Land Use and Development

Land Use and Development

Experienced, Aggressive Advocates for the Rights of Property Owners

The value of real estate is framed by the use entitlements and limitations established by local zoning laws. As these laws grow more complex — and as groups opposed to development have begun to employ increasingly sophisticated strategies to block projects — property owners need intelligent, experienced counsel to help them navigate the thicket of land use regulation and litigation.

The real estate lawyers of Hunton & Williams LLP have experience advising and entitling property owners across the United States. In addition to our knowledge of land use law and an understanding of intricate business and political issues, we have developed long-term working relationships with key professionals such as civil engineers, architects, environmental specialists, traffic engineers, elected and appointed officials, planning departments and civic and community groups. We have found these skills, understandings, instincts and relationships to be beneficial regardless of jurisdiction or location.

Recent client engagements have involved regional shopping malls and retail facilities of all sizes; hotels, office parks, mixed-use developments, single-family detached, attached and multifamily housing communities, rehabilitated buildings, community revitalization developments, assisted-living centers and retirement communities, a broad range of infrastructure, utility and landfill projects and valuation-related litigation such as condemnations and tax appeals.

We advise clients in the following key areas:

  • Land use entitlements such as rezonings, comprehensive plan amendments and conformity reviews, special and conditional use permits and exceptions, historic district approvals, variances, site plan and other development plan approvals.
  • Due diligence, analysis and advice on issues affecting the purchasing, financing and use of property, including comprehensive plan provisions, zoning limitations, site plan requirements, environmental legislation, downzoning initiatives and other government actions.
  • Trial and appellate litigation involving rezonings, downzonings, sewer and development plan moratoria, vested property rights, tax assessment appeals and utility rate controversies.
  • Eminent domain and regulatory takings.