Land Use & Real Estate Development Practice Area

Serving our clients’ land use and real estate development needs, from Florida’s largest landowners to everyday citizens.

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Our clients include Florida’s largest landowners, mining and energy interests, developers, local governments, and everyday citizens.

Our statewide land use practice focuses on numerous issues tied to development entitlements including: real estate; natural resource permitting; public facility concurrency; special district creation for infrastructure financing; and statutory and constitutional property rights protections. Whatever challenge or opportunity our clients may face, we pride ourselves on using our experience to help develop strategies that anticipate hurdles and provide the best chance for success.

Areas of Service

We believe that our most important work in assisting a client who wants to develop land occurs before the client ever files an application.

In our view, Florida’s programs for regulating land use and real estate development are important issues in real estate transactions and usually pose the central challenge in developing land. By drawing on our experience, our goal is to help the client prepare a strategy that anticipates challenges from regulators or other potential opponents and gives the client the best chance for success.

Our experience includes:

  • preparing development programs to comply with local comprehensive plans or strategies for plan amendments to authorize new or different projects;
  • developing and implementing strategies for sector plans and other types of large-area plans on major landholdings;
  • developing and implementing strategies to revise existing entitlements including rescission or revisioning for historic DRIs and the design and execution of annexation strategies;
  • performing “due diligence” on real property before acquisition including analysis of vested rights and equitable estoppel principles and developing strategies for repositioning of project entitlements;
  • negotiating development agreements to provide water, sewer and other types of infrastructure needed to comply with Florida’s “concurrency” requirement for adequate public facilities and to vest entitlements;
  • seeking changes to legislative policy on growth management to address clients’ long-term visions and goals; and
  • representing clients in court when regulatory decisions impose an undue burden on real property or result in a “taking”.

When our clients encounter obstacles in any of these areas of practice, we also apply our depth of experience at the Florida Capitol, advocating policy changes and revisions to statutes, many of which we initially helped pass into law.

In addition to our lawyers’ broad substantive experience, we also have broad experience with governing bodies across the state.  We regularly appear before local governing bodies throughout Florida as well as state agencies that have a role in development review and we represent clients in formal administrative hearings and in civil litigation when a governmental entity or a dedicated opponent attempts to block a project. Our firm has handled numerous complex land development projects over the past 40 years, and our work has never been limited by geography. We have obtained successful results for our clients in land use matters and the establishment of special districts in nearly every county in Florida. We earn the respect of the State’s political bodies and most importantly their staff by being consistent, thorough, paying attention to details, and knowing the law.

HGS Land Use & Real Estate Development News
Aug 19, 2021
Best Lawyers in America 2022
Jul 16, 2021
Florida Super Lawyers 2021
May 26, 2021
HGS recognized in Chambers USA 2021
Nov 9, 2020
U.S. News & World Report Recognizes Hopping Green & Sams in 2021 Best Law Firm Rankings

Contact one of our lawyers to learn more about how we can help.

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