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Nossaman LLP

Bonnie Neely

Senior Policy Advisor

T 916.930.7717
F 916.442.0382
621 Capitol Mall, 25th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

Bonnie Neely is a member of the firm's Environment & Land Use and Public Policy Practice Groups.  Before joining the firm, Ms. Neely was a six-term Humboldt County Supervisor and a 12-year member of the California Coastal Commission.  She served on the Commission — which she chaired in 2009 and 2010 — as a governor's appointee.

This comprehensive experience has given Ms. Neely a keen insight into the land-use and resource issues affecting private development, public infrastructure, and environmental protection throughout California's sensitive coastal zone.  She has been involved in a large number of major coastal projects, many of which were precedent setting, and understands the importance of local government in formulating and updating Local Coastal Programs (LCPs) that govern allowable development.

Representative Work

  • City and County of San Francisco – Sharp Park.  Successfully represented this client as their Coastal Consultant to secure a positive vote from the California Coastal Commission for an infrastructure improvement project at Sharp Park Golf Course which included an after-the-fact permit approval for pump replacements; removal of sediment and vegetation from the Horse Stable and Laguna Salada wetlands; installation of steps, a gate, a walkway and retaining wall in association with the pump house and relocation of  a golf course path.  The Coastal Development Permit was unanimously approved in 2015.
  • The Danco Group – Redevelopment of Historic “timber town,” Samoa, Humboldt County, CA.  Represented client in obtaining a $3.5 million infrastructure infill grant from California Housing and Community Development for the project.  Obtained a unanimous vote from the California Coastal Commission for a Local Coastal Plan Amendment.  The project site consists of 220 acres owned by Samoa Pacific Group LLC located on the north spit of the Samoa Peninsula, near the cities of Eureka and Arcata. The site includes the historic timber “company town” of Samoa and the brownfield areas remaining from past industrial use of a portion of the site.  The historic timber mill company town dating to the late 1800s, is largely intact, and may be one of the last of its kind in the United States. Redevelopment of Samoa includes 300 new single family residences and 45 apartments, retention of the 99 existing historic residences, a new business park of approximately 19 acres in size, a variety of general commercial, commercial recreation, public recreation, public facilities and natural resource areas. 
  • California State University – Humboldt Campus.  Represented client in an appeal before the California Coastal Commission.  Project consists of redevelopment of a 7.3 acre site to house Humboldt State University facility operations, University research and federal agency tenants.  The California Coastal Commission unanimously approved the remodeling of the existing building; demolishing an additional building; removing fencing; repairing existing pavement; improving onsite storm water management and enhancing 1.3 acres of onsite wetlands. 
  • Louis Longi, Laguna Beach - 30 unit artists’ work/live project. Part of a team from Nossaman who successfully represented the applicant to obtain the necessary entitlements to build the artists’ 30-unit work/live project (8 units reserved for low income artists).  Project included 17,242 sq. ft. of interior live/work space, 11,421 sq. ft. of exterior commercial work area, 513 sq. ft. retail art gallery and 47-stall parking garage.  The project was unanimously approved by the Coastal Commission in 2015.
  • CEMEX – Coastal Commission Enforcement Matter.  Part of a team currently representing CEMEX, a global building materials company that provides high quality products in more than 50 countries throughout the world, with an alleged unpermitted development violation related to a dredging and extraction of sand operation in Monterey County, California.
  • City of Coronado, California –  Coastal Consulting services. Provide assistance to the City as needed.  The projects I’ve worked on to date include Silver Strand State Beach – fencing, renovation of Dock C Project and California Coastal Commission federal consistency determination for the U.S. Navy Seal Training Campus in Coronado.

Environmental Concerns and Coastal Development

During her years of service on the California Coastal Commission, Ms. Neely was closely involved in a large number of major coastal projects, many of which were precedent setting. Among these are:

  • Samoa Pacific Group, Humboldt County, California. (HUM-MAJ-1-08).  Re-designate and rezone lands within an approximately 220-acre site located on the North Spit of Samoa Peninsula in Humboldt County.  The local coastal plan was amended to include 300 new single-family homes and 45 new apartments.  Ninety-nine vintage redwood mill worker cottages were retained as existing historical residences, a new business park, general commercial designations for the downtown Samoa area, commercial recreational areas, public recreational areas (parks), public facilities such as sewage treatment facilities, water storage, and service yard and natural resource areas were also permitted.  Unanimously approved by commission in March 2011.
  • Cher-Ae Heights Indian community of Trinidad Rancheria, Trinidad, Humboldt County, California. (Application #1-07-46).  Trinidad Pier Restoration Project. Included demolition and reconstruction of Trinidad Pier (a 540 foot long, wooden trestle and plank facility), including construction of a stormwater drainage treatment system and installation of replacement seawater intake pump for Humboldt State University's Marine lab.  Unanimously approved by commission in January 2010.
  • PG&E Nuclear Power Plant, Humboldt Bay, California. (E-07-013).  Application to demolish and decommission two gas-fired and one nuclear power generating unit at the Humboldt Bay Power Plant, Eureka, California.  Unanimously approved by commission in December 2009.
  • Fort Bragg Master Plan Development and toxic site clean-up. (Application #A-1-FTB-05-53-A6).  Specific Plan re: reuse of 400-acre coastal property – the Georgia Pacific Mill site, west of Highway 1 in Fort Bragg, California.  This site occupies one third of the City.
  • Mad River Bridge and the Alton Interchange, Humboldt County, California.  Both projects are in the coastal zone of Humboldt County.  As a Coastal Commissioner, Ms. Neely served on the Commission’s Roads Edge Committee, which met with Caltrans District Directors throughout California quarterly to help expedite permitting for many road and bridge projects.
  • Noyo Harbor Bridge, State Highway 1, Fort Bragg, Mendocino County, California.  Added a public access walkway on the bridge plus a redesign of railings to address public safety issues and also preserve public views of the coast from the bridge.

 Other Significant Coastal Zone Projects

  • Poseidon Resources, Carlsbad, California. (E-06-013).  Construct and operate a 50-million gallon-per-day seawater desalinization facility.
  • Lane Field, San Diego, California. (A-6-PSD-08-04/A-6-PSD-08-101).  Construction of two hotels (total of 800 guest rooms) with health club/spa, pools, ballrooms and meeting rooms and a three-story building with retail and dining visitor services.
  • PG&E Diablo Canyon, San Luis Obispo County. (A-3-SLO-04-035).  Construct and operate a radioactive waste storage facility within the high-security area of the Diablo Canyon power plant complex.
  • Caltrans, Mendocino County. (1-06-022).  Replacement of Ten Mile River Bridge, State Highway 1.

Job Creation and Economic Development

As Humboldt County Supervisor, Ms. Neely built an outstanding record with regard to the North Coast and jobs for its people:

  • Worked with Sierra Pacific Industries to obtain the Coast Development permits required for processing pulp and shipping it from Humboldt Bay.
  • Saved nearly 200 jobs – while insuring resource protection – by developing a precedent-setting agreement between Humboldt County, the California Department of Resources, and commercial operators, which provided for the continuation of gravel extraction on the Mad River.
  • As a member of the Redwood Region Economic Development Commission, helped create more than 600 jobs through low-interest loans to small businesses.
  • Working with Congressman Frank Riggs (R-Windsor), obtained $1.6 million for economic development in Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino counties.

Awards & Honors

California Assembly of Local Arts Agencies – Leadership Recognition Award

Redwood Community Action Agency – Award of Outstanding Service to Homeless (1992)

Soroptimist International of Humboldt Bay – Woman of Distinction Award (1999)

Community Achievement Award (1989) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for participation in an exemplary system of services for older persons in Eureka, California

Area I Agency on Aging – Friend of Seniors Award (2000)

Rotary Foundation of Rotary International – Paul Harris Fellow (2003)

Humboldt Arts Council – Contributor to the Arts Award (1990)

Humboldt Library Foundation Helen Everett Award (2011)

American Civil Liberties Union Patriot Ward (2010)

Bonnie  Neely
Bonnie  Neely

Practices

Education

B.A., Humboldt State University

Professional Affiliations

Humboldt Library Foundation, Emerita Member

National Association of Counties – Community Development Committee (1988 – 2010)

County Supervisors Association of California

Chair of Board of Directors, Dell'Arte International

Board Member, Humboldt Botanical Gardens

Awards & Honors

California Assembly of Local Arts Agencies – Leadership Recognition Award

Redwood Community Action Agency – Award of Outstanding Service to Homeless (1992)

Soroptimist International of Humboldt Bay – Woman of Distinction Award (1999)

Community Achievement Award (1989) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for participation in an exemplary system of services for older persons in Eureka, California

Area I Agency on Aging – Friend of Seniors Award (2000)

Rotary Foundation of Rotary International – Paul Harris Fellow (2003)

Humboldt Arts Council – Contributor to the Arts Award (1990)

Humboldt Library Foundation Helen Everett Award (2011)

American Civil Liberties Union Patriot Ward (2010)

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