Land Use & Development

Land Use & Development

Jack Wilson’s land use practice is broad, encompassing three distinct areas; administrative zoning proceedings before local governments, zoning due diligence and land use litigation. Some clients need all three services. Whatever the request, we have the staff, expertise and experience to handle, efficiently and effectively, any land use representation.

Administrative Practice

A former Planning Commissioner in Chesterfield County, Jack Wilson has the experience and knowledge to address your zoning, permitting, plan approval and other administrative needs. He regularly works with local government planning staffs and appears before local planning commissions and local governing bodies to obtain zoning for parcels of land. He engages the local governments and affected private individuals and entities throughout the process to help ensure a positive outcome when the matter is presented for final decision. Where appropriate, we can recommend specific consultants, whether architects, traffic engineers or landscape planners, to assist in the representation.

Jack Wilson has successfully handled office, residential, commercial, industrial and mixed-use rezoning. These matters have ranged from routine-where there was little or no public concern-to very controversial projects generating vocal and organized public opposition. In all cases diligent and honest communication with local governments and citizens has enhanced the prospects of bringing the matter to a successful conclusion.

Land Use Due Diligence

Jack Wilson and his staff also conduct thorough due diligence for clients. Land use due diligence identifies information that usually is not derived through title examination and may not appear in the transactional record of an asset. We can determine applicable zoning regulations, comprehensive plan provisions and vested rights. We report on the milestone approvals that must be obtained to realize proposed development at specific locations. We analyze the impact of growth management initiatives, infrastructure availability, transportation impact, historic preservation initiatives, and other relevant development issues within the prevailing political climate. We can also assist with preserving existing development rights as land development regulations change.

Land Use Litigation

Jack Wilson is uniquely qualified to handle land use litigation matters. Land use litigation generally arises from either of two circumstances. Often, a client has not obtained a governmental approval it was entitled to and concludes it needs to appeal the denial. The other scenario is where a client has obtained a governmental approval, but a dissatisfied citizen, entity or group decides to challenge that approval.

Building a proper record before the local governing body is essential to reversing an incorrect decision or preserving a desirable one. Doing so requires combining the skills of the land use practitioner, versed in the political aspects of land use decision-making, and the civil litigator trained in the unique aspects of a courtroom trial practice.

Jack Wilson’s decades of legal experience combines these skills. He is able to handle a matter for a client from the filing of an application in the local planning office through the local government approval process and, if necessary, to the Circuit Court and ultimately, perhaps, to the Virginia Supreme Court. This seamless representation from beginning to end is economical to the client since the litigator is the same lawyer who filed the application, handled the administrative process, built the record and, therefore, is intimately familiar with the client and the case.

Our Philosophy

Jack R. Wilson, III PLC is a small firm with large firm skills. Focused on the development, real estate, and business communities, we pride ourselves on providing excellent legal services while recognizing the needs of our clients. Whether it is a routine litigation matter or a complex land use matter, providing the caliber of representation that businesses receive from large national firms with the benefits of a small local practice is what clients of our firm can expect.