Craig Lawson & Co., LLC
Land Use Consultants
8758 Venice Bl #200
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Phone: 310-838-2400
Fax: 310-838-2424

Company Profile


Established in 1999, Craig Lawson & Co., LLC is a land use consulting firm offering a full range of real estate project entitlement and zoning services. Based in West Los Angeles, Craig Lawson & Co., LLC draws from a professional and cohesive staff of 12 employees committed to providing quality services to the real estate development community, corporate property owners, land use attorneys, project managers, public agencies and non-profit organizations. Over the last ten years, Craig Lawson & Co., LLC has achieved a 99% success rate in the approval of entitlement applications for complex mixed-use, residential, commercial, retail, industrial, institutional, and governmental projects.


Zoning Research and Land Use Analysis/Due Diligence
Research and analysis of current zoning restrictions, land use designations, previous zoning approvals, Q Conditions, building permits, covenants, and affidavits.

Pre-Development Consulting, Feasibility Analysis, and Governmental Meetings
Evaluation of proposed project description and preliminary site plan, arrangement of meetings with key government staff members and preparation of project timelines, fee
estimates, and entitlement strategy.

Real Estate Project Entitlement Services, Project Management
Preparation and filing of applications for Site Plan Review, Adjustments, Modifications, Zone Variances, Conditional Use Permits, Plan Approvals, Zone Changes, Specific Plan Exceptions, Plan Amendments, Subdivisions, and similar requests, including the preparation of justifications, findings and exhibits for the requested entitlements and coordination of radius maps and ownership lists, posting of notices, site photos, and PowerPoint presentations.  Craig Lawson & Co., LLC provides leadership through the entire entitlement process, including negotiations with governmental officials, responding to questions from staff, as well as representation at community meetings and public hearings.

Other Services
Craig Lawson & Co., LLC professional services also include:

  • Government and Community Relations (including lobbying)
  • Project Appeals & Mitigation Monitoring
  • Monitoring of Community Plan Updates and General Plan Revisions
  • Conditional Use Permits for alcohol sales and service in retail stores, restaurants, bars and nightclubs
  • Responses to enforcement actions (i.e. Citations, Orders to Comply)
  • Expert Witness/Litigation Support
  • Supplemental Use Districts and Project Permits for Signage

Craig Lawson & Co., LLC has excellent working relationships with qualified architects, environmental consultants, land use attorneys, traffic engineers, community outreach specialists, title companies, civil engineers, land surveyors, appraisers, market research analysts, and other professionals who can be recommended as members of a project team.

Craig Lawson, President, has over 30 years of experience in the public and private sectors, including 11 years at Craig Lawson & Co., LLC, 12 years at C.W. Cook Co., Inc., a well-known Los Angeles land use planning, civil engineering and surveying firm, and nearly 10 years as urban planning, transportation policy, and economic development advisor to former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley.  Craig served as Mayor Bradley’s liaison to the L.A. Olympic Organizing Committee (for the 1984 Olympic Games), and the L.A. County Transportation Commission, planners of the Metro Rail subway system.  In 1989, he was appointed by Mayor Tom Bradley to serve on the L.A. Convention Center Authority (and re-appointed by Mayor Richard Riordan) where he participated in the management and financing of the $500 million L.A. Convention Center Expansion project.  Craig served on the Convention Center Authority from 1989 to 2002, and serves (or has served) on the Board of Directors of several local charities and non-profit entities, including Menorah Housing Foundation, Alternative Living for the Aging, the Los Angeles Headquarters Association, Jewish Federation Real Estate Cabinet, and the Southern California Real Estate Alliance.  He was recently appointed as a member of Lambda Alpha International (honorary society for the advancement of land economics), and is a member of the Urban Land Institute, Los Angeles Chapter.

James D. Ries, Vice President, supervises the firm’s staff in processing a wide range of entitlements for development projects.  Jim has been with Craig Lawson & Co., LLC for 11 years, prior to which he was an urban planner at:  C.W. Cook Co., Inc., Malibu Bay Company, Bobrow/Thomas & Associates, and Stanley Hoffman & Associates.  Jim’s professional achievements include: securing entitlements for major multi-family residential projects (including affordable housing projects) that locate housing proximate to jobs and transit, and securing entitlements for numerous adaptive-reuse projects (industrial to residential) in Los Angeles’ urban core.  Jim is an appointed member of the City of Santa Monica Planning Commission, City of Los Angeles Commercial Reuse Task Force, and served as Chairperson of the City of Santa Monica’s Sustainable City Task Force.  He is a member of the Westside Urban Forum.


  • The South Group’s three completed projects in downtown L.A., which include the 412-unit condo towers at 11th and Grand (known as “Elleven” and Luma”), a 311-unit tower at 12th and Grand (known as “Evo”), and a proposed mixed-use development (648 units) at 12th and Figueroa (part of the L.A. Sports & Entertainment District Specific Plan).  Elleven and Luma are the first certified LEED Gold condominium projects in the State of California.

  • Three major development projects on the “Figueroa North Block” in downtown L.A., including Astani Enterprises’ 629-unit mixed-use project at 9th and Figueroa (including two high-rise condo buildings and one low-rise loft building), The Hanover Company’s 26-story, 156-unit luxury apartment building over retail at Figueroa and Olympic (known as “717 Olympic”), and FIDM Residential’s student housing and educational resource center building at Flower and Olympic.  CLC also prepared and processed a complex Sign District for this block.

  • Madame Tussauds Hollywood, located next to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in the heart of Hollywood, which features an interactive “portrait gallery” of realistic wax images of celebrities and political leaders.

  • Vornado Realty Trust’s renovation and improvement of the Beverly Connection shopping center at La Cienega and Beverly Boulevards.

  • Gerding Edlen’s proposed development located at Sunset Boulevard & Gordon Street in Hollywood (305 residential units over 53,500 square feet of office, retail and restaurant space). Supergraphic signage permits were also part of the entitlement approvals.

  • Numerous affordable housing and senior living projects in the S.F. Valley, East L.A. South L.A., and Central L.A., for non-profit clients including Abode Communities (formerly L.A. Community Design Center), SRO Housing Corp., L.A. Housing Partnership, Community Foundation Land Trust, Menorah Housing Foundation, and the East L.A. Community Corp.