Charles R. Olson


  • Affordable Housing
  • Land Use
  • Land Use & CEQA
  • Litigation
  • Real Estate


    • University of California College of the Law, San Francisco (formerly University of California, Hastings College of the Law) (J.D. 1987)
      • Cum Laude
    • Harvard University (A.B. 1974)
      • Cum Laude

Charles R. Olson is a partner in Lubin Olson’s Land Use, Real Estate, Affordable Housing, and Litigation service groups, and he currently serves as the firm’s managing partner. He specializes in land use, land use litigation, and real estate transactions, including affordable housing.

In his land use practice, Mr. Olson represents developers, institutions, and other property owners in obtaining entitlements and permits for the use of their property. He has represented clients with complex development projects in San Francisco, throughout the Bay Area, and Northern California, including entitling multiple corporate campuses, large residential subdivisions, and complex mixed-use projects. Mr. Olson has extensive experience advising clients concerning the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), general plans, the Subdivision Map Act, and local planning codes and zoning ordinances. He has successfully represented clients throughout California in dozens of land use and CEQA cases at both the Superior Court and Court of Appeal levels.

In real estate, Mr. Olson represents property owners and developers in all aspects of real estate, including acquisitions and sales, financing and construction, and architect and contractor agreements. He has extensive experience in affordable housing transactions and has represented clients in the acquisition, financing, and development of thousands of affordable housing units using tax-exempt bonds and low-income housing tax credit financing, as well as financing insured by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Mr. Olson is a member of the State Bar of California and its Real Property and Environmental Law sections. He is actively involved in the community, working with the Lambda Alpha Land Economics Society; The Crucible (Industrial Arts Facility), serving on the board of directors from 2012-2017 and as president from April 2012 to 2017; and San Francisco Heritage, acting as president from 2007-2011 and serving on the board of directors from 2004-2012. 

Mr. Olson was selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2021-2024 editions of The Best Lawyers in America© for his work in Land Use and Zoning Law. In addition, he has been honored by Thomson Reuters as a Northern California Super Lawyer from 2008-2012 and 2016-2023.

Charles R. Olson

Charles R. Olson



TEL (415) 981-0550