Land Use, Zoning & Development


Ulmer & Berne’s real estate attorneys regularly advise and counsel clients on zoning compliance, land use and planning issues. We represent business owners and individuals in a wide array of zoning compliance questions, including permitted land and building uses and compliance with building and zoning codes. We have significant experience working collaboratively with municipal zoning and building officials and appearing before boards of zoning appeals, boards of building standards, and planning commissions to resolve or challenge issues for clients. We have experience representing clients in litigation on the municipal, common pleas, and appellate levels against claims of zoning and land use violations.

Examples of projects include: clarifying zoning and use compliance with municipalities, obtaining zoning verification letters, use permits and affirmative title insurance over recorded land use restrictions, obtaining variances to use properties for uses otherwise disallowed under zoning and/or building codes, defending property owners against alleged zoning violations, challenging the constitutionality of retroactive provisions in municipal zoning codes and lobbying against re-zoning initiatives targeting property owners.

Ulmer & Berne attorneys provide a broad range of services to developers, lenders, owners, federal, state and local government entities, contractors, management companies, investors, nonprofit organizations, and others involved with community development projects.

We have handled numerous complex real estate projects, leveraging both traditional and non-traditional sources of financing along with tax credits such as New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC), historic tax credits (HTC – both federal and state), Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and preservation easements as well as projects combining HTC with NMTC and HTC with LIHTC.

We also have represented numerous clients in the restoration and rehabilitation of downtown and urban areas involving tax increment financing, facade easements, lost development easements, land use, HUD, Fannie Mae financing and county and city financing.

Our team of highly skilled attorneys simplifies the redevelopment process and reduces the time between concept and deal closing. We identify community redevelopment and tax credit opportunities, financing sources for acquisition, construction and rehabilitation, and resolve environmental, tax, and title issues. Our attorneys have the expertise to help clients identify the best and most efficient structure for the transaction, and help obtain permits, variances and approvals from governmental authorities.

Cleveland-based attorney Henry Bailey was recently appointed to the Board of Zoning Appeals for the City of Cleveland. Mr. Bailey’s five-year term begins August 1, 2016. Mr. Bailey is an associate working in Ulmer & Berne’s Real Estate Practice Group and focusing his practice on land use, zoning, and development and historic...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to name Mary Forbes Lovett chair of the firm’s nationally recognized Real Estate Practice. Ms. Lovett, a partner in the firm’s Cleveland office, represents developers, nonprofit organizations, lenders, and investors in a wide variety of urban development projects utilizing federal and state historic, low...

Representative Experience