Our integrated team provides a wide-range of services related to real estate, land use, and zoning issues. We represent stakeholders at all levels of real estate, from owners, developers, buyers and sellers to landlords, tenants, lenders, builders, and other professionals with issues related to regulation of the use and development of public and private real estate. Often our primary goal is to protect and advance the property rights of our clients and we are equipped to handle any issues that arise, including governmental and community-related concerns.
There are a wide variety of areas related to land use. We provide assistance with early research and opinion drafting on permitted uses and other available options. Our team can help with applications for site approvals, variances, conditional use approvals, rezonings, economic development incentives, and subdivision work (lot splits and consolidations). We also carry out executive and administrative advocacy. This includes work with mayors, planning and development officials, in-house lawyers, planning commissions, zoning appeals boards, surveyors, and engineers. Additionally, we handle litigation related to these issues.
Our full services include support related to:
- Local zoning
- Zoning appeals
- Administrative appeals
- Building permits
- Contract preparation
- Environmental issues
- Eminent domain
- Real estate tax appeals
- Conditional use permits
- Use approvals
- Development approvals
Land Use Litigation
While we aim to resolve issues without having to enter into unnecessary litigation, should the situation arise, our experienced team is prepared to protect client interests in court. Our lawyers have tried and won virtually every manner of litigation dispute. We offer extensive bench strength and by employing the latest technology and strategies in the courtroom, we are able to consistently deliver cost-effective results to a wide range of clients.
Defense of Land Use Decisions
Although our primary representative focus is the representation of private entities in their relationship with approving authorities, several of our lawyers have longstanding experience both in-house and as special outside counsel advising and advocating on behalf of public entities in their land use matters. We have provided strategic guidance on governments’ regulation of land within their jurisdictions and have appeared in both administrative and judicial forums to advise and advocate on behalf of political subdivision administrations, councils, boards and commissions. These matters range from routine zoning matters, conditional use applications and variances to sophisticated appropriations matters, administrative appeals and litigation.
- Zoning counsel to local office developers, high-density urban and collegiate apartment developers, auto dealerships, warehouse developers, large religious landowners, mall operators, solar developers
- Successfully handled rezonings, subdivision approval and land use approvals from start to finish
- Participated in numerous administrative appeals and litigation matters related to land use
- Prosecuting nuisance cases on behalf of municipalities and providing guidance on day-to-day and difficult land use matters
- Defending municipal and township land use decisions at the administrative level and in various courts and tribunals
- Served as the lead real estate attorney representing Playhouse Square Foundation on the construction and development of its 34-story apartment tower, “The Lumen at Playhouse Square,” which consists of 318 apartments, 528 parking spaces and approximately 20,000 square feet of residential amenities.
- Represented Cuyahoga County Public Library in the sale and purchase of real property for construction of new library branches.
- Represented a real estate developer in connection with the admission of an equity investor and the granting of a conservation easement for the façade and air rights for two historic buildings. Also represented the client on a construction loan for the redevelopment of the buildings for office use.
- Acted as local counsel for one of Ohio’s full service casinos, assisting with land assemblage, tenant relocations, demolition and construction, historic landmarks, landowner lawsuits, receivership purchases and venture financing in excess of $800,000,000.
- Assisted a medical school to relocate its main campus from the City of Cleveland to the City of Independence, Ohio, including acquisition, zoning and development representation.
- Represented a national land trust in the acquisition of approximately 150 acres of land in Summit County, Ohio for development into a park and recreation facility.
- Served as lead counsel in connection with the acquisition of multiple parcels of land, obtaining numerous government grants and tax incentives and the drafting and negotiating construction contracts for an advanced lithium ion battery manufacturing facility.
- Representing the buyer/developer of a self-storage building in Delray Beach, Florida, including zoning and subdivision approvals.
- Successfully appealed the denial of an Agricultural Classification for an equestrian facility in Wellington, Florida owned as a condominium.
- Represented municipalities and property owners in multiple eminent domain cases and counseled public finance clients regarding appropriations issues.
- Represented municipality and served as trial counsel in eminent domain case to determine just compensation (jury trial).
- Advised public and private clients on all aspects of land use, real estate, zoning and economic development and finance matters involving, for example, a $100 million mixed-use development on former hospital site; the sale of municipal land for development of $34 million healthcare facility; tax-increment financing, job creation tax credit and community reinvestment area financing for the redevelopment of a former world headquarters office and industrial site; and the transformation of a closed municipal landfill for solar power generation.
- Advised clients on all aspects of zoning and land use regulation and administrative actions, including advocacy and appearances before boards of zoning appeal, township and municipal planning commissions and other civic bodies.
- Successfully represented municipality before the Sixth District Court of Appeals on the issue of zoning for commercial fishing.