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Rob Taboada is a California land use and environmental attorney who counsels both private and public clients on all aspects of land use regulation including compliance with state and local planning and zoning laws, the Subdivision Map Act, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Rob regularly advises life science, residential, and industrial developers on successfully entitling projects with a strong administrative record and CEQA review, and defends projects against challenges in front of administrative agencies and in court.

In addition to securing and defending project entitlements, Rob has experience negotiating, drafting, and interpreting a wide range of transactional land use agreements.  These include affordable housing agreements, development agreements, regulatory and maintenance agreements, as well as easements, use covenants and other burdens on land title resulting from the subdivision process.  Rob uses this experience to counsel clients during diligence, entitlement, and build-out of projects, and to provide practical land use counsel on purchase and sale agreements, leases, and other real estate agreements.

Before practicing law, Rob spent 12 years as a general building contractor and custom cabinetmaker. He has extensive experience with green building practices and is a Certified Green Building Professional.  Rob’s years working with property owners and developers in the construction of residential and commercial projects in the Bay Area and Southern California provides him with insight into the practical and business sides of development; that experience is invaluable in developing solutions that are both legally sound and also consistent with the strategic needs of the project.

Rob is an adjunct professor at U.C. Law SF (formerly known as U.C. Hastings) where he teaches Land Use Regulation.  He has served on the advisory council for the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, and as editor for the California Land Use Law & Policy Reporter.  Prior to joining Monchamp Meldrum LLP, Rob practiced land use in both big law and boutique firms.  He has also worked for the California Attorney General in the Natural Resources Section, and for judges on both the U.S. District Court for Northern District of California and the Marin County Superior Court.

Licenses and Memberships

  • General Building Contractor, California, #B955318 (inactive)
  • Certified Green Building Professional (CGBP)
  • California Bar Association – Environmental Law Section, Real Property Law Section

Honors & Awards

  • Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, 2024
  • Thurston Society
  • Albert G. Evans Award for Legal Writing on Private Enterprise
  • Judge Robert J. Shnacke Scholarship
  • CALI/Witkin Award in Land Use Regulation and State and Local Government


  • University of California College of the Law, San Francisco (formerly U.C. Hastings Law) J.D. Magna Cum Laude, Environmental Law Concentration
  • California College of the Arts, M.F.A., Wood/Furniture
  • Middlebury College, B.A., English Literature and Studio Art

Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • All State Courts in California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California


  • Streamlined CEQA Review of Housing Project at Greater Height and Density than Allowed by Zoning Upheld in Sacramentans for Fair Planning v. City of Sacramento, Aug. 2019 (co-author)
  • The Governor’s Plan to Convert Vacant State-Owned Land to Housing Begins to Take Shape, Lexology, Apr. 2019
  • California Courts Refine the Limits of Ballot Power in Land Use Decisions, Lexology, Sep. 2018
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues New Guidance on Trigger for Incidental Take Permit Under Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act, __ Cal. Land Use L. & Pol’y Rep. ___ (2018)
  • Early Returns on State Housing Bills: Cities See the First SB 35 Applications and SB 827 Fails in Committee, 27 Cal. Land Use L. & Pol’y Rep. 251 (2018)
  • California Court of Appeal Rejects CEQA Challenge to Proposed Planned Parenthood Clinic, Lexology, Sep. 2017
  • Interlocutory Remand Can Be Used to Supplement Agency Findings Prior to Judgment, JD Supra, Sep. 2017
  • California Court of Appeal Strikes Down CARB’s Second Review of Low Carbon Fuel Standards, 17 Pratt’s Energy L. Rep. 220 (2017) (Co-author)
  • California Proposes Changes to CEQA Guidelines Incorporating Tribal Cultural Resources, Holland & Knight Alert, Dec. 2015 (Co-author)
  • How Buildings Will Save the World: An Analysis of the Use of Building Energy Regulation and Energy Use Disclosure Requirements to Target Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the United States, 66 Hastings L.J. 519 (2015)