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R. Mark Carney

Professional Biography 

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Mark Carney is a founding member of Liebersbach, Mohun, Carney & Reed, a real estate and land use law firm in Mammoth Lakes and Santa Barbara, California. Mark has more than 33 years of experience assisting landowners, developers, and financial institutions to assess, acquire, entitle, improve, manage, lease, and sell real estate assets throughout California.  Mark has an unblemished record of success negotiating, securing, amending, and defending approvals of development agreements, specific plans, master plans, tract maps, parcel maps, and conditional use permits in highly-politicized entitlement environments.  Mark has helped his clients entitle nearly 2000 resort lodging units, containing more than 2500 rooms and more than 150,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.   He regularly shepherds his clients through compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, the Subdivision Map Act, the California Coastal Act, and California Bureau of Real Estate regulations.

As local counsel to institutional landowners and developers including Intrawest Corporation, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Credit-Suisse, Anheuser-Busch, Southern California Edison, Starwood Capital, IStar Financial, CNL, and Cerberus, Mark has garnered vast and varied experience in all aspects of landowner and developer services law, including due diligence, environmental investigations, government and community relations, entity formation, joint venture agreements, purchase and sale agreements, financing agreements, management agreements, license agreements, easements, leases, and common interest development law.  Mark has negotiated multiple conservation easements and land use permits among Federal and State agencies, non-profit land trusts, and private landowners.

Mark has also achieved consistent and demonstrable success representing landowners and developers in a variety of real estate and land use litigations, including:  (1) an action by a consortium of developers against a municipality to invalidate and refund developer impact fees improperly levied; (2) an action by a consortium of developers against a municipal water district to invalidate and refund water and sewer hook-up fees that were improperly levied; (3) the successful defense of a developer sued by a bank to enforce a $38 Million personal guaranty;  (4) the successful defense of a $10 Million claim against the developer of an 120-lot single-family subdivision by an investor who wrongfully alleged a partnership interest in the development; and (5) various actions to partition or quiet title to real property.  

CURRENT ENTITLEMENT PROJECTS

Ventura Harbor Hotel and Hostel: Counsel to a Santa Barbara hospitality company in connection with its efforts to develop a 72-room boutique hotel and a 40-room youth hostel on nearby parcels in the Ventura Harbor. The entitlement effort includes applications to the City of Ventura and the California Coastal Commission for multiple Local Coastal Plan Amendments, Coastal Development Permits, and Conditional Use Permits.

The Farm: Counsel to the owner of a 29-acre site on the Carpinteria Bluffs in connection with its efforts to develop a full-service family hotel and a workforce housing community on a portion of the site. The entitlement effort includes applications to the City of Carpinteria and the California Coastal Commission for amendments to the Local Coastal Plan, a Specific Plan, a Tentative Tract Map, and multiple Conditional Use Permits.

The East Village: Counsel to the owner of a six-acre site in Mammoth Lakes, California in connection with its efforts to develop a 450-room hotel, events plazas, an ice rink, and 45,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space across the street from the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area gondola. The entitlement effort includes the application for a Hotel Incentive Agreement, a Development Agreement, a Tentative Tract Map, and multiple Conditional Use Permits.

­Yotelpad Mammoth: Counsel to an international joint venture in connection with its efforts to develop a 200-room micro-unit condominium hotel with 20 associated townhomes and a full-service restaurant on three acres in Mammoth Lakes, California.

RECENT ENTITLEMENTS OBTAINED

The Inn at the Pier­: Assisted the property owner in obtaining a Coastal Development Permit, Conditional Use Permit, and all related approvals for The Inn at the Pier, a 104-room full-service oceanfront hotel in Pismo Beach, California, which opened in 2017. All environmental review was completed, and all entitlements were obtained, within eight months of application; and without appeal to or by the California Coastal Commission.

Old Mammoth Place: Assisted the property owner in Mammoth Lakes to obtain all approvals for a mixed-use development on six acres, including 488 lodging rooms, public events plazas, and 30,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The entitlement effort included a General Plan amendment, a Neighborhood District Plan, a Specific Plan, a Tentative Tract Map, a Conditional Use Permit, and success in a local referendum challenging the approvals.

The Inn at the Village: Assisted institutional lender-turned-owner to obtain a Specific Plan Amendment, Tentative Tract Map, and Conditional Use Permit for The Inn at the Village, a six-story, 72-room boutique hotel in Mammoth Lakes, California.

BACKGROUND

Mark was born in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1980 and the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1984, where he served as Associate Editor of the Notre Dame Law Review. Mark’s education includes a year of college in Rome, Italy, where he studied Italian and Art History, a year of law school in London, England, where he studied International Law, and a year of volunteer work in Chiapas, Mexico, where he taught in a rural high school and ran a local literacy program.

REFERENCES

Rusty Gregory, Chief Executive Officer, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area

Jim Smith, Vice-President of Strategic Development for Vail Resorts Management Company and former Vice-President of Real Estate for Mammoth  Mountain Ski Area

Joe Walsh, President of Nivisys, LLC and former Senior Vice-president of Real Estate for Intrawest Corporation

Mark Wardlaw, Community Development Director for the County of San Diego County and former Community Development Director for the Town of   Mammoth Lakes

Dan Dawson, executive director of the Valentine Eastern Sierra Reserve, owned and operated by the University of California, Santa Barbara