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Bryan W. Wenter, AICP img

Bryan W. Wenter, AICP

Shareholder, Walnut Creek
Tel: 925.935.9400

Bryan W. Wenter, AICP

Shareholder, Walnut Creek

Tel: 925.935.9400


Bryan Wenter is a shareholder in Miller Starr Regalia’s Walnut Creek office and a member of the firm’s Land Use Department. His practice centers on land use and local government law, specializing in obtaining and defending land use entitlements for a wide range of complex development projects, including in-fill, mixed-use, residential, retail/commercial, and industrial.

He represents and provides strategic advice to developers, homebuilders, landowners, and public agencies in all aspects of land use, including obtaining approvals of general plan amendments, specific plans, planned development zoning and re-zoning, subdivision maps, conditional use permits, and variances. He also assists his clients in connection with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance, securing vested rights, drafting land use initiatives and referenda, exactions and impact fees, water supply, eminent domain, land use due diligence, and negotiating, drafting, and obtaining approval of various agreements, including development agreements, affordable housing agreements, and subdivision improvement agreements. In addition, he has substantial experience with the Permit Streamlining Act, Coastal Act, affordable housing, redevelopment, annexations, Geologic Hazard Abatement Districts (GHADs), Business Improvement Districts, Community Facilities Districts, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), the Telecommunications Act, surplus property disposition, and easements and boundary disputes.

Bryan previously served as City Attorney and Assistant City Attorney for the City of Walnut Creek. In representing Walnut Creek, Bryan advised the City Council, Planning Commission, City Manager, department heads, and staff on all aspects of municipal law, including the Planning and Zoning Law, Subdivision Map Act, CEQA, elections, public finance, public contracts, constitutional matters, Ralph M. Brown Act, Public Records Act, Political Reform Act, telecommunications, ethics, conflicts of interest, risk management, and code enforcement.

Bryan recently served on the Editorial Board for The Municipal Law Handbook, published by the League of California Cities. He is a member of the American Bar Association and served on the Executive Committee of ABA’s Section of State and Local Government Law.  He is past chair of the Section’s Land Use Planning & Zoning Committee and co-chair of its Exactions and Impact Fees Subcommittee. He served as the Secretary/Treasurer of the American Planning Association’s Planning & Law Division and as the Division’s Newsletter Editor, as well as the Legislative Director of the Northern California Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Bryan is principal author of Miller Starr Regalia’s Land Use Developments blog –

Bryan is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

J.D., University of North Carolina School of Law (2002)

  • Notes & Comments Editor, North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation
  • Gressman-Pollitt Award for Outstanding Oral Advocacy

M.R.P., University of North Carolina (2002)

B.A., magna cum laude, University of Oregon (1995)

  • Phi Beta Kappa


  • “Fixing the Housing Crisis: Innovations in Design, Construction and Law,” Panelist, Stanford Professionals in Real Estate (SPIRE) 7th Annual Real Estate and Law (REAL) Symposium, Palo Alto, CA, February 8, 2018
  • “Developments in California Cannabis Law,” Moderator, Contra Costa County Bar Association, November 17, 2017
  • "Property Rights, Takings, Exactions, and More: A Legal and Practical Update for Planners,” APA California 2017 Conference, Sacramento, CA, September 24, 2017
  • "East Bay Trends 2017: Office, Tech and Housing Beyond the Cycle,” Moderator, ULI San Francisco, June 29, 2017
  • "Annual Land Use Update," Marin County Planning Directors, San Rafael, CA, 2008-2016
  • "Annual Land Use Update," Contra Costa County Planning Directors, Pleasant Hill, CA, 2006-2016
  • “Looming Land Use Constitutional Issues,” American Bar Association Real Property, Trusts and Estate Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, July 31, 2015
  • ”Planning for Pot,” APA California 2010 Conference, Carlsbad, CA, November 3, 2010
  • “On Beyond CEQA: California Land Use Law,” 2010 Appellate Judicial Attorneys Institute, Burlingame, CA, October 27, 2010
  • “AICP Exam Prep Workshop,” San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, 2008 - 2013
  • “Bettman Symposium: Championing the General Plan,” American Planning Association 2007 National Planning Conference, Philadelphia, PA, April 15, 2007
  • “Planning Law Review,” American Planning Association, Audio/Web Conference, June 28, 2006
  • “Exactions and Takings Law,” American Planning Association 2007 National Planning Conference, San Antonio, TX, April 25, 2006



  • “Billionaire vs surfers case may go to high court,” Daily Journal, March 6, 2018
  • “Opinion: Easing building rules near transit key for needed housing,” East Bay Times, February 9, 2018
  • “Why The Proposed Calif. Land Use Law Is Deeply Flawed,” Law360, September 28, 2017 (co-authored with Arthur Coon)
  • “Missed Opportunity In Takings Decision,” Daily Journal, July 13, 2017
  • “Damaging A Neighbor's Trees Can Be Very Costly In Calif.,” Law360, February 10, 2017
  • “Affordable Housing Law Passes Muster, for Now,” Daily Journal, March 2, 2016
  • “Who Pays For New Schools, Fair Housing And Clean Air? Recent Developments In Exactions And Impact Fees,” Urban Lawyer, Vol. 42, No. 3, July 2010 (co-authored with W. Andrew Gowder, Jr.)
  • “Recent Developments In Land Use, Planning And Zoning Law: Exactions And Impact Fees,” Urban Lawyer, Vol. 41, No. 3, Summer 2009 (co-authored with W. Andrew Gowder, Jr.)
  • The RLUIPA Reader: Religious Land Uses, Zoning, and the Courts, American Bar Association and American Planning Association, 2009 (chapter co-author)
  • “Recent Developments In Land Use, Planning And Zoning Law: Exactions And Impact Fees,” Urban Lawyer, Vol. 40, No. 3, Summer 2008 (co-authored with W. Andrew Gowder, Jr.)
  • “California Voters Split Over Eminent Domain Initiatives,” Central California Builder, July 2008
  • “California Land Use Law: A Quarter Century of Key Legal Developments,” California Real Property Journal, Vol. 24, No. 3, Fall 2006 (co-authored with Cecily T. Talbert and Daniel J. Curtin, Jr.)

News / Media


  • American Bar Association (ABA), Section of State & Local Government Law
    • Executive Committee (2011-2012)
    • Council (2008-2011)
    • Chair, Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee (2008-2011)
    • Vice-Chair, Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee (2006-2008)
    • Co-Chair, Exactions and Impact Fees Subcommittee (2005-present)
  • American Planning Association, Northern California Chapter
    • Legislative Director (2008-2011)
  • American Planning Association, Planning and Law Division
    • Secretary/Treasurer (2006-2008)
    • Newsletter Editor (2005-2007)
  • League of California Cities
    • Municipal Law Handbook Editorial Board (2011-2013)
    • Member, Housing, Community & Economic Development Policy Committee (2008-2009)


  • Super Lawyers Northern California (2015 - 2017)
  • Super Lawyers Northern California Rising Star (2009)
  • Jefferson Fordham Up & Comers Award, ABA Section of State & Local Government Law (2006)


  • California
  • Connecticut (inactive)
  • Massachusetts (inactive)
  • District of Massachusetts
  • Ninth Circuit
  • Northern District of California