Land Use & Zoning

Land use and zoning is a complicated area of the law, and there is usually a lot riding on the outcomes for clients.  The difficulty stems from the variety of factors at play:  a multitude of jurisdictions (each with similar, but often critically different regulations), a branching decision-tree, varying standards of review, political considerations, and the implication of local, state, federal and constitutional law.  The stakes are high when the use of land is disputed, and lengthy court battles often arise when careful attention is not paid to the specific regulations and procedures applicable to a project at its earliest stages.

For those faced with land use or zoning issues, Petesch Law provides attention to detail, seasoned advocacy, and a thorough knowledge of land use and zoning laws.  The Firm works with individuals, developers, businesses, churches, neighborhood associations, and local governments in both consulting and litigation capacities.  For property owners, consulting means guidance on matters such as rezoning, permitting, variances, annexations, special use permits, site plans, and subdivisions.  For local governments, consulting typically includes ordinance interpretation, revision and amendment, managing public records requests, and serving as counsel to various boards.

Petesch Law represents clients before local Boards of Adjustment, Planning Commissions, Historic Preservation Commissions, City Councils, and County Commissioners as well as in state and federal court.  When land use disputes are litigated, issues involving more than permit approvals and ordinance interpretations arise, such as vested rights, ordinance validity, and constitutional matters.  The Firm also regularly handles appeals to high courts on land-use issues.

Who Needs Guidance
· Businesses
· Local Governments
· Neighborhood Associations
· Private Property Owners
· Developers
· Churches       
  What Are the Issues
· Special Use Permits · Rezonings
· Site Plan Approval · Variances
· RLUIPA   · Appeals
· Text Amendments · Annexation
· Quasi-Judicial Proceedings · Moratoria
· Subdivision Approval · Vested Rights  
  When to Seek Counsel
· Planning Dep't Approval
· City Council Hearings
· Board of Adjustment Hearings
· Historic Preservation Hearings
· Superior Court Proceedings
· Appellate Court Proceedings

Sustainable Development

"Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." 
- Our Common Future World Commission on
Environment and Development Report
  (1987)

What You Should Know

Regardless of which side you are on, if a local board decides a matter against you, it is important to contact a land use and zoning attorney as soon as possible because you have a limited time - as little as 15 days in some cases - to file an appeal.  Challenges to some zoning amendments must be filed within 2 months.
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