The use of real property for productive purposes has become highly regulated and complex. Chambers USA – America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and Best Lawyers® have selected Morris James attorneys as among the leading land use attorneys in Delaware. We are very familiar with the local development climate, as well as Delaware’s court system and local hearing bodies. According to Chambers USA, our clients applaud “not only [our] understanding of the law itself, but also how individual federal, state and local agencies apply it in practice.”
Our clients rely on us in the key areas of strategic land use planning, zoning due diligence on potential land acquisitions, application preparation and advocacy before administrative boards, land use litigation, and appeals. Morris James' land use lawyers also frequently support lending, leasing and bankruptcy related transactions. We develop long term strategies for maximizing development potential. Our experience also includes annexations, obtaining variances, and requesting formal interpretations of ambiguous zoning and subdivision regulations. Our appellate practice extends to appealing adverse decisions by boards of adjustment, building code officials, planning boards, and legislative bodies, such as city and county councils.
Optimal Outcomes With Our Multidisciplinary Practice
Our resources as a multidisciplinary law firm enable us to draw on the experience of colleagues from aligned legal disciplines, including real estate transactions, government relations, litigation, corporate, and tax to achieve optimal outcomes. For example, clients may seek to utilize a team of firm specialists to draft a conservation easement or trust and obtain associated tax advice.
Morris James represents major developers, investors, and builders. We also work with institutions, business owners, and individuals planning for new projects and buildings, expansions, and additions to existing improvements. Our attorneys have successfully defended against challenges to zoning and other development approvals, as well as zoning and building code violations. We also craft legislation to overcome project development impediments and shepherd bills and ordinances through the process to adoption. On a select confidential basis, the firm assists community groups, businesses, and individuals with strategies for opposing land development plans.
Drafting and Review of Documents
A key component of our Land Use Practice concerns drafting and review of land use applications and the documents normally required to implement a zoning or subdivision approval, such as deed restrictions and easements, and maintenance association documents. Additionally, we use our land use knowledge to write optimal use provisions in leases, deed restrictions, developer agreements, and neighborhood association contracts. We also review and analyze government agency records such as prior zoning approvals, existing violations and future land use plans, condemnation plans, environmental reports, and proposed zoning legislation.