Local governments and property owners alike are frequently confronted with challenges relating to outdoor sign and advertising regulation.  In addition to the usual complexities associated with zoning and other land use regulation, regulations of outdoor signage are subject to limitations imposed by the free speech and expression clauses of the First Amendment to U.S. Constitution, including requirements relating to content neutrality, overbreadth, vagueness, prior restraint and other issues.  Otten Johnson attorneys are a nationally-recognized resource on First Amendment sign and billboard regulation issues, assisting both government and private sector clients on signage matters relating to code drafting, permits and approvals, and litigation associated with sign regulation.

About the Otten Johnson Land Use Group

Complex land use projects require collaborative finesse in working with local governments to advance a land owner’s desired use of the property. Understanding the big picture as well as the details of land use regulation helps the lawyers at Otten Johnson bring credibility to the table when dealing with local governments. That credibility leads to results for our clients.

Our Approach:  Wide-Angle Focus, Results Oriented

Otten Johnson provides big picture, strategic planning with an intense attention to implementing and managing the process. Our approach blends the best of inventiveness and pragmatism. Even in the midst of complex matters, we remain focused on understanding client objectives and helping achieve them in a cost-effective manner. Our group is nationally lauded for representing private-sector landowners in zoning, subdivision, annexation, urban renewal and related land use entitlement matters. Our clients range from privately held local developers and home builders, to publicly traded real estate investment trusts, large format retailers, telecommunications companies, international real estate investors, and non-real estate companies with real estate holdings that support their operations. On occasion, we represent public-sector clients when our experience is relevant to advance a project or to assist with drafting land use regulations.

Though we pride ourselves on a collaborative approach, and building effective working relationships with local governments, collaboration does not always work, and sometimes litigation is necessary. Otten Johnson’s lawyers have vast experience pursuing land use issues in the litigation context. Skilled litigators paired with the unmatched expertise in land use law maximizes our clients’ chances of success in this arena.

Our Land Use practice group represents clients in many contexts, including:

· subdivision and zoning issues

· First Amendment land use matters, including signs, adult businesses and religious land uses

· historic preservation projects

· development agreements and vested rights agreements

· annexation agreements

· initiative and referendum elections

· urban renewal projects

·special district and other public financing arrangements

· revenue sharing agreements

· litigation related to

‑regulatory takings

‑governmental authority

‑unauthorized or excessive fees or taxes

‑development, entitlement and vested property rights disputes

‑constitutional rights of private property owners

‑eminent domain

‑public finance, including metropolitan district and other special district issues.