Zoning & Land Use

While seeking land use approvals for a new development proposal, developers undoubtedly will face challenges in complying with, or obtaining approval from, government agencies. Whether obtaining approval for a new project, a major rehabilitation of existing structures, or expansion of an existing use, there are local, state and federal laws that often apply that can cause unexpected obstacles. Pursuing permits and other forms of land use approval for projects in the Delaware Valley region is a task that Dilworth has achieved immense success by leveraging its vast expertise in navigating municipal hurdles. We assist clients in navigating routine and complex issues by expertly interfacing with government agencies. We accomplish these successes by tapping into our knowledge and experience, along with availing ourselves the benefit of long standing relationships with key government decision-makers and stakeholders. Our primary goal is constantly guiding our client in managing and minimizing development risks within the bounds of applicable laws and regulations.

Because our project experience ranges from routine entitlement approvals to large, multi-phase master plan developments, we regularly act as land use counsel on transactions that involve both the entrepreneur and the institutional developer.

Our land use practice represents developers, property owners, investors, contractors, universities, school districts, museums, municipalities, and financial institutions in a wide variety of development and construction projects including residential, commercial, alternative energy, recreation, public-private, corporate, and university campuses. 

Mindful that land use entitlements serve a business goal, we understand the ways in which entitlements can affect later aspects of a development, including financing and disposition. For this reason, we often interface with the public formally and informally, providing a buffer and advocate for clients throughout matters. This understanding guides us to structure entitlements and the timing and financing of infrastructure investments to best meet underlying business strategies. Our expertise also includes historic preservation matters, where we have represented clients before local, state, and federal agencies; as well as private preservation groups. 

Representative Matters

  • Zoning variances and land use approvals
  • Real estate tax and assessment challenges
  • Resolution of title issues
  • Condominiums/planned  communities/subdivisions
  • Preparing master deeds and disclosure documents
  • Working with surveyors and engineers on subdivision plats and condominium plans
  • Drafting of easements, licenses, and restrictive covenants
  • Negotiating Administrative Agreements with Government Agencies
  • Development agreements
  • Resolving environmental liabilities
  • Pursuing state & local redevelopment grants and tax credits
  • Drafting land use legislation to benefit projects
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Group Chairs

Darwin R. Beauvais
Chair, Zoning & Land Use
Direct  (215) 575-7051
Philadelphia, PA
Meredith L. Ferleger
Direct  (215) 575-7052
Philadelphia, PA
Neil Sklaroff
Direct  (215) 575-7353
Philadelphia, PA

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