Julie Jones, a partner with the firm’s Environmental, Energy & Resources practice, focuses on environmental and land use counseling and litigation for complex development projects. She counsels clients regarding issues that arise under the California Environmental Quality Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, and a range of other California and federal statutes and common law doctrines that affect land use.
Julie’s counseling experience includes strategic problem solving that has assisted in permitting major university, traditional and renewable energy, water supply, maritime, and master planned community projects. She works extensively with Stanford University to obtain project approvals by addressing CEQA, historic resources, air quality and climate change, wetlands, and local permitting issues. Julie’s energy permitting work has assisted developers of major solar projects and natural gas power plants in obtaining approvals. Other counseling clients have ranged from homebuilders to hospitals and wind energy developers to wineries.
Julie is also an experienced litigator in trial and appellate advocacy in both state and federal courts. She regularly defends projects against CEQA and other claims. Successful CEQA litigation matters in which she has participated include overcoming challenges to a university/county agreement for trails, a city’s annexation process, a transportation sales tax ballot measure, a city/county agreement for provision of urban services, a transportation authority’s light rail extension, and a university development and roadway project. Julie also represented a port in the successful defense of major expansion and dredging projects against NEPA and Endangered Species Act claims.
Julie’s teaching engagements include sessions on CEQA fundamentals and recent developments for clients, professionals and national associations.
Office and R&D Campus in Redwood City, CA. Represent Stanford University regarding CEQA compliance and the entitlement process for a project in Redwood City to build 1.5 million square feet of office, R&D and medical uses. The project site is occupied by the existing Midpoint Technology Park, which consists of approximately 535,000 square feet of technology and R&D uses that ultimately will be demolished to accommodate full buildout of the project. Key issues include analysis of greenhouse gas emissions and application of the Bay Area Management District’s performance standard for assessing significance of climate change effects, preparation of a water supply assessment, and development of a comprehensive program to minimize vehicle trips during peak periods.
Long Range Plan for Developing the Stanford University Campus. We represented Stanford University in obtaining the necessary land use approvals for the long-term redevelopment and expansion of its academic campus to allow construction of over two million additional square feet of academic facilities and over 3,000 additional housing units. Key issues during the approval process included open space dedication requirements, traffic and water supply. The matter also involved working with Santa Clara County to establish the County’s first Sustainable Development Plan. We continue to assist Stanford with regard to individual projects on the academic campus that implement the University’s long-range plans, including projects involving historic resources, building code requirements, local green building ordinances, wetlands permitting and mitigation, impacts to water quality and biological resources from construction projects, and campus water supply and usage.
Solar Project Due Diligence. Represented prospective purchaser of a large thermal solar project in the Mojave Desert area of California. Our work involved detailed due diligence and complex permitting issues under the jurisdiction of the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, as well as review of technical issues relating to water use, water quality, and endangered species.
Reservoir Expansion in Contra Costa County. Represented the Contra Costa Water District in joint NEPA-CEQA compliance and securing permits for expansion of its major drinking water reservoir located near the San Francisco Bay-Delta. The matter involved negotiating a coordinated operations agreement with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to address water supply conflicts, and amendments to conservation easements held by the California Department of Fish & Game on land surrounding the existing reservoir. Key issues also included endangered species impacts to delta smelt from reservoir filling and operations.
Thermal Solar Project in San Bernardino County. Represented the project developer in briefing before the California Supreme Court to successfully defend two CEQA suits challenging the California Energy Commission's siting approvals for a 663‑megawatt solar energy facility located on a 4,600‑acre site on federal lands in San Bernardino County, California. Issues raised in litigation included analysis and mitigation for effects upon federal and state regulated species, and scope of analysis regarding transmission facilities beyond the first point of interconnection.
Thermal Solar Projects in San Bernardino County and Riverside County. Provided CEQA, NEPA, Warren-Alquist Act, land use and water supply advice for the permitting of over 1,400 megawatts of thermal solar generating capacity. The project sites encompass more than 10,000 acres of federal lands in San Bernardino County and Riverside County, California.
Maritime Facilities Expansion – Port of Stockton. Represented the Port of Stockton regarding CEQA and NEPA compliance, and in obtaining the necessary state and federal permits, for the redevelopment of Rough and Ready Island. The Island is a 1,459-acre former Navy facility that included over five million square feet of warehouse space, 40 miles of railroad track, 6,000 linear feet of wharf, and one million square feet of transit shed space. The Port planned to redevelop the Island with new shipping facilities, including new bridges and rail facilities, deepened berths, and commercial and industrial uses, some of which have now been constructed. Key issues for the environmental review included air quality impacts and associated health risks, noise and truck traffic from shipping operations, and biological and water quality impacts from dredging.
Sand Hill Road Projects. Represented Stanford University in the CEQA review and entitlement process for a series of related projects along Sand Hill Road, including apartments and senior housing, expansion and reconfiguration of the Stanford Shopping Center, and widening and expansion of the roadway. In addition to working with Palo Alto staff in preparing the EIR, the matter involved intensive negotiations with the City regarding the scope, impacts and financing of the projects. After securing the City’s approval of the projects, we successfully defended the EIR in CEQA litigation brought by a neighboring city. We then negotiated agreements with that city and the county, and assisted with CEQA compliance, for roadway improvements in their jurisdictions.
Maritime Facilities Expansion – Port of Oakland. Represented Port of Oakland regarding CEQA, NEPA, McAteer-Petris Act, and environmental permitting for multiple marine facility projects, including deepening the Port’s shipping channels to a depth of 50 feet, constructing five new berths in the Port’s Inner Harbor, and developing an intermodal shipping, rail and truck terminal. Assisted with creating a multi-million dollar state-of-the-art air quality mitigation plan, and comprehensive emissions inventory. Other key issues included analyzing effects from invasive species in ballast water discharges, health risks from ship, rail, truck, and yard equipment emissions, and noise from truck and rail operations.
- Bingham McCutchen, San Francisco, CA, Of Counsel
- University of California, Berkeley School of Law, (Boalt Hall), JD, 1986
Executive Editor, Ecology Law Quarterly
- Stanford University, B.A., with distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, 1981
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California