Press Releases

Sheppard Mullin's Donna Jones Named Downtown San Diego Partnership 2008 Chair

January 16, 2008

Donna D. Jones has been named the 2008 chair of the Downtown San Diego Partnership. Jones is a partner in the Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental practice group of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton's San Diego office.

The Downtown San Diego Partnership is a nonprofit business association, comprised of 320 local business and property owners, dedicated to advocating and educating for development and planning on behalf of downtown businesses and residents. Jones and the board were officially installed by San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders at the Partnership's annual installation meeting on Jan. 15.

"Between working with stakeholders to support completion of the C Street Master Plan, selection of the developer for the Civic Center public/private partnership, approval of the Lane Field project on the waterfront and helping to implement The Plan to End Chronic Homelessness by selecting a location in the Downtown region for a Central Intake Facility for the homeless, as well as implementing our Business Attraction program to bring more businesses downtown, we at the Downtown San Diego Partnership look forward to meeting the challenges and opportunities of 2008," commented Jones.

As a land use attorney and registered lobbyist, Jones focuses on compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), permitting and entitlement issues. She has entitled master-planned communities; urban infill, multi-family and mixed-use developments; shopping centers; municipal solid waste landfill expansions; peaker power plants and more.

Since 1994, Jones has represented Black Mountain Ranch in development of the Santaluz and Del Sur communities in the city of San Diego. This representation has included obtaining entitlements for a transit-oriented, "smart growth" community of more than 3,000 dwelling units, a resort hotel, two golf courses, and commercial and institutional development. Jones' representation included negotiating development agreements as well as all development permits, maps and associated entitlements, and assuring CEQA compliance for all discretionary actions. In addition, she worked with the developer and his team in crafting a ballot measure voters ultimately approved to redesignate the property and allow a significant increase in density.

Jones has negotiated master and individual affordable housing agreements, school mitigation agreements, park agreements, road improvement, water, sewer and myriad other infrastructure and related agreements. She has represented developers in formation of community facilities districts, updates to Public Facilities Financing Plans, and permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Coastal Commission, California Department of Fish and Game, and the Regional Water Quality Control Board. She also has successfully represented developers in CEQA litigation brought against their projects.

In addition, Jones worked on CEQA and entitlement issues on the Padres' downtown Petco Park as well as the East Village Square Master Plan and other ancillary development; entitlements for expansion of the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Nigel; lobbying and land use advice on numerous residential and mixed use projects in downtown San Diego; entitlements for expansion of the La Jolla YMCA, conversion of a golf driving range to a condominium project for Shea Homes, and negotiations with the resource agencies and local government on zoning, habitat and other land planning and entitlement issues for a 21,000-acre property in the county of San Diego, among other projects.

Jones earned a J.D., with high honors as a member of Order of the Coif and as Grand Chancellor, from the University of Texas in 1990 and a B.A. in journalism, with honors, from Texas A&M University in 1981.

About Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

Sheppard Mullin is a full service AmLaw 100 firm with more than 520 attorneys in 10 offices located throughout California and in New York, Washington, D.C. and Shanghai. The firm's California offices are located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Century City, Orange County, Del Mar Heights and San Diego. Founded in 1927 on the principle that the firm would succeed only if its attorneys delivered prompt, high quality and cost-effective legal services, Sheppard Mullin provides legal counsel to U.S. and international clients. Companies turn to Sheppard Mullin to handle a full range of corporate and technology matters, high stakes litigation and complex financial transactions. In the U.S., the firm's clients include more than half of the Fortune 100 companies.