Nadia Costa


Nadia is a shareholder with Miller Starr Regalia and is Co-Chair of the firm’s Land Use Department. She specializes in providing guidance to clients with respect to obtaining land use entitlements and the related environmental review for a broad range of complex projects throughout California.

Nadia is a shareholder with Miller Starr Regalia and is Co-Chair of the firm’s Land Use Department. She specializes in providing guidance to clients with respect to obtaining land use entitlements and the related environmental review for a broad range of complex projects throughout California.


Nadia Costa is a shareholder in the firm’s Walnut Creek and Newport Beach offices. Her practice centers on land use and local government law, specializing in the processing, obtaining approval, and implementation of land use entitlements for complicated projects on behalf of landowners and developers throughout California. Nadia has extensive entitlement experience in a wide range of projects, with a particular emphasis on complex, mixed-use, urban infill, and master-planned developments. She regularly counsels landowners, developers, and public agencies in all aspects of land use entitlement processing and related environmental review pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); obtaining approval of general plan amendments, specific plans, planned development zoning, and tentative and final subdivision maps; assisting in the formation and implementation of special districts, financing districts/mechanisms, and similar entities including community facilities districts (CFDs) and geologic hazard abatement districts (GHADs); addressing annexation and other local agency formation commission (LAFCO) issues; counseling clients in connection with implementation, including condition compliance and securing all necessary ministerial permits to facilitate commencement of construction; as well as drafting, negotiating and obtaining approval of a wide range of agreements dealing with vested rights, the disposition and development of property owned by public agencies, public infrastructure, affordable housing, and agricultural and habitat mitigation.

Nadia is Co-Chair of Miller Starr Regalia’s Land Use Department. She also serves as a member of the Council for the State and Local Government Section of the American Bar Association and is on the Board of Directors for the California Association of GHADs.


J.D., University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (2001)

M.S.W., University of California, Los Angeles (1996)

B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara (1992)


American Bar Association, State and Local Government Section – Council Member

Building Industry Association 

  • Professional Women in Building Council

California Association of GHADs – Board Member

Diablo Regional Arts Association – Board Member 

STAND! For Families Free of Violence – Board Member

Sugar Bowl Ski Team & Academy – Board Member

Urban Land Institute 

Awards & Recognition

Best Lawyers®– Land Use & Zoning Law (2023–2024)

Super Lawyers Northern California (2009–2011, 2023)

Top Lawyers in Northern California (2024)

Top Women Attorneys in Northern California (2023)

East Bay Business Times – “40 Under 40” (2006) 

University of California, Los Angeles – Outstanding Academic Achievement Award


“Inclusionary Housing Programs: Local Governments Respond to California’s Housing Crisis,” Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, Vol. 30, No. 3, 2003(co-author)

“California’s Response to the Affordable Housing Crisis,” American Bar Association Land Use Institute: Planning, Regulation, Litigation, Eminent Domain, and Compensation, August 25–27, 2005 (co-author)

“Recent Developments in Land Use,” The Urban Lawyer: Planning and Zoning, Vol. 35, No. 4, Fall 2003 (co-author)

“Inclusionary Housing Ordinance Survives Constitutional Challenge in Post-Nollan-Dolan Era: Homebuilders Association of Northern California v. City of Napa,”Land use Law & Zoning Digest, Vol. 54, No. 8, August 2002 (co-author)

Speeches & Presentations

“Water Planning in California’s Continuing Drought: Impacts on Agriculture, Municipalities, and Other Water Users,” The Seminar Group, Napa, CA, March 1, 2017

“The Intersection of Land Use and Affordable Housing,” Moderator, ABA, State and Local Government Section, October 2015

“What’s Preventing Developers from Developing in California?” ICSC Northern California Idea Exchange, Napa, CA, October 28, 2013

"Developing the "PDA" (Priority Development Area) of the Sustainable Communities Strategy," ICSC Northern California Alliance Program, Sacramento, CA, February 21, 2013

“CEQA: Basics and New Developments,” The State Bar of California 31st Annual Real Property Law Section Retreat, Lake Tahoe, CA, 2012

“Inclusionary Housing in the Wake of Palmer and Patterson,” Land Use Conference, San Francisco, CA, 2010

“Reconciling SB 375 and the BAAQMD Guidelines,” Moderator, ULI Presentation, 2010 

“CEQA Legislation, Litigation, Mitigation and More,” The Second Annual Seminar on the California Environmental Quality Act, Los Angeles, CA, August 2006 and San Francisco, CA, September 2006

Related News

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August 18, 2022

MSR’s Hans Lapping Receives Two Best Lawyers in America© Designations, Named “Lawyer of the Year” – Real Estate Law (Oakland), Nine Other MSR Attorneys Receive Best Lawyers Recognition

Miller Starr Regalia (MSR), a preeminent California real estate law firm for more than 50 years, is pleased to announce that Hans A. Lapping, an AV-rated transactional shareholder, has received two designations in the Best Lawyers in America 2023© edition: he is included in the Real Estate Law list and was selected as the “Lawyer of the Year” in Oakland Real Estate Law. Additionally, nine other MSR attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© -- seven of which have been recognized for at least 10 years. Yalda Vahdani was named 2023 “Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch” in Real Estate Law in San Francisco.

October 17, 2018

PWB Lean in Circle November 6, 2018

Please join the Professional Women In Building (PWB) of the BIA Bay Area for their next "Lean In Circle".  Miller Starr Regalia Shareholder Nadia Costa to lead a workshop on centered leadership and the idea of finding energy for a better work-life balance from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. (PST) on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.