Zoning and Land Use

Our Practice

Snell & Wilmer maintains one of the largest zoning and land use practices in the western United States. We build and maintain professional relationships with your development team and local government attorneys, planning staff, planning commissioners, and elected officials. Our zoning and land use attorneys are sensitive to legal and business challenges that affect your development plans; and we work closely with you to implement your land use vision, business model and strategies.

We assist clients with zoning and land use legislative and administrative approval processes in connection with the acquisition, development, leasing, sale/exchange or use of real estate. In addition to counseling and working through the maze of local, state and federal agency reviews, our attorneys are prepared to handle administrative appeals, alternative dispute resolution procedures and litigation. Our team of attorneys, urban planners and project assistants work with our clients' site development planners, traffic engineers, surveyors, civil engineers, site acquisition specialists, property managers, and leasing directors to formulate and implement strategies to help accomplish our clients' development objectives against the complex backdrop of local regulations.

We are local counsel for Fortune 100 and 500 companies, respectively, and multi-state developers. We understand the value of utilizing our established relationships with local government officials to help keep your project on budget and on schedule. We have experience working with cities and counties throughout Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, and Utah as well as northwestern Mexico. Snell & Wilmer has assisted clients in a wide variety of land use sectors such as:

  • Telecommunications
  • Outdoor advertising
  • Energy
  • Oil and gas
  • Mining
  • Manufacturing
  • Commercial leasing
  • Master planned communities and resorts
  • Office and industrial parks
  • Shopping centers
  • Institutional campuses
  • Public transit systems

Our team of experienced attorneys and staff work "behind the scenes" with local government attorneys, planning staff, planning commissioners, and elected officials to lay the groundwork and increase the likelihood of success. We handle sensitive and controversial land use matters with careful advocacy, lobbying, and public and government relations strategies; and when it makes sense, we explore compromises.

In the event that a compromise cannot be reached, we use our firm's vast resources to litigate, arbitrate or mediate your civil rights, inverse condemnation, vested rights, and other property rights claims to help achieve our clients' objectives.

What We Can Do for You

Our zoning and land use attorneys will facilitate zoning entitlements and procurement of necessary permits for your project and negotiate for government inducements to foster project profitability. We also assist with various related matters, including:

  • Conditional use permits
  • Dedications
  • Design review
  • Development agreements
  • Due diligence reports
  • Easements and rights-of-way
  • Special districts
  • Liquor licenses
  • Local ordinance amendments
  • Local, state and federal licenses and permits
  • Non-conforming uses
  • Plat approvals
  • Private covenants and restrictions
  • Public land use permits
  • Public utility licensing application and status
  • Redevelopment projects
  • Stadium and arena development
  • Takings and exactions
  • Telecom Siting
  • Utility service contracts
  • Variances
  • Zoning use opinions