Land Use and Zoning Team
Property and business owners, developers and local governments know that navigating land use laws and procedures require specialized knowledge and experience. Significant projects may require understanding local zoning and land use laws as well as state and federal laws which regulate using land. Each set of laws has its own unique language and procedures. Until all requirements are satisfied no new project happens.
Clients rely on Womble Carlyle to solve land use problems so they can use their land for their intended purposes. Every piece of land is unique and so is the strategy for becoming a permitted land development. In each project, we work with our clients, local, state and federal governments, and other interested stakeholders finding solutions. Sometimes this involves bringing into a project team Womble Carlyle attorneys who have diverse experience ranging from municipal and public finance, environmental regulations to governmental relations.
Our attorneys have decades of varied experience in land use law. Our clients want to use their land for their intended purposes, not legal battles. Our focus is on helping clients bring their projects to successful completion and avoid litigation.
When differences can’t reasonably be resolved with others, we represent our clients – land and business owners, developers, governments and others – in land use litigation.
We also represent city and county governments in a wide array of municipal activities, including utility development, land use and zoning matters.
Our land use and zoning experience includes:
- Zoning and rezoning
- Special and conditional use permits
- Site plans and subdivisions
- Interpretations and variances
- All sorts of administrative land use permits such as building permits and grading permits
- Development agreements
- Economic development agreements
- Utility agreements for water, sewer, electricity and other utilities
- Public-private partnerships
- Regulatory and physical takings
- State and federal permits, including those involving riparian buffers, wetlands and brownfields
Our clients’ projects range from industrial and manufacturing facilities, mixed use, retail, office and other commercial uses, multi-family residential, utilities and a variety of private/public partnerships.
The Land Use Team authors North Carolina Land Use Litigator, a blog that digests and analyzes land use legal issues that matter to developers and local governments in North Carolina.
In November 2011, U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers in America ranked Womble Carlyle as a top law firm nationally for Land Use Law in their “Best Law Firms” publication.
Representative Client Matters
- Guided large international dot coms in locating data centers in North Carolina, including rezoning, annexation, site plan approval and negotiating multiple agreements with governments, such as development agreements, economic development agreements and utility agreements.
- Counseled a large electronics manufacturer in land use matters pertaining to building a North Carolina facility.
- Advised a large international bio-manufacturing company in land use and property matters associated with the existing and expanding facilities.
- Helped multiple governments establish an interlocal partnership and construct a regional wastewater treatment facility.
- Represented a major home improvement retailer in securing multi zoning law text changes, variances, annexation site plan and other development approvals for retail stores.
- Represented a developer of a large mixed use development in connection with drafting zoning text amendments to permit the development and obtain development entitlements.
- Helped a national health care specialty developer expedite and obtain approvals for construction of new mixed use medical office and surgery center.
- Counseled a private college in land use matters and secured permits for the expansion of the college.
- Represented a multistate retail developer in connection with the development of a new shopping center which required drafting and lobbying the adoption of new zoning laws, site plan approval and agreements with the local government.
- Represented various clients in all types of land use litigation, including defending rezonings and development permits, seeking overturning governmental interpretations and variances, 1983 civil rights litigation in state and federal courts and various state and federal permit and jurisdiction questions.
- Represented national developer in negotiating development agreement with county government in South Carolina for distribution and manufacturing property and in establishing multi-party improvement district for financing of public infrastructure improvements to accommodate growth related to Charleston port expansion.