Thomas F. Steinke

Mr. Steinke is a shareholder of the firm practicing real property, land use, environmental, administrative and governmental law.


Mr. Steinke attended the University of Wisconsin where he received a Bachelor’s of Applied Science and Engineering in 1968 and a Master of Science degree in 1970. He received his J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1975.

Employment Background

Mr. Steinke joined Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek after nearly 13 years in the Planning and Property Division of the San Diego City Attorney’s Office. He was the advisor to the City Council Transportation and Land Use Committee, Planning Department, Environmental Quality Division and Building Department. Mr. Steinke also represented the City Purchasing Department, which dealt with contracts and contract disputes. While working in the City Attorney’s office, Mr. Steinke was instrumental in drafting and negotiating the City of San Diego’s Local Coastal Program applicable in the Coastal Zone for the California Coastal Commission, the City’s Resources Protection Ordinance, the City Council’s No-Growth Initiative and approximately twenty development agreements by and between the City of San Diego and representatives of the development community.

Representative Matters

  • Prepares and processes agreements regarding property development and project financing including development agreements and related agreements with school districts, fire and life safety districts, municipal water districts, municipal, county, state and federal agencies
  • Represents developers, landowners, contractors, subcontractors and users in connection with development and construction activities
  • Advises in the preparation of environmental impact reports, development of strategies for compliance with federal, state and regional environmental legislation such as habitat conservation plans; Native American consultations and negotiations; and preparation of specific plans and related environmental documents and findings
  • Processes development entitlements including general plan amendments, master plans, specific plans, subdivision maps, zone changes, conditional use permits, variances and coastal development permits

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of California (Business Law, Environmental Law, Real Property Law Sections)
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • Registered civil engineer in the State of California
  • Former Commissioner of the City of San Diego’s Housing Commission