Richard H. Close
(310) 393-4000
Awards & Honors

Richard H. Close

My belief is that legal services are an investment rather than merely an expense. A major portion of my practice is to maximize the value of real estate. Our team practices throughout California and in other states where our expertise and business perspective gives our clients a unique benefit.

As a partner at Gilchrist & Rutter PC, Mr. Close's practice focuses on all aspects of land use entitlements, administrative and regulatory law, project development and financing, manufactured housing communities, and governmental relations and advocacy.  Richard is a leader in the legal, political and business communities, recognized in each area for creating opportunity and exercising astute judgment, as well as his shrewd negotiating skills. His unique 40+ year multi-faceted career envelops his expertise and insight for the benefit of his clients.  

Mr. Close has been recognized by the California Mobilehome Parkowners Alliance (CMPA) with the “Advocacy Fighter Award” for his outstanding service to the industry in representing community owner’s property rights throughout the State.

A 2015 news publication profile stated, “Richard Close is one of the most powerful people in Los Angeles who most people don’t know.” (click here to read the full article)

Mr. Close has been named to the list of the “Top 40 Real Estate Lawyers to Know” by the Los Angeles Business Journal, is consistently named to the list of Southern California Super Lawyers, and is AV Preeminent®, Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell® and The Best Lawyers in America©, Land Use and Zoning Law.


Governmental  Throughout his career Richard has been instrumental in lobbying efforts to successfully change State and local legislation to protect and enhance his clients’ interests.  He continues to advocate statewide for  protection of property owners rights both through the Courts and the legislative process.  Richard also has a long and active record of civic leadership in the City and County of Los Angeles.

Mr. Close serves as a Chairman of the Oversight Board managing the dissolution of the Los Angeles City Redevelopment Agency. He is also a Member of the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO).

With a history of strong political involvement, Mr. Close has often testified at State and local legislative hearings, and has been a co-author and ballot signer on numerous initiatives and City Charter measures.

Legal  Richard focuses on land use entitlements from government agencies for land use projects using his legal and political knowledge of state and local plans, policies, and regulations.  Richard has extensive experience obtaining a wide range of entitlements, including those related to general plans, specific plans, subdivisions, CEQA compliance, variances, conditional use permits, zone changes, site plan reviews, development agreements, and coastal development permits.

With more than 35 years’ experience representing community owners, Mr. Close is the Department Chair for the firm’s Manufactured Housing Practice Group, which is the first choice in legal representation for California community owners. Areas of expertise in the MHC industry include acquisitions, closure, rent control litigation, financing, subdivision, tax-deferred sales, and failure to maintain litigation and prevention. 

  • Specialized representation on behalf of client in a multi-million dollar failure to disclose/misrepresentation case. His client was awarded compensation equal to 100% of the value of the internationally-renowned architectural home.
  • Successfully obtained a California Court of Appeal victory when the Court reversed a lower court's invalidation of a subdivision approval previously obtained by Mr. Close. This win also included the successful negotiation of a development agreement with the City of Goleta for the client's 150-home subdivision.
  • Served as lead counsel in a successful, groundbreaking California case involving conversion of manufactured housing communities from rental to condominium resident ownership ( El Dorado Palm Springs, Ltd. v. City of Palm Springs, et al., 96 Cal.App.4th 1153 (2001)).
  • Prosecution of appeal against county board of supervisors that established an important principle on Proposition 8 regarding reductions in property values.
  • Prosecution of a claim for damages against a public entity for regulatory taking, which proved instrumental in defining the limitations on a local municipality to impose conditions on residents and real estate development.
  • Prosecution of a claim seeking remediation costs from responsible parties under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).
  • Negotiated with state and local governmental entities regarding the remediation and removal of toxic contamination from a 70-acre site in Greater Los Angeles.
  • Prosecution of claims against public entity for the purpose of establishing appropriate standards for local rental control regulations.

Business  In addition to his legal career, Richard was a Co-Founder and a Director of California United Bank until it was sold to Bank of Hawaii.  He served on the Board of Directors, Loan Committee and Executive Committee for 14 years which provided him a solid financial background.  This professional business experience better enables Richard to understand and assist his clients’ legal needs and business goals.


Interviews  Richard has been interviewed and quoted by various media, including the Los Angeles Business Journal, Wall Street Journal, Commercial Investment Real Estate magazine, Real Estate Finance, Los Angeles Daily News, Western Real Estate BusinessBisnow, KFWB Money 101, KPCC Larry Mantle's Air Talk, KPCC Patt Morrison's Radio Show, KCRW Warren Olney's Which Way, L.A.?Daily JournalThe Planning Report, and other esteemed media outlets. In addition, Richard has been interviewed by television stations including KCBS, KNBC, KCAL, KABC and Fox News Channel for his insight on state and local politics and other civic matters. 


Not In Their Backyard (PDF), Los Angeles Magazine, February 2017

Prime Land: "Dirt Cheap" (PDF) March 2016

Mobile Home Parks: A Hidden Gem for Redevelopers (PDF) Western Real Estate Business, June 2014

Colony Cove: Property Owners No Longer Have State Constitutional Protection (PDF), Alliance News, Spring 2014

Manufactured Homes - Interest Increases in this Niche (PDF), CIRE, March/April 2014

Developers Seen Eyeing Manufactured Housing for Land Sources (PDF), Real Estate Finance Intelligence, March 31, 2014

What's the Hottest New Asset Class? (PDF), Real Estate Bisnow, March 18, 2014

Mobile Moves (PDF), Los Angeles Business Journal, March 2014

SB 510: Loss of Property Rights Approved (PDF), Daily Journal, January 22, 2014

More Investors Taking a Shine to Manufactured Housing (PDF), Real Estate Finance Intelligence, January 6, 2014

Expiring Entitlements: Should You Prepare for Contention or Opportunity? (PDF), Alliance News, Spring 2013

New State law Delays RDA Asset Sales (PDF), GlobeSt.Com, August 15, 2012

CRA Properties Back in Limbo (PDF), L.A. Business Journal, July 30, 2012

The Dis-Mantle of Power (PDF), Bisnow, July 26, 2012

The Great California Shake Up (PDF), Western Real Estate Business, July 2012

Richard Close Explains the Process of Overseeing the Dissolution of the Los Angeles CRA (PDF), The Planning Report, June 2012

Roughly 600 Development Projects Approved for L.A. (PDF), GlobeSt.Com, January 2012

The Perfect Time to Re-Think Rent Control?, Alliance News, August 2011

Los Angeles Rent Freeze Rejected! (PDF), June 2010

What Is The Future of Subdivision/Conversion?, Alliance News, January 2010

“Development 101,” California Real Estate Journal (March 1999).

“Conversion to Resident Ownership: Does it make sense for you?,” WMA Reporter (June 2007)

Public Speaking

Richard lectures frequently on economic and real estate issues with special emphasis on land use, manufactured housing, and governmental/civic issues.

Panelist, “Ask the Experts – Attorney Panel”, Moderator “The Overreaching Government – Changing of Government Landscape”, California Mobilehome Parkowners Alliance (CMPA), Las Vegas, NV, June 4 & 5, 2017

Moderator, "Planning for the Next Generation", Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Las Vegas, NV, May 2, 2017

Panelist, “Ask the Experts – Attorney Panel”, Moderator & Panelist “The Overreaching Government”, California Mobilehome Parkowners Alliance, Las Vegas, NV, June 5 & 6, 2016

Moderator, “The Return of Investments and Development to the Valley, NOHO and the Tri-Cities Panel”, BisNow, West Hills, CA, October 1, 2015

Panelist, “Ask the Experts – Attorney Panel” and “Exit Strategies – Sale Exit, Subdivision, Closure”, California Mobilehome Parkowners Alliance (CMPA), Las Vegas, NV, May 31 & June 1, 2015

Speaker, “Guess Who’s Closing Their Park… And Why?”, Manufactured Housing Educational Trust Forum (MHET), Costa Mesa, CA, April 22, 2015.

Panelist, "Ask The Experts - Attorney Panel" and "Legal Panel - Interesting Lawsuits - New Issues Land Lease Expirations, Subdivisions", California Mobilehome Parkowners Alliance (CMPA), Las Vegas, NV, June 1 & 2, 2014

Panelist, “CRA: Redevelopment Agencies: From the Wind-Down to What’s Next?”, 42nd Annual Crocker Symposium, October 29, 2013

Speaker, “Timely Issues Impacting Mobile Home Park Owners”, Manufactured Housing Education Trust (MHET), September 25, 2013

Panelist, "Ask The Experts - Attorney Panel" and "Financing and Maximizing Park Value," California Mobilehome Parkowners Alliance (CMPA), Las Vegas, NV, June 2 & 3, 2013

Panelist, “Redevelopment Agencies: From the Wind-Down to What’s Next”, Real Estate & Law (REAL) Symposium, Stanford, CA, January, 30, 2013

Speaker, “Redevelopment Agencies and Housing in the Los Angeles Region: Issues and Opportunities for 2013”, Urban Land Institute – Los Angeles, December 7, 2012

Speaker, Redevelopment Agencies and 2013 Opportunities, The Moriah Society, Beverly Hills, CA, December 6, 2012

Speaker, Redevelopment Agencies and 2013 Opportunities, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) – Los Angeles, November 13, 2012

Speaker, “Redevelopment Agencies 2012: Issues, Hurdles and Forward Planning”, NAIOP Southern California Chapter, August 7, 2012

Speaker, “Unlimited Power of Local Government”, California Mobilehome Parkowners Alliance (CMPA), Las Vegas, June 3 & 4, 2012


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Interesting Breakfast Meeting for Manufactured Housing Community Owners and Industry Professionals

If you're not already registered, we want to strongly encourage you to attend the MHET Breakfast Forum on Wednesday, September 27th in Co... Read more

Posted 09/12/2017

Three Gilchrist & Rutter Partners Named 2018 Best Lawyers

Jonathan Gross, Richard Close and Donald Nanney Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®  Read more

Posted 08/22/2017

REITs Love Manufactured Housing - 27% Annual Returns

A recent article by BisNow (see below) describes a trend we have all seen over the past several years.  The manufactured housing... Read more

Posted 08/07/2017

Jonathan Gross, Richard Close and Donald Nanney Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2017

Gilchrist & Rutter attorneys Jonathan Gross, Richard Close and Donald Nanney are ranked in The Best Lawyers in America© 2017... Read more

Posted 05/22/2017

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