Land Use
Land Use
Land use decisions play an increasingly important role in business planning and are a critical factor to balancing economic growth with environmental sustainability.
Kelley Drye’s land use team provides comprehensive and creative solutions to private and public clients.  Our multidisciplinary approach enables us to draw on the experience of attorneys and advisors from a range of legal disciplines, including litigation, environmental, energy, real estate, government contracts and government relations to achieve efficient and cost effective results for our clients.

We represent a variety of industry, governmental and trade association clients in due diligence, planning, permitting, hearings, litigation and appeals relating to land use matters. We consider local, regional and federal policy and political conditions in order to create comprehensive and practical solutions for our clients.
 

Litigation/Condemnation

Kelley Drye litigators have argued many of the fundamental constitutional preemption, due process, takings and equal protection land use issues.  Our attorneys are knowledgeable about land use matters related to vested rights and property interests.  We have tried condemnation and takings cases and have the unique experience of having represented both condemning authorities and private property owners in many different multi-million dollar redevelopment, pipeline and transportation sector matters.
 

Real Estate/Corporate Environmental

Kelley Drye attorneys have expertise in resolving real estate and environmental regulatory matters, including negotiating and facilitating the purchase, sale, lease and cleanup of environmentally impacted properties.  In connection with these transactional matters, we provide expertise in contractual risk allocation, property transfer issues, easement and leasehold negotiations, indemnity and third-party risk transfer protections and the negotiation and administration of property cleanup and remediation agreements.  We are adept at incorporating land use planning considerations into site cleanups and remediation agreements, allowing for remedial approaches that can significantly minimize cost.
 

Endangered Species/Animal Law

When a species is listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), Marine Mammal Protection Act, or Lacey Act without scientific justification, it can severely affect businesses that deal with those species. It can also impact most activities in the location where the species is found. We have successfully defended against regulatory and litigation-based ESA challenges and have sought policy-level changes in the regulatory and legislative arenas.
 

Energy

Opponents of upstream and midstream oil and gas operations, and new transmission lines, have become more aggressive and adept at leveraging land use and permitting laws to block, delay and increase development costs.  Kelley Drye’s experience with land use permitting regulations, restrictions and eminent domain laws guide clients through the thicket of sticking points that opponents raise to challenge development projects.  In addition, Kelley Drye’s technical understanding of everything from alleged induced seismicity to hydrology inform the strategy to overcome permit contests developers are more frequently encountering.
 

Government Contracts

We represent clients in a broad range of government contracting matters, including: tariff interpretations and enforcement issues; dredging and dredge material management; United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) regulations and permitting; lease and easement negotiations; emergency response and security measures; and litigation.  We have worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, the Office of Management and Budget, and U.S. congressional committees to have navigation improvements federally authorized and funded. Additionally, we have extensive experience representing clients in the Court of Federal Claims and other fora where disputes with the federal government are adjudicated. Finally, we have worked with the commodities industry on permitting and regulatory issues associated with the transportation of commodities on navigable water.
 

Public-Private Partnerships

Our attorneys use a hands-on approach to work with clients through every stage of the P3 process, including: identifying opportunities at the federal, state, and local levels; counseling clients on structuring, developing and financing P3s; and guiding clients through complex statutory and regulatory schemes applicable to P3s and procurement.  Kelley Drye’s expertise includes P3s and procurement in areas including telecommunications, energy privatization and infrastructure.
 

Permitting

Kelley Drye’s environmental permitting attorneys have extensive experience in handling the environmental permitting issues required to develop or redevelop property.  We can assist clients at every stage of the development process and are especially skilled at handling contested permitting matters, from the application and public notice, through contested hearings and appeals of agency permitting decisions.  Our attorneys also have experience in litigating issues in state and federal court that relate to land development and permitting matters, including  issues such as due process, subsurface trespass and regulatory takings claims.
 
 

Overview

Land use decisions play an increasingly important role in business planning and are a critical factor to balancing economic growth with environmental sustainability.
Kelley Drye’s land use team provides comprehensive and creative solutions to private and public clients.  Our multidisciplinary approach enables us to draw on the experience of attorneys and advisors from a range of legal disciplines, including litigation, environmental, energy, real estate, government contracts and government relations to achieve efficient and cost effective results for our clients.

We represent a variety of industry, governmental and trade association clients in due diligence, planning, permitting, hearings, litigation and appeals relating to land use matters. We consider local, regional and federal policy and political conditions in order to create comprehensive and practical solutions for our clients.
 

Litigation/Condemnation

Kelley Drye litigators have argued many of the fundamental constitutional preemption, due process, takings and equal protection land use issues.  Our attorneys are knowledgeable about land use matters related to vested rights and property interests.  We have tried condemnation and takings cases and have the unique experience of having represented both condemning authorities and private property owners in many different multi-million dollar redevelopment, pipeline and transportation sector matters.
 

Real Estate/Corporate Environmental

Kelley Drye attorneys have expertise in resolving real estate and environmental regulatory matters, including negotiating and facilitating the purchase, sale, lease and cleanup of environmentally impacted properties.  In connection with these transactional matters, we provide expertise in contractual risk allocation, property transfer issues, easement and leasehold negotiations, indemnity and third-party risk transfer protections and the negotiation and administration of property cleanup and remediation agreements.  We are adept at incorporating land use planning considerations into site cleanups and remediation agreements, allowing for remedial approaches that can significantly minimize cost.
 

Endangered Species/Animal Law

When a species is listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), Marine Mammal Protection Act, or Lacey Act without scientific justification, it can severely affect businesses that deal with those species. It can also impact most activities in the location where the species is found. We have successfully defended against regulatory and litigation-based ESA challenges and have sought policy-level changes in the regulatory and legislative arenas.
 

Energy

Opponents of upstream and midstream oil and gas operations, and new transmission lines, have become more aggressive and adept at leveraging land use and permitting laws to block, delay and increase development costs.  Kelley Drye’s experience with land use permitting regulations, restrictions and eminent domain laws guide clients through the thicket of sticking points that opponents raise to challenge development projects.  In addition, Kelley Drye’s technical understanding of everything from alleged induced seismicity to hydrology inform the strategy to overcome permit contests developers are more frequently encountering.
 

Government Contracts

We represent clients in a broad range of government contracting matters, including: tariff interpretations and enforcement issues; dredging and dredge material management; United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) regulations and permitting; lease and easement negotiations; emergency response and security measures; and litigation.  We have worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, the Office of Management and Budget, and U.S. congressional committees to have navigation improvements federally authorized and funded. Additionally, we have extensive experience representing clients in the Court of Federal Claims and other fora where disputes with the federal government are adjudicated. Finally, we have worked with the commodities industry on permitting and regulatory issues associated with the transportation of commodities on navigable water.
 

Public-Private Partnerships

Our attorneys use a hands-on approach to work with clients through every stage of the P3 process, including: identifying opportunities at the federal, state, and local levels; counseling clients on structuring, developing and financing P3s; and guiding clients through complex statutory and regulatory schemes applicable to P3s and procurement.  Kelley Drye’s expertise includes P3s and procurement in areas including telecommunications, energy privatization and infrastructure.
 

Permitting

Kelley Drye’s environmental permitting attorneys have extensive experience in handling the environmental permitting issues required to develop or redevelop property.  We can assist clients at every stage of the development process and are especially skilled at handling contested permitting matters, from the application and public notice, through contested hearings and appeals of agency permitting decisions.  Our attorneys also have experience in litigating issues in state and federal court that relate to land development and permitting matters, including  issues such as due process, subsurface trespass and regulatory takings claims.
Partner
Email (713) 355-5050(713) 355-5050
Bill Jackson is managing partner of the firm’s Houston and Austin offices and co-chair of the Environmental Law practice.  Bill has one of the most sophisticated and successful environm...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8864(202) 342-8864
In his fourth decade of practice, Ira Kasdan is focused on complex civil litigation and alternative dispute resolution. He has successfully argued, and won, high-stakes litigation in federal ...
Partner
Email (713) 355-5024(713) 355-5024
Ann Al-Bahish litigates environmental, commercial and tort matters across the country and has tried cases in state and federal courts.  In addition to general litigation experience, Ann thoro...
Partner
Email (713) 355-5006(713) 355-5006
Kenneth Corley’s practice is focused on litigation and trial advocacy, with an emphasis on environmental and business disputes in state and federal trial courts. Kenny’s environme...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8525(202) 342-8525
Wayne advises heavily regulated companies and industries on environmental, health, safety and natural resources matters.  Wayne routinely works with clients on regulatory and compliance issue...
Partner
Email (713) 355-5055(713) 355-5055
Micheal Dobbs has nearly two decades of experience in commercial, environmental and tort litigation matters, with an emphasis on environmental litigation and regulatory matters.  He has serve...
Partner
Email (713) 355-5005(713) 355-5005
John Gilmour co-chairs the Environmental Litigation section.  His practice encompasses significant commercial, tort and environmental matters from coast to coast, including some of the larges...
Partner
Email (713) 355-5023(713) 355-5023
Will Petit represents clients in the litigation and trial of environmental, commercial and general civil matters.  He also provides practical, cost-effective legal advice on general business a...
Partner
Email (512) 391-1737(512) 391-1737
John Riley represents clients in permitting and enforcement matters in the air, water and waste media.  He advises entities in the power generation, hydraulic fracturing, chemical, manufactur...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8675(202) 342-8675
Mark Robeck co-chairs the firm’s Energy group.  Mark’s practice ranges from the resolution of all types of energy-related litigation claims, including arbitration and the use of o...
Partner
Email (512) 391-1727(512) 391-1727
Paul Sarahan represents clients in the energy, chemical, manufacturing, transportation, technology and retail industry sectors on environmental issues.  For more than two decades, Paul has be...
Special Counsel
Email (973) 503-5936(973) 503-5936
Steven Humphreys concentrates his practice on all aspects of environmental law and related counseling of businesses.  He advises businesses in regulatory compliance and management of environme...
Special Counsel
Email (713) 355-5017(713) 355-5017
Melanie McDonald’s practice includes civil and complex business and commercial litigation, including insurance coverage disputes, multiparty environmental disputes, and the defense of person...
Special Counsel
Email (202) 342-8504(202) 342-8504
Joe Wilson is involved in business litigation in federal and state courts, before government agencies, and in arbitrations and mediations.  Joe’s experience includes representing compani...
Senior Associate
Email (202) 342-8573(202) 342-8573
Travis Cushman’s practice focuses on energy law, environmental issues and complex commercial litigation.  Travis has represented corporate clients, public utilities and national trade or...
Senior Associate
Email (202) 342-8422(202) 342-8422
Bezalel Stern’s practice focuses on commercial litigation, including litigation regarding complex business disputes, real estate and employment matters, and animal law.  Bezalel also adv...
Associate
Email (713) 355-5002(713) 355-5002
Mark Donatiello is an associate in the firm’s Houston office. His practice concentrates on environmental and natural resources law.  He also works in regulatory law. Previously, Ma...
Associate
Email (713) 355-5021(713) 355-5021
Jordan Rodriguez is an associate in the firm’s Houston office and represents clients in the litigation and trial of environmental, commercial, and general civil matters. He concentrates on en...
Associate
Email (713) 355-5009(713) 355-5009
Lauren Valastro began her career representing clients in high-stakes securities litigation involving the 2008 economic crisis.  Over the past several years, much of Lauren’s work has in...

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