.com, Nov. 4, 2013
  • “The Quimby Act is Amended to Allow Cities and Counties to Create Greater Park Access,” BB&K Legal Alert, Oct. 1, 2013