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Services

CBD Optional Method of Development Approvals

CR Zone Mixed-Use Development Approvals

Developer Agreements

Due Diligence

Easement Preparation

Legislative Advocacy

Master Plan Representation

Public/Private Partnerships

Special Exceptions, Conditional Uses

Subdivision and Site Plan Approvals

Adequate Public Facility Reviews

Boundary Issues

Building Lot Termination (BLT) Easements

Building Permits and Green Building Compliance

Environmental Compliance

Forest Conservation

Historic Preservation

Impact Taxes and Development Fees

Land Development Permitting

Land Use

Public Utility Easements

Right of Way Issues

Special Taxing Districts

Stormwater Management Agreements

Traffic Mitigation and Transportation Demand Management

Transferable Development Rights (TDR) Easements

Variances

Water & Sewer Category Changes

Zoning Applications

Zoning Opinions

Zoning Text Amendments

Land Use/Zoning

Overview
Experience
News & Publications

Linowes and Blocher LLP's Land Use/Zoning attorneys are widely recognized for possessing an in-depth comprehensive understanding of the entire spectrum of land use and zoning issues, from traditional planning, zoning and building permit cases to complex development review and approval processes that require creative strategies and solutions.  We counsel developers, builders, governmental entities, non-profit institutions, and other local, national and international businesses on development projects from inception through completion, whether large mixed-use developments encompassing hundreds of acres or individual residential properties.  Our ability to work effectively with the public sector and local communities to develop efficient and cost effective responses has been a hallmark of our success for decades. Our ability to serve our clients stretches throughout the greater Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area to include Washington, D.C., Montgomery County, Frederick County, Anne Arundel County, Howard County, Prince George’s County and Charles County. 

Development and Regulatory Approvals

Beginning with planning and zoning and extending through the administrative land use process, we work with each client to provide thoughtful and incisive input and leadership while working with technical consultants and regulators to maximize value.  These development and regulatory review processes include:

  • Master (comprehensive) Plan representation
  • Zoning Applications – including floating, overlay, planned unit, performance and mixed-use zones
  • Variance and Special Exception (conditional use) applications
  • Preliminary Plan of Subdivision and Record Plats
  • Project Plans, Sketch Plans and Site Plan applications
  • Forest Conservation Plans, Stormwater Management Plans and Sediment & Erosion Control Plans
  • Adequate Public Facility Review –Traffic and School Capacity Studies, Management Plans, Agreements and Exactions
  • Affordable Housing Agreements (Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit (MPDU) - Agreements)
  • Transfer Development Right (TDR) Easements, Building Lot Termination (BLT) Easements, Developer Rights and Responsibilities Agreements (DRRA’s)
  • Credits and Agreements related to impact fees, linkage fees and development mitigation fees
  • Water and Sewer Authority Regulations
  • Permit applications

Zoning and Land Use Analysis

Complementing our experience in regulatory land use law, we prepare due diligence analyses and materials for prospective buyers of individual properties, multi-parcel projects and large asset pools. We also research and prepare zoning legal opinion letters for presentation to lenders and review the zoning opinions of others on behalf of lenders.

Local and State Advocacy

Linowes and Blocher LLP attorneys are known in Maryland for building and maintaining professional relationships with the legislative and administrative leaders, decision-makers and regulatory staff of our local and state level governments who can have an impact on each client’s success.  Our attorneys understand the public policies and personalities that influence land use decisions and are often able to help shape those policies through advocacy on behalf of our clients.  Areas where advocacy efforts have been utilized include:

  • Comprehensive Planning/Master Plans
  • Zoning Text and Subdivision Regulation Amendments
  • Water and Sewer Plans
  • Annexations and Annexation Agreements
  • Growth Regulations and Staging Policies
  • Legislative Advocacy

Public/Private Partnerships

Linowes and Blocher LLP attorneys have also pioneered public/private partnerships to achieve client objectives while creating private sector solutions to public redevelopment needs.  Our attorneys have worked with local and State legislators and executives to create public/private partnership opportunities for client growth and value on complex projects such as the redevelopment of Downtown Silver Spring and the White Flint Sector Plan.  It is the experience and critical, creative thinking of our attorneys that help make these and other complex projects possible.  In addition to navigating the development and regulatory approval steps outlined above, public/private partnership efforts have also included:

  • Development and Special Taxing Districts
  • Commercial District Management Authorities
  • Development Rights and Responsibilities Agreements

Appeals and Litigation

When litigation cannot be avoided, our lawyers represent clients through the administrative and regulatory appeals process and in litigating civil matters. Our lawyers are retained to analyze and present arguments challenging the arbitrary nature of governmental action and such issues as takings, procedural and substantive due process, equal protection, statutory compliance, and uniformity in the application of laws and regulations.  We also represent clients in condemnation and inverse condemnation matters.

Consulted by Government

Our reputation in land use and zoning matters has led cities and counties to call on us to assess the legal validity and practical application of proposed regulations.  We have helped create and evaluate governmental strategies and legislation for comprehensive planning, growth management, adequate public facilities, transferable development rights, environmental protection, transportation policy, commercial management and special taxing districts, sustainable development, sign regulation and historic preservation.