Land Use and Zoning
Knowledge of municipal, real estate, and construction law, as well as practical business experience and local market insight are critical to successful land use counsel. Developers, property owners and municipalities need assistance that encompasses the full range of governmental issues, from guidance on property tax valuations and assessments to large scale annexation and new development. For virtually any industrial, commercial or residential land use need in Illinois or throughout the Midwest, Ungaretti & Harris combines the public policy advocacy, public finance and real estate insight that can get development projects from plan to completion.
Because Ungaretti & Harris provides effective counsel to municipalities, it gives us the ability to better help private sector clients succeed in matters involving real estate development. You get an insider’s knowledge on all aspects of land use and zoning law in Illinois and other states, including tax and valuation issues. By integrating the market concerns of property owners with political and governmental realities, the result is successful project completion. Our knowledge of economic development incentives, zoning requirements, property tax assessments, and municipal code compliance frequently provides the crucial edge for project completion. Your project particularly benefits from the close working relationships we have with local corporate authorities, municipal boards and committees which help to facilitate the approval and implementation of development plans in targeted communities.
If you are a developer or municipality looking to build or rehabilitate an industrial, commercial, residential, or mixed use facility, tax related incentives such as tax increment financing (TIF) and tax abatement, establishment of a business district, special service area, special assessment area, or enterprise zone may give you the ideal opportunity.
With our lawyers’ considerable experience working with municipal and state government authorities, we can assist municipalities in their redevelopment endeavors and assist developers to secure approval for a project and negotiate the most favorable tax incentives. Clients have relied on us for such assistance throughout the Midwest (including Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Iowa) for such projects. Developers get the benefit of our knowledge on how government works in these states, and our experience in crafting an advantageous package of incentives. Municipalities get the benefit of our knowledge in that we are able to efficiently and effectively move the communities toward their planning goals.
Property owners and developers alike rely on our help to resolve a wide range of land use issues, from variations, special use permits, rezonings, and text amendments to landmark designations. If you are faced with problems such as these, you can take assurance from the fact that we have successfully handled them for other clients:
Achieve zoning variances that meet a client’s image needs for a headquarters while satisfying the requirements of the municipality where the headquarters campus is located.
Resolve a zoning dispute with Illinois municipal authorities that threatened to prevent an company from opening its operations, by cutting the necessary approval time to just two weeks from the normal four months.
Help an Illinois developer in a hotly contested eminent domain dispute with municipal officials involving the government’s attempt to block rehabilitation of low-income assisted housing.
Guide a developer’s special use zoning application for constructing a townhouse project in unincorporated Cook County through approval proceedings of municipal, county, state and federal regulators (including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Corps of Engineers).
Eminent Domain is frequently employed by government as a mechanism to advance certain public purpose objectives. Our lawyers have considerable experience in this heavily monitored and constantly evolving area of law. We have the expertise necessary to counsel municipalities in conducting condemnation proceedings and the essential knowledge to assist property owners in disputing and litigating issues of under valuation or inverse condemnation when zoning regulation precludes all reasonable use of land.
Land Use and Related Litigation
From challenging the constitutionality of a zoning ordinance as applied to defending a zoning ordinance on its face, Ungaretti and Harris lawyers are equipped to zealously advocate in connection with your land use related litigation. We have successfully represented municipal and county governments in defending their ordinances and represented developers in challenging the same when private interests and public policy conflict.
Land use concerns are often at the heart of any company’s major transactions – an expansion, a development project, the purchase or sale of a new facility. Ungaretti & Harris lawyers have the contacts at all governmental levels, the knowledge of public processes and the dispute resolution skills to successfully resolve any land use issue and protect the interests of our clients. We have the unique ability to provide real estate, zoning and public finance services to developer clients at all stages of development, from the initial annexation or development agreement to the completion of the project.