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Land Use and Zoning

Often hand in hand with environmental review are facility siting, land use and zoning obligations that are triggered when a project sponsor seeks to construct, expand or modify a building, commercial use or industrial operation. Couch White’s environmental attorneys advise clients on applicable municipal zoning processes, as well as more in depth zoning and land use concepts including vested rights, non-conforming uses, the County of Monroe doctrine and others. The Firm’s representative experience includes:

  • Evaluating applicable zoning requirements and developing a strategy to efficiently address project needs.
  • Managing zoning approval process including preparation of applications, ensuring procedural requirements are properly completed, and representation before local boards.
  • Drafting zoning amendments to create unique zoning structures for multi-use development such as Planned Development Districts and Planned Unit Developments.
  • Create and pass legislation working with municipalities to establish new commercial and industrial districts to allow project development and future development opportunities.
  • Developing strategy to obtain zoning approvals for controversial and complex projects including asphalt, mining, oil and gas, gaming facilities, and others.
  • Successfully applying novel land use principles to various projects to obtain zoning exemptions or defend property rights.
  • Obtained vested rights to establish industrial operation due to governmental delay based upon citizen opposition to project.
  • Developed County of Monroe analyses and records withstanding judicial challenge.
  • Drafted critical amicus curiae briefs in Court of Appeals cases determining extent of non-conforming uses and vested rights available to mining projects.


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