Camas J. Steinmetz

Camas J. Steinmetz


Direct: 650-453-3905
Main: 650-593-3117
Fax: 650-453-3911


Camas Steinmetz specializes in land use, real estate and municipal law.  She uses a common sense approach, backed by sound legal analysis, to represent her diverse clients.  She understands that her clients want solutions to their legal challenges that are also cost effective and make good business sense.  Camas anticipates legal issues that may arise, guides the client toward preventative measures whenever possible to avoid legal pitfalls, and provides practical, creative and effective strategies to obtain the client’s objectives.

Prior to joining ADCL, Camas was an associate at two large national law firms, Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP and Bingham McCutchen, LLP, where she focused primarily on land use and real estate matters.  After graduating from law school, Camas was an associate at Jorgensen, Siegel, McClure & Flegel, LLP in Menlo Park, where she assisted the Town Attorney for the Town of Portola Valley, the City Attorney for the City of Menlo Park, and the acting City Attorney for the City of Morgan Hill on land use and government law matters.  Before graduating from law school, Camas served as a legal intern for the United States Department of Justice in the Environmental Enforcement Division and as a judicial extern for the Honorable Lawrence K. Karlton, United States District Court Judge, Eastern District, California.

Current Legal Practice

Camas represents governmental entities, infill developers and other land owners, lenders, alternative energy companies, private school institutions, nonprofit organizations, interest groups and concerned citizens in land use and entitlement matters and in the acquisition, sale, optioning and ground leasing of real property.

Camas has substantial experience in both obtaining and challenging land use entitlements such as general plan amendments, zone changes, conditional use permits and even annexations.  She has particular expertise with public/private transactions and works with government officials, developers and community stakeholders to build project support and/or negotiate environmental mitigation and other conditions of project approval.

Camas is a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) expert and regularly assists clients in preparing legally defensibly Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs) under CEQA.  She also assists clients in complying with the Subdivision Map Act, California Coastal Act, Williamson Act, Planning and Zoning Law, Redevelopment Law and Initiative and Referendum Law.  She has extensive experience negotiating and drafting various land use and real estate agreements including development agreements, affordable housing agreements, deed restrictions, CC&Rs, purchase and sale agreements, leases, ground leases, options and easements.  As a LEED (Leadership in Environment & Energy Design) Accredited Professional, she specializes in advising clients in achieving LEED certification and complying with local and state green building regulations.

Camas also represents clients in land-use related litigation, primarily arising from project challenges under CEQA and other land use regulations.

Membership & Activities

  • Member, Environmental Law Section of the California Bar
  • Member, Urban Land Institute
  • Volunteer, UrbanPlan
  • Leadership in Energy and Natural Environment Accredited Professional (LEED AP), U.S. Green Building Council


J.D., University of California, Davis School of Law

Visiting Student, University of California, Hastings

B.A., Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz

Exchange Student, University of Bergen, Norway

Certificates and Awards

  • Northern California “Rising Star”, Super Lawyers Magazine 2010
  • Public Law Grant Recipient, King Hall Legal Foundation, Summer 1999
  • California Bar Association Environmental Law Section Scholarship Recipient, Fall 2000

Published Cases

Lin v. City of Pleasanton (2009) 175 Cal.App.4th 1143