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Cara E. Silver is a partner specializing in land use, housing, municipal and contract law. She serves as Town Attorney for Portola Valley and previously served as Interim City Attorney for Menlo Park and Senior Assistant City Attorney for Palo Alto. She represents public agencies, private developers, and individual property owners. Her land use experience involves all aspects of land use and zoning entitlements, including CEQA compliance, development agreements, use permits, general plan amendments, and rezoning. She has expertise on the State Density Bonus law, SB 35, the Housing Accountability Act, SB 330 and ADU laws. Her municipal experience includes public contracting, bid protests, election law, the Brown Act, and drafting legislation in the areas of zoning, telecommunications, tax and environmental sustainability. She has substantial experience negotiating and drafting easements, purchase and sale agreements, lease agreements and affordable housing agreements.


Prior to joining the firm in 2017, Cara served as the Senior Assistant City Attorney for Palo Alto where she drafted zoning legislation, updated the Housing Element and counseled clients on land use and permitting matters. She also served as Deputy City Attorney for Santa Monica with a focus on housing and land use litigation.

Cara received her law degree from Loyola Law School, where she served as the Note and Comment Editor of the Loyola Law Review. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. Cara currently serves on the Cal Cities Brown Act Committee. Her professional affiliations include the State Bar of California (Municipal Law Section), the League of California Cities, the Bay Area City Attorneys’ Association and the San Mateo County Bar Association.

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