Sidley’s land use and local government relations team has extensive experience assisting clients in working through the complexities of the local regulatory process. Our land use lawyers have obtained governmental approvals and entitlements from scores of municipal and suburban jurisdictions, enabling clients to construct a variety of projects, both large and small. In addition, these lawyers have secured approvals for various commuter rail and institutional projects, such as large hospitals, educational facilities, churches, community centers and homeless shelters, and have assisted utility clients in the expansion of their service networks.
The Real Estate practice counsels clients on the applicability of municipal zoning ordinances as they impact proposed property transactions and development plans, devising strategies that lead to the quickest and most cost effective manner of gaining the needed approvals/entitlements or minimizing the need for local regulatory approvals. In those instances where it is not possible to structure a transaction or development plan within the parameters of permitted activities, we engage in the various procedures necessary to undertake the transaction or begin development: planned developments, rezonings, text amendments, special use applications, variation requests and appeals from the decisions of local zoning administrators.
Sidley’s land use and local government relations lawyers also possess the technical knowledge to guide a proposed subdivision through the approval process and to negotiate ambiguous and/or interpretational issues to the maximum benefit of the client. Additionally, we can assist clients in obtaining benefits under various federal, state and local economic development and tax incentive programs and have experience in annexation, eminent domain, permitting and public way vacation and dedication initiatives.