Tom Terpstra practices in the areas of real property, land use and environmental law, with particular emphasis on the California Environmental Quality Act and related litigation. Tom’s extensive list of private clients includes some of the region’s most prominent real estate developers and builders, dozens of large dairy operators, agricultural growers and processors and the sand and gravel mining industry. In addition, Tom has served as City Attorney for the City of Ripon since 1993. Tom has also served as special counsel to various cities and counties in the Central Valley on land use and environmental law matters, including the cities of Escalon, Livingston and Patterson, the County of San Joaquin, the North County Corridor Authority and the Merced County Association of Governments.

A few of Tom’s more recent success stories include:

  • Negotiating a comprehensive entitlement package, including Master Plan, Annexation and Development Agreement for the proposed “CenterPoint” intermodal center in north Manteca, a project comprising more than 5,000,000 square feet of industrial buildings, and related commercial uses.
  • Successfully defending mining entitlements for a large hard rock quarry in eastern Madera County against a legal challenge alleging noncompliance with the California Environmental Quality Act.
  • Obtaining a Conditional Use Permit for an 8,000 cow dairy in Merced County, a project which entailed negotiations with community interest groups and additional permitting from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board.
  • Tom is currently assisting the former Ripon Redevelopment Agency in the winding down of its affairs, and the disposal of its property, as required by ABx1 26.

Mr. Terpstra is a member of the State Bar of California.  He is admitted to practice in the State of California and before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

Mr. Terpstra received his Juris Doctorate from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1989.  He was awarded the Honors at Entrance designation, as well as the McGeorge Scholar Award upon acceptance to McGeorge.  Mr. Terpstra obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa.  He was a letter winner and three-year member of the Men’s Varsity basketball team.

Mr. Terpstra is a Board Member and Past President of Ripon Christian Schools and has served on the Board of Elders at Calvary Reformed Church.  He is also an active member of the California Building Industry Association, the Building Industry Association of the Delta and the Central Valley City Attorneys Association.

Mr. Terpstra has lectured for several industry and trade groups on land use and environmental law, including Western United Dairymen, California Building Industry Association, the Central Valley Association of Engineers and Land Surveyors, and other civic organizations.

Terpstra Henderson, 578 N. Wilma Avenue, Suite A, Ripon CA 95366 (209) 599-5003
President/Shareholder 2007 – Present
City Attorney/City of Ripon 1993 – Present

Herum \ Crabtree
Shareholder 1997 – 2007

Neumiller & Beardslee
Associate/Shareholder 1989 – 1997

Mr. Terpstra resides in Ripon, California with his wife LaDonna. When not practicing law, he participates in sports, coaches junior high basketball, enjoys fishing and is an amateur numismatist.