Johnson, Dylan K.

Dylan’s practice involves a unique blend of private- and public-side representation. He counsels private clients on all aspects of land use, development, due diligence and entitlements, and litigates related claims in state and federal courts. Dylan also serves as general and special counsel to a number of cities and special districts, to which he provides both transactional advice and litigation services on a full range of environmental and public law issues.

Due to his public-private practice, Dylan has unique insight into and expertise surrounding local government regulation and relations, enabling him to help his clients on both sides of the table effectively meet their goals. He has experience providing advice related to a wide range of environmental issues, including CEQA, the CWA and Coastal Act. In addition, Dylan provides traditional real estate transactional advice and is experienced in defending and prosecuting claims related to governmental actions, including tax issues, local regulations and constitutional claims.

Practices & Industries
Water Quality

Dylan has significant experience representing clients in compliance and litigation under clean water regulations. He advised a large industrial manufacturing client in Los Angeles County on compliance with the Clean Water Act, including reporting, monitoring and testing requirements. He advises the Goleta West Sanitary District on various clean water issues, including compliance with industrial pretreatment requirements. Dylan has also defended clients in litigation under the Clean Water Act and the Industrial General Permit.

Climate Change
Dylan’s work intersects with climate change regulations on a number of fronts.  In the land use context, regulations governing environmental review of projects are constantly evolving.  Dylan advises clients on compliance with new requirements to ensure the environmental review process is performed accurately and fairly.  Dylan also keeps his clients abreast of the latest developments in local regulations that can provide benefits to projects in the form of credits or other allowances.  He provides advice to public agency clients on compliance with climate change regulations that affect local planning and approval processes.  Dylan also has experience providing counsel on air regulations in the industrial sector, specifically with regard to AB 32 and the California cap-and-trade program.
Brownstein Water Blog

Brownstein Water: Current Trends in Water Law & Policy
Visit for commentary and analysis of timely water law and policy issues. 


Industrial Storm Water Permittees Face New Challenge—TMDLs

Posted on March 23, 2016 by Brownstein Water Group

When the State Water Resources Control Board (“State Board”) adopted the Industrial General Storm Water Permit in 2014 (the “IGP”), the State Board reserved for a later day how to incorporate Total Maximum Daily Load (“TMDL”)-specific requirements for watersheds around the state into the IGP. Specifically, the State Board set July 1, 2016, as the... Continue Reading » 


Who Owns the Water?

Posted on February 12, 2016 by Brownstein Water Group

Water Rights Require Balance of Interest

Russ McGlothlin authored an article for the Pacific Coast Business Times on the common question of who owns the water in California? The piece, titled “Water Rights Require Balance of Interest” appeared in the January 29, 2016 publication. 


Brownstein’s Annual California Water Rights Compliance Checklist

Posted on January 26, 2016 by Brownstein Water Group

Brownstein’s California Water Group is pleased to provide you with our California Water Rights: Compliance Checklist for 2016. This Checklist provides a summary of state water right reporting requirements and applicable deadlines for users of surface water and groundwater in California. Use the link below to find: Our summary of filings required for all surface water and… Continue Reading »


Representative Matters
  • Serves as General Counsel to the Goleta West Sanitary District, a public agency that provides wastewater collection and treatment services to 6000 customers in the Goleta Valley. Brownstein provides the District with advice on public agency operations, including meeting procedures, Brown Act compliance, conflict of interest issues, personnel, and public facility contracting. Brownstein attorneys also draft ordinances and resolutions and negotiate on behalf of the District with other local public agencies, including the University of California, Santa Barbara and the County of Santa Barbara.


President of the Board of Directors, Santa Barbara Community Youth Performing Arts Center

Board of Directors, Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County

Publications & Presentations
  • J.D., 2011, cum laude, Notre Dame Law School
  • B.A., 2002, Indiana University
  • California
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California

State Bar Environmental Law and Real Property Law sections