Holly D. Golden

Holly D. Golden


Direct: 206.470.7656

Main: 206.623.1745


Fax: 206.623.7789

Phone: 206.470.7659

Professional Overview

Holly uses her deep land use experience to deliver clients solutions to complex urban land development and permitting issues. Serving as counsel on some of the region's most significant real estate development projects, Holly works with residential, commercial, life science, and non-profit clients. She takes pride in providing proactive and creative guidance, from advising companies during initial due diligence and feasibility through project entitlements and appeals.

Clients benefit from Holly's long-running involvement with local jurisdictions, boards, and commissions. Her experience navigating complex regulatory systems and appearing in court informs her unique ability to develop and execute successful strategies that help her clients avoid obstacles and achieve their development goals.

Holly is a frequent speaker on the region's important land use topics, including affordable housing, permitting strategies, and public-private partnerships.

  • South Lake Union and Denny Triangle. Represent multiple developers with dozens of office and residential projects in the booming South Lake Union and Denny Triangle neighborhoods of Seattle.
  • Washington State Convention Center. Land use counsel for the convention center addition, including an office tower and a residential tower on the sites adjacent to the convention center addition. The addition project involves complex entitlements, state and national environmental review, and five street and alley vacations.
  • Vulcan Real Estate. Land use counsel for Vulcan Real Estate on residential and office projects, including assistance with feasibility and entitlements.
  • Amazon. Land use counsel for Amazon on its multi-block office developments.
  • Historic Properties. Represent property owners in matters pertaining to landmark regulations and transfer of development rights.
  • Presenter, “How do we produce housing to meet Washington’s needs?," May 2023.
  • Instructor, "Entitlements, Permitting, Land Use Legal," University of Washington Commercial Real Estate Class, January 2023.
  • Presenter, “Housing: we need more, but where?: WSBA Environmental and Land Use Law Section Midyear Conference," May 2022.
  • Co-chair, “Permitting Strategies in the Northwest Conference,” December 2021.
  • Presenter, “Affordable housing and incentive programs in Seattle and the Eastside and how they influence growth,” WSBA Environmental and Land Use Law Section Midyear Conference, May 2021.
  • Ask a Legal Professional, Puget Sound Business Journal (Street Vacation Policies), June 2018.
  • Presenter, “In the News Case Studies: Structures, Challenges and Outcomes, Washington State Convention Center Addition;” Public/Private Partnerships: Pitfalls & Opportunities CLE, November 2017.
  • Ask a Legal Professional, Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle Design Review Program Changes), June 2017.
  • Author, Ask a Legal Professional, Puget Sound Business Journal (URM Buildings), June 2016.
  • Presenter, “'Street Vacations' — The Legal World Meets the Real World,” 2016 WSBA Environmental and Land Use Section Mid-Year Meeting and Conference.
  • Author, Seattle City Council Passes a Housing Tax Resolution to Fund Affordable Housing, October 28, 2014.
  • Co-author, “Running Covenants” Chapter 8 Update, Real Property Deskbook, Washington State Bar Association, 2014.
  • Author, Ask a Legal Professional, Puget Sound Business Journal (Downtown Bonus Floor Area Requirements), June 2014
  • Author, Ask a Legal Professional, Puget Sound Business Journal (Incentive Zoning, South Lake Union), August 2013.
  • Author, "Climate Refugees Require Relocation Assistance: Guaranteeing Adequate Land Assets through Treaties Based on the National Adaptation Programmes of Action," Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal, Vol. 19.3, 613 (2010).
  • Seattle Center Advisory Commission, Vice-Chair
  • NAIOP Government Affairs Committee, Seattle Chair
  • Washington State Bar Association - Environmental and Land Use Law Section
  • King County Bar Association - Environmental Law & Land Use Section
  • Federal Bar Association, Western District of Washington
  • Repeatedly recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® in the field of Land Use & Zoning Law, most recently for 2024.
  • Recognized by Chambers USA in the "up-and-coming" tier for Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use law in 2022.
  • Repeatedly recognized as a Rising Star by Washington Super Lawyers, most recently in 2023.
  • Winner, Connect Media's 2020 Next Generation Award (Seattle)
  • J.D., University of Washington School of Law, with honors, December 2010
         Moot Court Honor Board
         Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal
         Three Degrees: Law of Climate Change and Human Rights Conference
         (Volunteer Coordinator)
  • B.A., University of Washington, magna cum laude, Honors English and Political Science, 2007
         Phi Beta Kappa
         Washington Scholar

I love to travel, and highlights include: camping in the Serengeti, learning to cook in Bali, writing a novel in Paris, snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, hiking the Inca Trail, and eating pancakes with the President of Iceland.  In Seattle, I stay busy through civic engagement in the arts, land use policy, and environmental causes.  I also enjoy flying through novels in a single sitting, crushing my husband at bocce ball, rooting for the Huskies, and searching for great hole-in-the-wall restaurants.