Land Use

Due to our vast experience representing a number of vibrant and developing communities, we have long been recognized as experts in land use development and planning.  We advise and represent clients in the following areas:

  • General plan and zoning law
  • Land use entitlements such as conditional use permits, variances, and development agreements
  • Military base reuse
  • Development impact fees
  • Purchase and sale agreements
  • Land use initiatives and referendum

Our lawyers have guided city planning departments, planning commissions and city councils for decades through the process of drafting, adopting, amending and processing general plans, specific plans, zoning provisions, conditional use permits and variances.  We have negotiated development agreements for large commercial centers, office professional, residential, hospitals, and school uses.  We have advised clients in drafting and processing land use initiatives and referendums.  We have been with a city since its incorporation, assisted two communities in development and planning of closed military bases, and crafted creative zoning ordinances to address land uses that have the potential to negatively impact neighborhoods that have been mimicked statewide.  We have negotiated purchase and sale agreements and land exchanges involving large commercial uses, non-profits, school uses and military uses.  Our lawyers have significant experience in laws relating to easements, licenses, permits and prior rights.

Our experience in litigating land use matters gives us the ability to foresee possible areas of challenge and to advise our clients in a manner which avoids costly litigation on the front end or, in those cases where it cannot be avoided, to successfully defend against such challenges.  We have had great success in representing clients in court challenges to zoning ordinances, general and specific plan amendments, and other land use entitlements.  Our appellate specialists have successfully represented clients in nearly all of these land use areas.

Our experience in land use matters and those legal fields that are often related thereto, such as constitutional law, environment law, eminent domain, inverse condemnation, and development impact fees, uniquely positions W&S to provide our clients with a broad insight into the various issues that go into land use planning and the processing of land use development.