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Overcoming Objections: How and When to Go on Offense Against Land Use Objectors

Land use projects generate opposition. The project is too tall, say critics. Or too dense. Or too out of synch with its surroundings. Even the now-celebrated craftsman bungalows were initially derided as “utterly debased” and a threat to city life. Suffice it to say, handling objections to development has been and will continue to be a fact of real estate life. Objections create delay, uncertainty and expense, particularly when they mature into a lawsuit—and the targets of land use ire often ask whether they must endure complaints and lawsuits via defensive measures alone, or whether it is possible to go on offense. This article briefly describes the typical defensive posture and highlights the narrow class of cases in which it may be possible to take the legal fight back to land use objectors.

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