Christopher R. Cheleden

Lead Deputy County Counsel

Christopher Cheleden joined the General Government section of the Office of the County Counsel in 2014.  His practice focuses on all aspects of public agency law, with an emphasis on land use and environmental law, real estate, and public works transactional and litigation matters.  Chris serves as counsel to the Tax Collector, the Facilities and Fleet department, and the Planning Commission.  He also serves on the Ethics Team and is the Redevelopment Dissolution Project Lead.

Christopher’s professional expertise includes:

  • Land Use
  • Environmental Law, including CEQA
  • Public Contracts and Construction
  • Local Agency Formation Commission
  • Brown Act
  • California Public Records Act
  • Political Reform Act/Government Code Section 1090
  • Redevelopment Agency dissolution and related litigation


  • University of California, Davis, King Hall, J.D., 1995
    • UC Davis Law Review, Staff Editor
  • University of California, Los Angeles, M.A., (Urban Planning), 1991
    • Singer Fellowship for Outstanding Research
  • University of Pennsylvania, A.B., (American Civilization), cum laude, 1989

Prior Experience

  • Assistant County Counsel , County of Santa Cruz, (2005-2014)
  • Senior Associate Attorney at Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP, (1999-2002); (2003-2004)
  • Senior Associate Attorney at Pillsbury Winthrop LLP, (2002-2003)
  • Associate Attorney at Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP, (1995-1999)

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