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Land Use

Complex land use projects require collaborative finesse in working with local governments to advance a land owner’s desired use of the property. Understanding the big picture as well as the details of land use regulation helps our lawyers bring credibility to the table when dealing with local governments. That credibility leads to results for our clients.

Our Approach:  Wide-Angle Focus, Results Oriented

Otten Johnson provides big picture, strategic planning with an intense attention to implementing and managing the process. Our approach blends the best of inventiveness and pragmatism. Even in the midst of complex matters, we remain focused on understanding client objectives and helping achieve them in a cost-effective manner. Our group is nationally lauded for representing private-sector landowners in zoning, subdivision, annexation, urban renewal and related land use entitlement matters. Our clients range from privately held local developers and home builders, to publicly traded real estate investment trusts, large format retailers, telecommunications companies, international real estate investors, and non-real estate companies with real estate holdings that support their operations. We also regularly represent public-sector clients when our experience is relevant to advance a project or to assist with drafting land use regulations. Our Land Use group brings particular expertise in complex matters such as outdoor sign and advertising regulation, and fair housing and equal protection issues.

Though we pride ourselves on a collaborative approach, and building effective working relationships with local governments, collaboration does not always work, and sometimes litigation is necessary. Otten Johnson’s lawyers have vast experience pursuing land use issues in the litigation context. Skilled litigators paired with the unmatched expertise in land use law maximizes our clients’ chances of success in this arena.

Our Land Use practice group represents clients in many contexts, including:

  • subdivision and zoning issues
  • historic preservation projects
  • development agreements and vested rights agreements
  • annexation agreements
  • public-private partnerships
  • initiative and referendum elections
  • urban renewal projects
  • special district and other public financing arrangements
  • revenue sharing agreements
  • preparation of new or updated land use regulations, including sign regulations
  • litigation related to:
    • regulatory takings
    • governmental authority
    • unauthorized or excessive fees or taxes
    • development, entitlement and vested property rights disputes
    • constitutional rights of private property owners
    • eminent domain
    • public finance, including metropolitan district and other special district issues
    • First Amendment land use matters including sign regulation and religious land uses
    • fair housing matters associated with zoning and land use

Our Land Use lawyers are highly sought after for presentations to a range of audiences on issues relating to virtually all aspects of land use law. The unmatched level of expertise provided by our lawyers with respect to Land Use issues is supported by an unwavering commitment to our clients’ success. As a result, the impact of Otten Johnson’s Land Use lawyers can be seen in projects across the landscape of Colorado and even the nation.

Primary Contacts

Rutz, Cory M. photo

Cory M. Rutz

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Sonnenshein, Jed photo

Jed W. Sonnenshein

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