• Susan K. Hori

    Real Estate & Land Use
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    Costa Mesa
    Direct: 714.371.2528
    General: 714.371.2500
    Fax: 714.371.2550


    University of California Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law, J.D., 1979.
    Managing Editor, Ecology Law Quarterly, 1978-1979.
    Moot Court Board, 1978-1979.


    University of Washington, B.A., magna cum laude, 1976.

    Bar Admissions


    Washington, D.C.

    • Profile
    • Representative Matters
    • Honors & Awards
    • Publications
    • Memberships & Activities
    • Speaking Engagements


    Susan Hori is the Administrative Partner in the firm's Orange County office and a member of the Real Estate & Land Use Practice Group and Board of Directors. Her practice focuses on land use entitlements and regulatory permits for real estate development projects and the resolution of environmental issues affecting real property. The hallmark of Ms. Hori's practice is her track record of success in navigating the complex process of multiagency permits and approvals. Her clients include landowners, financial institutions, developers and builders in the residential, retail, hotel/resort, and commercial and industrial development industries.  

    Ms. Hori represents clients on issues involving state and federal regulations, including the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the California Coastal Act, Section 404 permitting under the Clean Water Act, National Historic Preservation Act compliance and Endangered Species Act permitting, including work on habitat conservation plans.

    Ms. Hori has been repeatedly recognized as a "distinguished land use practitioner" by Chambers and Partners and has been named a Top 25 "Land Use Leader" by the Daily Journal.

    Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Hori clerked for the Alaska Supreme Court and served as an attorney with the Solicitor's Office in the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., where she represented the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


    Representative Matters

    Successfully re-entitled over 2,400 acres located adjacent to the Lytle Creek Wash. The entitlements included adoption of a new Specific Plan, pre-annexation and development agreement, and certification of the Environmental Impact Review (EIR) for 8,400 residential units and 849,420 square feet of commercial development.

    Obtained approvals for the development of a mixed-use community consisting of 1,375 residential units, 75,000 square feet of commercial space, and a 75-room boutique hotel on a 400-acre site that is currently an operating oil field. The entitlements included an amendment to the city's General Plan Circulation Element, Zoning Amendment, Pre-Annexation Zone Change, Planned Community Text Zoning, Master Development Plan, Tentative Tract Map and Pre-Annexation and Development Agreement, as well as certification of theEIR.

    Represented a developer in obtaining land use entitlements and local, state and federal permits for its master-planned residential development, which includes major infrastructure improvements and new infrastructure construction. The permits and approvals obtained were from numerous regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Regional Water Quality Control Board and California Department of Fish and Game. The land use entitlements included CEQA compliance, preparation of a program to address the EIR, and a development agreement. 

    Represented an S&P 100 company and the largest real estate company in the United States in obtaining the necessary development permit modifications and CEQA documentation for the renovation and expansion of one of the company's largest shopping malls. 

    Represented a religious order in entitling a 100-acre ranch in connection with the development of a new church and school. The entitlements included a Site Development Permit, Use Permit and certification of theEIR.

    Represented a diversified national real estate organization in obtaining all land use entitlements and local, state and federal permits in connection with the development of a 582-room luxury hotel located on over 100 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  


    Honors & Awards

    Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2010-2014.

    The Best Lawyers in America, 2005-2014.

    Named one of California’s Top 25 “Land Use Leaders” for 2011 by the Daily Journal.

    The Legal 500: 2008-2009.

    Named one of SoCal’s Most Influential Women in Real Estate by Real Estate Southern California, 2005.


    "Water Quality and Land Use,” Wet Growth: Should Water Law Control Land Use? Environmental Law Institute, 2005.

    “Due Diligence in Major Real Estate Acquisitions: Land Use Issue,” 5 Land Use and Environment Forum 24, 1996.

    “No Net Loss: The Challenge of Protecting Wetlands and Agency Approaches to Mitigation,” 1 Land Use Forum 241, 1992.

    “The Future of the Endangered Species Act,” 1 Land Use Forum 39, 1991.

    Memberships & Activities

    Admitted to practice in California and Washington, D.C.

    Conference Co-Coordinator, UCLA Extension, Land Use Law and Planning Conference, 1998-present.

    Member, Chief Executive Roundtable at University of California, Irvine.

    Member, Board of Directors of Arts Orange County.

    Member, Dean's Council of the School of Social Ecology, University of California, Irvine.

    Member, Board of Directors of the Orange County Forum.

    Executive Committee Member and Legislation Co-Chair, State Bar of California, Environmental Law Section, 1997-2000; Executive Committee Advisor, 2000-2006; Member, Legislation Committee, 2000-2006.

    Executive Committee Member, State Bar of California, Real Property Section, 1987-1992.

    Speaking Engagements

    Moderator, “Planning, Zoning and Development Law Update,” 28th Annual Land Use Law & Planning Conference, January 31, 2014.

    Ms. Hori is a frequent speaker on topics related to CEQA, wetlands permitting, water quality and the Endangered Species Act. She has also taught land use and environmental courses at Chapman University, the University of California, Irvine, and the University of Southern California.