Land Use & Zoning

Creating and transforming land use and zoning classifications to assist clients who are pursuing development projects and business opportunities throughout the state has been an important part of the Firm’s core business since its inception. The combination of our pre-eminence in real estate, local governmental law, lobbying, and Construction law provides our developer clients with unique and unparalleled counsel in planning, developing and building projects.

From complex commercial ventures such as hotels, office buildings, industrial parks, shopping centers, warehouses, racetracks and telecommunications towers to high rise condominiums, apartment buildings, residential homes, workforce and affordable housing, and even county fairs, the Firm’s land use and zoning attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable in all aspects of land development and usage including but not limited to, local government law, developer agreements, land use and zoning changes, environmental permitting, site planning, DRI compliance, creation of Planned Unit Developments (PUD), Planned Developments (PD), Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRA). Where appropriate, we assist our clients to obtain density increases, drafting and filing of state registration requirements, use of tax credit financing, variances, temporary use permits, drafting and processing amendments to local, county and state law, and obtaining valuable economic incentives.

The Firm has a successful track record for increasing developer entitlements with density bonuses, variances, special exceptions, tens of millions of dollars in cash incentives to developers, and many creative zoning solutions. The Firm prides itself in working with civic and community groups to build consensus and propose out of the box winning strategies that unify communities. The Firm has vast experience in all aspects of local government approvals, site plans, signage, water-sewer permits, TCO’s, CO’s, environmental approvals, concurrency, and permits for rock crushing, mining, fill, asphalt operations, etc. The Firm has successfully represented clients in over 100 different cities in Florida.

Our client base includes buyers, sellers, lenders and borrowers, owners, developers and contractors who are all seeking to increase the economic value of their land. In addition, the Firm represents telecommunications companies seeking approvals from local governmental entities for specific land uses that will enhance their technology. In addition, through our representation of 4,000+ Community Association clients, we are called upon to negotiate development agreements to mitigate impacts from nearby or adjoining developments. We have successfully represented Community Association clients before City and County Commissions throughout Florida on zoning, permits, height limitations, setbacks, noise mitigation, etc.

Clients for whom we have handled land use, zoning & entitlement work include, for example: Trump, WSG, Ocean Properties, Cornerstone, Triad, Pinnacle Housing Group, RAM, MCZ/Centrum, Isle of Capri Casinos, J.W. Harris, Carr Development, Lane, Firm Realty, Southern Facilities, Fortune, U.S. Capital, Diplomat Properties, Frontier Development, T-Mobile, TD Bank, Prince Bush, United Trust Fund, Ferro Development, Advance Auto Parts, Sunshine Gas Distributors, Lexus of Kendall, Ben Gamla Charter Schools, Advantage Academy Charter School and many others.

The Land Use & Zoning team has experience throughout Florida. The team includes long time Miami Dade County zoning attorney Perry Adair. Michael Boutzoukas leads our efforts in Tampa Bay and Orlando regions.

Client Accomplishments

For TD Bank – Obtained various real estate development entitlements (zoning, site plan, architectural review, signage, construction permits, variances, special exceptions, and certificate of occupancy) for TD Bank retail stores (branches) in Miami Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. The team has been involved in over 40 TD Bank store sites.

For Premier Beverages – Helped lead one of the largest wine and spirit distributors, through the land use, zoning, and site planning process in Tampa and won approval to turn vacant agricultural property into a 1,575,000 square foot distribution facility and industrial park. Secured over $250,000 in economic incentives from Hillsborough County Commission.

For the Isle Casino and Racing at Pompano Park – Worked on hundreds of permit approvals in the design, construction and operation of the new $200 million and the second largest land use amendment in Broward County history allowing for major development.

For Pinnacle Housing Group – Obtained approvals to construct workforce and affordable housing opportunities in Hollywood, Pompano Beach, Sunrise, Ft. Lauderdale, and Miami Dade County.

For Nextel, Sprint & T-Mobile – Won dozens of land use and zoning battles for various telecommunication providers, such as Nextel-Sprint, and T-Mobile on antenna siting issues in Miami Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County and Collier County.

For Lexus of Kendall – Helped rezone a residential parcel to industrial/commercial for the expansion of LEXUS of Kendall and won a precedent setting appeal of the Miami Dade County road impact fees.

For various developers – Helped secure tens of millions in economic incentives, entitlements, special exceptions & development rights:

  • JPI (City land and parking garage)
  • Firm Realty/Lane Development ($14 million and a City parking garage)
  • Southern Facilities ($15 million)
  • Triad Housing (various affordable housing and tax credit projects and DUO in Hallandale Beach)
  • Sheridan Stationside Village – first Transit Oriented Development
  • Avery Glenn – 140 unit workforce housing project
  • Fortune Development – a 41 story ocean-side hotel on Hollywood Beach in a unanimous vote.

WSG Development â€“ Secured zoning entitlements and incentives (90% return of TIFF) for a mixed use development over a 15 month period with 10 public hearings for rezoning, master plan approval, design approval, development agreement approval, and financial incentives worth $24 million.

At Miami Dade County – Rezoned from RV3M (town homes) to BU-1-A (commercial) for client Ferro Development to allow for Publix and Walgreens in western Miami Dade County.

At Miami Dade County – Secured the award for Pinnacle Housing of the Miami-Dade County GOB Multi-Family Affordable Housing Development Program for the Caribbean Boulevard site. The plan calls for a $46M mixed use development. Pinnacle beat out two other bidders Related and Biscayne in a hotly contested battle before the County.

For AECOM in Davie – Quarterbacked Consumptive Use Permit (CUP) new water and waste water facility in Davie for AECOM water in just nine months.

For Homeowner and Condominium Associations – Helped protect home values and preserve open spaces by stopping development that would have negatively impacted homeowners way of life by working with local government. Our attorneys have helped organize grass roots coalitions of homeowners and communities which lobby their local governments, often clad in bright color t-shirts, holding signs, and organizing petitions. These efforts have been successful all over Florida including Broward County: Las Olas Beach Club Fort Lauderdale, Jacaranda Plantation, Woodmont Tamarac; Pasco County: Ocean Club; Miami Dade County: Jadewinds Association; Indian River County: South County Preservation Society; Collier County: Casa Grande; Indian River County: South County Preservation Society; and in many other communities around Florida.

For Isle of Capri Casino and Pompano Park Racing in Pompano Beach – Won one of the largest Land Use Amendments in 2010 for 2700 hotel rooms, conference facilities, retail, and 1300 residential units approved at over 10 public hearings. The Firm won a rare rezoning and new land use of a golf course in City of Hollywood from open space to commercial and worked in Pembroke Pines to ensure our client had access to its property during Plat review.

For Advance Auto Parts – Represented before City of Miami Code Enforcement Board and successfully reduced a code lien of over $290,000 to $2,500.