James A. Castañeda, AICP, is a senior land use planner who works with the Real Estate, Land Use, and Environmental Practice Group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Areas of Expertise

James has over 15 years of experience managing complex projects with local and regional government as a land use planner for Maricopa County in Arizona and San Mateo County in Northern California. In this role, James also served as Program Coordinator for the San Francisco International Airport/Community Roundtable, a group of elected city officials and airport administrators tasked with addressing noise impacts in communities related to aircraft operations.

James specializes in community engagement and facilitating stakeholder and problem solving discussions to help clients navigate the development and entitlement process. He is also experienced with due diligence, regulatory and environmental compliance (CEQA), airport environs issues, and project management.

James received his B.A. in City and Regional Planning from New Mexico State University, where he focused on transportation planning and urban geography and design. His primary areas of focus include transportation planning, the legal aspects of land use, and zoning code/regulatory analysis.



  • Due Diligence
  • Land Use Planning and Entitlements
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Airport Planning
  • Community Engagement
  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)





American Planning Association


B.A., New Mexico State University, 2004

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