DC, Maryland, and Virginia Land Use and Zoning

Our DC, Maryland and Virginia Land Use and Zoning attorneys help clients evaluate the risks and rewards of real estate projects, while leveraging our relationships with local governments to obtain the necessary approvals and community support.

Active throughout Northern Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland, our land use attorneys develop and implement legal strategies to take projects from the conceptual stage through application and completion. From pre-acquisition due diligence to obtaining variances, rezoning, special exceptions, and other entitlements for new developments or changes in use, our team works closely with regulators and local governments to expedite the approvals process. We also counsel clients on zoning and planning, landmarks and historic preservation, building code requirements, environmental reviews, public review requirements, as well as on post-entitlement administrative issues, including permitting, signage, subdivisions, and easements.

Whether working on small housing developments or multifamily, high-rise, and office towers, our attorneys adopt a holistic approach to each matter, helping manage the project team so that all parties involved, from architect to environmental consultant, are communicating effectively, and necessary information is being exchanged. To deflect possible challenges by project opponents, we maintain a meticulous administrative record throughout the process, while advising on substantive issues and procedural questions. Similarly, by providing studied guidance on community relations, engaging with community representatives to address any local concerns, and negotiating with elected officials, we help clients avoid costly delays or litigation. When necessary, our team engages Venable's deep bench of experienced land use litigators to defend against challenges to their development approvals in court. No matter how complex a project is, our goal is always the same – helping our clients get the job done on time and under budget.


Representative Matters – Virginia Land Use and Zoning

  • Represented a national REIT in obtaining zoning and land use approvals for the development of a 699-unit apartment building with more than 30,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space in Pentagon City, Arlington, Virginia
  • Represented a pension fund investment advisor in the entitlement of a 306-unit apartment building with 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space in Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia
  • Represented a REIT in zoning and land use approvals for infill development of over 100,000 square feet of retail space and the full renovation of an existing 250,000 square foot office building in Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia.
  • Represented a national REIT in a $15 million purchase of more than 600,000 square feet of transferable development rights in Arlington County, Virginia
  • Represented an affordable housing developer in the entitlement and construction of 249 affordable dwelling units in Rosslyn, Arlington, Virginia.
  • Served as land use counsel to a real estate development firm during the construction and sale of a $222 million apartment and townhouse development in Rosslyn, Arlington, Virginia
  • Obtained government approvals for conversion of a vacant office building to a mixed-use live/work space, with 216 apartment units and 25,000 square feet of co-working office space in Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia