Land use expert Ann Danforth joined RPLG as Of Counsel last spring, bringing decades of public agency experience to the firm’s government law practice.
“Ann has a wonderful combination of deep government law experience and unfailing common sense. We first met through our mutual work in Kensington, where she did an incredible job under very difficult circumstances,” said RPLG Founding Partner Jon Holtzman. “What I didn’t know until much later is that she learned from one of the best; her mother, June Gutfleisch, is a San Francisco City Hall legend.”
After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, Ann worked in land use as an associate attorney at McCutchen Doyle Brown & Enersen and as a Deputy City Attorney for the City of San Jose.
“My mother was a planner briefly, and I was drawn to the issues that came up in her work: how cities should be organized and who gets to decide where you put things,” said Ann. “In the legal world, these interests led me to land use practice and municipal law. Although I’ve worked on a variety of issues over my career, land use work for public agencies is my wheelhouse.”
Ann served as Town Attorney for the Town of Tiburon from 1996 to 2015. Throughout her time in Tiburon, her work included a varied land use practice. Ann helped deliver a victory for the Town in the California Court of Appeals in a dispute over an ordinance related to tree trimming. Among other cases of interest, she was involved in a dispute with Marin County following the County’s attempt to construct emergency radio towers in Tiburon without an entitlement from the Town.
Following her time in Tiburon, Ann served as a public hearing officer for the Cities of Fremont and Sonoma and contract Counsel for the City of Berkeley. At RPLG, she currently serves as General Counsel for the Kensington Police Protection and Community Services District and Assistant Town Attorney for the Town of Corte Madera.
“My reasons for coming to RPLG were simple: I like the work, and I like the people,” said Ann. “I had initially planned to retire after leaving Tiburon, but RPLG presented an opportunity to do part-time work focusing on the topics I like the most. I’ve enjoyed returning to a firm where I can collaborate with other lawyers and leverage my experience in municipal law to assist our clients.”
RPLG practices throughout California, advising and advocating for public agencies, nonprofit entities, individuals and private entities in need of effective, responsive and creative legal solutions.