• Susan K. Hori

    Real Estate and Land Use
    Download Contact (.vcf)

    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’s practice focuses on land use planning issues, including development 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.

    Susan Hori also serves as the Administrative Partner of Manatt’s Orange County office and is a member of the Real Estate and Land Use Practice Group and the firm’s Board of Directors.

    Ms. Hori has been repeatedly recognized as a “distinguished land use practitioner” by Chambers and Partners, has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2005, 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 in San Bernardino County. 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 in the Newport Beach coastal zone. 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 the EIR.

    Represented a developer in obtaining land use entitlements and local, state and federal permits for its master-planned residential development in Orange County, 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 a landowner/developer in obtaining land use entitlements for a 3,000-acre master-planned community in Riverside County, which included a major transportation corridor improvement and extensive areas of habitat preservation. The land use entitlements included a General Plan Amendment, a Specific Plan, and certification of an EIR.

    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 in the Silverado Canyon area of Orange County. The entitlements included a Site Development Permit, Use Permit and certification of the EIR

    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

    Top Women Lawyers in California, Daily Journal, 2016.

    Named Best Lawyers® 2016 Orange County Real Estate Law “Lawyer of the Year."

    Distinguished Fellow, Department of Planning, Policy and Design, University of California, Irvine, 2015-2016.

    Top 50 Development, Land Use and Municipal Infrastructure Lawyers, Daily Journal, 2014.

    Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2010-2015.

    The Best Lawyers in America, 2005-2016.

    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.


    “Land Use Entitlement Issues in Mixed-Use and Infill Development,” Orange County Business Journal, August 15, 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

    Member, ULI Orange County/Inland Empire District Advisory Board

    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

    Ms. Hori is a frequent speaker on topics related to CEQA, wetlands permitting, water quality and the Coastal Act. She has also taught land use and environmental courses at Chapman University School of Law, the University of California, Irvine, and the University of Southern California, and since 1998 co-chairs and speaks at the UCLA Extension Land Use Law and Planning Conference. Some of her recent presentations include:

    Speaker, AEP Annual Advanced CEQA Update Workshop, 2006 to 2014.

    Speaker, “Quick Hits: Native American Sacred Sites” and “Quick Hits: Water Supply: Delta and the Desert,” UCLA Extension, Land Use Law and Planning Conference, January 2014.

    Speaker, “Certified Regulatory Programs,” CLE International, CEQA Case Law & Practice Tips, December 2013.

    Speaker, “When Do You Need to Consider the Impact of the Environment on the Project?” Law Seminars International, October 2013.

    Speaker, “Quick Hits: State’s Proposed Wetlands Definition” and Moderator, “Can I Interest You in an Auto Mall: Revisiting the Fiscalization of Land Use,” UCLA Extension, Land Use Law and Planning Conference, January 2013.

    Speaker, “Ballona Wetlands: Major CEQA Paradigm Shift?” CLE International, CEQA Case Law & Practice Tips, December 2012.

    Speaker, “Current Issues in Land Use Regulation and Development,” Continuing Education of the Bar, September 2012.

    Speaker, “Nuts and Bolts: Defensible CEQA Biological Resources Analysis and Mitigation,” Orange County Association of Environmental Professionals, July 2012.

    Speaker, “CEQA: Basics and New Developments,” California State Bar Real Property Law Section Retreat, May 2012.

    Speaker, “Quick Hits: Revisiting Rapanos” and “Quick Hits: A Post-Peter Douglas Coastal Commission,” UCLA Extension, Land Use Law and Planning Conference, January 2012.

    Speaker, “CEQA at 40: Applying CEQA in Challenging Times and Contexts,” UC Davis School of Law, November 2011.

    Speaker, “Offsite Preservation,” CLE International, CEQA Legal Updates, Initiatives & Reform, August 2011.

    Speaker, “Fee Fi Fo Fum: Proposition 26,” UCLA Extension, Land Use Law and Planning Conference, January 2011.

    Conference Co-Chair and Moderator, “CEQA: Climate Change, Renewable Energy and More,” CLE International, September 2010.

    Speaker, “Public Access,” CLE International, California Coastal Law, April 2010.

    Speaker and Moderator, “Planning for LIDs: The New Alphabet Soup of Water Quality,” Land Use Law & Planning Conference, 2010.

    Speaker, “Putting Things Together: Interrelated Wetlands Standards,” ALI-ABA Wetlands Law and Regulation, November 2009.

    Speaker, “Biological and Cultural Resource Mitigation,” CLE International, CEQA, August 2009.

    Speaker, “Defensible Not Gold-Plated EIRs,” AEP State Conference, March 2009.

    Speaker, “What Happens When a Locally Issued Permit Is Appealed,” CLE International, California Coastal Law, March 2009.

    Speaker, “Biological Mitigation,” CLE International, CEQA, August 2008.

    Speaker, “State Protections of Wetlands and Other Waters in California,” ALI-ABA Wetlands Law and Regulation, May 2008.