We have extensive experience in the field of land use planning. Members of the firm began their land use planning practice “backwards,” that is, by reforming existing plans when public and private sector clients retained the firm after-the-fact in order to work through implementation challenges. Too often, we discovered that our efforts involved total rewrites of the existing plans because institutional, legal, or financial assumptions upon which the plans were based were unrealistic or otherwise not realized. The plan implementation component of our practice then grew over time to encompass both planning and plan implementation – a scope which has often saved our clients the frustration of going through the planning process twice. As a result of our experience in meeting and overcoming plan implementation challenges for a great number of years, our planning efforts begin with implementation in mind.
Our land use planning practice is not limited to its public sector clients. Indeed, on numerous occasions, we have used land use planning as a tool for achieving a private sector client’s development objectives. For example, when endangered species are located on a parcel proposed for development, the best way to move forward with development plans is to develop a habitat conservation plan that ensures that the project will not harm the long-term survival of the species. Similarly, conflicts that result from infill projects are often amenable to special area planning initiatives that focus on ways to meet the interests and objectives of proponents and opponents alike. In our experience, land use conflicts often result from shortcomings in public planning programs, and we have helped our private sector clients resolve land use conflicts by developing planning programs that augment the existing programs and allow for realization of private sector objectives.