Jim-Plan-Comm-PhotoJAMES E. WHALEN

Jim Whalen graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in wildlife biology, and began his career in the electric and gas utility business, followed by the oil industry. Jim arrived in San Diego in 1985 as an employee of Chevron Land and Development, and founded J. Whalen Associates, Inc. in 1993. For over twenty years, he has provided clients a consistently high level of service, guiding projects through the frequently opaque land development process, and often devising creative solutions to overcome even the most onerous development constraints.

Jim’s considerable experience with governmental affairs and land use entitlement in the San Diego region is virtually unmatched. In 2014, he was appointed to the City of San Diego Planning Commission by Mayor Kevin Faulconer – an honor and a testament to his reputation within the land development industry and deep knowledge of land use matters. Always seeking to stay on the leading edge of the industry, he is heavily involved with policy work at the San Diego Building Industry Association as the region prepares to comply with the rigorous new stormwater rules.

Jim particularly enjoys working with families and family companies to resolve their land use and environmental issues. In his free time, he can be found surfing, practicing yoga, or relaxing on his patio with a glass of wine and good friends.


Ryan J. Hanley, Esq. is the Senior Project Manager at J. Whalen Associates, Inc. His primary job duties include coordinating with consultants and governmental agencies, document production, and interfacing with clients. He also analyzes law-and-policy matters for the region’s building industry.

Ryan is a skilled advocate. He formerly worked in the high-stakes world of civil litigation, and takes pride in his attention to detail and his ability to navigate complex challenges. A graduate of the University of San Diego and the University of San Diego School of Law, Ryan has close connections to the upcoming generation of local leaders and decision makers. In his free time, Ryan enjoys surfing and hiking.