Steven C. DeBaun


Tel: (951) 826-8201


At a Glance

Steve serves as general counsel to Riverside County Transportation Commission, Western Riverside Council of Governments and others.
In 2014, he was named one of the Daily Journal’s Top 50 Development Attorneys.

Steve negotiated numerous implementing agreements for the State Route 91 Express Lanes from Orange County to Interstate 15 project.

Steven C. DeBaun solves legal issues related to transportation, infrastructure, regional impact fee programs, land use and planning, municipal, environmental and special district law. In 2014, he was named one of the Daily Journal’s Top 50 Development Attorneys for his work on the Route 91 Capital Improvement Project toll road extension and the Perris Valley Line Commuter Rail Extension Project. In addition, Steve was on the team that received a 2014 Top Verdict recognition by the Daily Journal for Western Riverside Council of Governments v. City of Beaumont. In that case, the court ordered Beaumont to pay $43 million in withheld transportation impact fees, plus $14 million in prejudgment interest.

Steve assists a variety of the firm’s public agency clients. He is general counsel to Riverside County Transportation Commission, Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency, Western Riverside Council of Governments, Gold Coast Transit District, Big Bear Community Services District and Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority. He also acted as special counsel on transportation matters to the counties of Riverside and San Bernardino, the San Bernardino Associated Governments and the City of Los Angeles, among others.

Representative Matters:

  • State Route 91 Express Lanes from Orange County to Interstate 15: Valued at more than $1.2 billion, this project will add two tolled express lanes to Route 91 and one mixed flow lane for approximately 8 miles. The project requires the acquisition of approximately 200 parcels, many through eminent domain. Steve negotiated numerous implementing agreements for the project, including agreements with Caltrans to coordinate the construction of the toll road within the state right-of-way and set forth the parameters for the client’s use and maintenance of the toll road once constructed and the project operator for operation once complete.
  • Perris Valley Line Commuter Rail Project: This project will add approximately 24 miles of commuter rail line and four new commuter rail stations to the existing Metrolink system, running from the City of Riverside to the City of Perris, at a cost of approximately $250 million. Steve helped negotiate use and construction agreements with BNSF and an agreement with the Federal Transit Administration regarding a $70 million grant. He also helped the Commission execute the construction contract with the contractor. Following anticipated completion, the project is estimated to serve 4,350 daily riders.
  • Regional Developer Impact Fee Programs: Steve assisted Western Riverside Council of Governments and Western Riverside Regional Conservation Authority in implementing expansive regional development fee programs to fund transportation improvements and habitat acquisition and management. He successfully defended both programs against legal challenge.
  • Transportation Sales Tax Programs: Steve assisted Riverside County Transportation Commission with the creation and implementation of its countywide transportation sales tax program. The sales tax measure is estimated to provide in excess of $4 billion in funding for transportation projects through Riverside County. Steve provided legal advice on numerous projects funded by the sales tax measure.

Steve lives with his wife and family in Orange County and enjoys travel, movies and new technology. 

  • University of California, Los Angeles, J.D.
  • University of California, Berkeley, B.A., with distinction


  • California


  • Daily Journal Top 50 Development Attorney in California, 2014
  • Daily Journal Top Verdict by Impact, 2014


Legal Alerts Apr 04, 2018

The First Self-Driving Death

Mitigating Risks, Regulatory Update and a Tale of Two States

Authored Articles & Publications Feb 22, 2018

Dockless Disruption: Maximizing Opportunities Through Smart Regulations

BB&K's Gregory Rodriguez and Steven DeBaun Discuss Bikeshare Issues in PublicCEO

  • “Trends in Transportation for 2016,” BBKnowledge, Feb. 24, 2016
  • “Trends in Transportation for 2016,” PublicCEO, Feb. 23, 2016
  • “Planning in Hard Times: The High Price of Planning,” Land Use Forum
  • “Rider v. County of San Diego: New Constraints on Local Taxes,” Public Law Journal


Contact Steven C. DeBaun

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