Land Use and Zoning
Spotts Fain’s land use attorneys have a broad range of experience in representing property owners, businesses and developers in many jurisdictions throughout Virginia. Our experience includes all types and sizes of projects, whether it be working with our clients to apply for and obtain the approvals needed to construct their development or open their business or, alternatively, litigating to protect and enforce our clients’ property and development rights.
We work with our clients to analyze and better understand the approvals needed for any given project, from simply obtaining extended hours of operation to re-zoning for large mixed use developments. Our experience and relationships with local planning and elected officials allow us to advise our clients through a process that can vary greatly depending upon the locality, surrounding community and any number of other factors often known only through previous experience. While much of our work is in those localities which make up central Virginia and the Richmond metropolitan area, our attorneys have also been active in a number of southside and southwest Virginia jurisdictions, as well as the northern neck and tidewater.
Although it is usually preferable to work cooperatively with local planning departments, commissions or boards, experienced land use attorneys also recognize that sometimes it is necessary to litigate or actively defend their clients’ rights, in both civil and criminal court. Spotts Fain has a well-rounded real estate litigation practice, which includes the more specialized area of land use and zoning litigation. Our attorneys have had a broad range of experience challenging overly aggressive or unauthorized actions and positions taken by local governments and administrative officials. These matters include the unlawful denial of permits or licenses or illegal ordinances which prevent the use or development of property.
Finally, we recognize that both timing and expense can be important considerations on how best to proceed in a zoning matter. Obtaining the necessary approvals, whether it be through local boards or the courts, is only worthwhile if the cost in doing so doesn’t inhibit the business or ultimate development. Therefore, not only will our land use attorneys assist you with obtaining and protecting your zoning and development rights, we pride ourselves in doing so in a cost efficient manner.
Tom O'Brien, Meade Spotts and Mike Rothermel