Areas of Practice

Brewery, Winery & Distillery Law
Real Estate
Mining law
Environmental Law
Oil & Gas
Water Quality

Christopher L. Powell

Christopher L. Powell

Owners of businesses and development projects across California rely on Chris for his expertise in obtaining land use approvals and permits including conditional use permits, site approvals, general plan amendments, specific plans, zone changes, ABC licenses, subdivisions, plans of operations, rights of way and reclamation plants. Chris can assist from the initial property due diligence and purchase, through the application, environmental review and public hearing process, and any subsequent litigation. Chris specializes in land use, real estate and environmental law, helping clients develop and use their properties for general development, mining and oil & gas resource extraction, protection of environmental resources, alcohol related businesses, and commercial/residential development. Chris has helped clients in due diligence, purchase, permitting and enforcement situations.

Clients seek his guidance with regard to compliance with Land Use and Zoning Law, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), California Endangered Species Act (CESA), the California Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (“MMRSA”), Clean Water Act (CWA), Williamson Act, and Surface Mining and reclamation Act (SMARA). Chris also has expertise with public land issues (e.g., BLM-managed land and Forest Service-managed land) including location, maintenance and use of mining claims, and approvals for rights of way.


Assisted with zoning compliance issues and in obtaining a conditional use permit.

Purchase and sale of property, leases, easements, subdivisions, and title review/due diligence;

Assist clients with staking and properly maintaining unpatented mining claims.

Assisted a large mining company with obtaining land use permits and complying with CEQA.

Coordinated due diligence and purchase of several large gold mining properties.

Assisted oil & gas companies with title review and purchase of properties.

Provided advice on permitting strategies for breweries, wineries & distilleries;

Assisted cannabis cultivators with land use, environmental and regulatory issues.

Areas of Practices

Land Use


Mining Law

Real Estate

Environmental Law

Oil & Gas

Water Quality

Brewery, Winery & Distillery Law

Cannabis Law


California Construction and Industrial Materials Association (CalCIMA), Member

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Member


University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (J.D., with Great Distinction, 2007)

University of California, Berkeley (B.A., 2000)


Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Volume XXX No. 3, Emergency Regulations Regarding Suction Dredge Mining In California (2013)

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Volume XXX No. 1, California State Water Resources Control Board Issues Preliminary Draft Of Wetland Area Protection And Dredged Or Fill Permitting Policy (2013)

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Volume XXIX No. 4, New Stormwater

Permit Will Impose Additional Regulatory Requirements On Mine Operators (2012)

Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Volume XXIX No. 3, California Court Of Appeal Holds That Mining Company Lacked A Vested Right To Mine Without A Permit (2012)