Pictured above: VF&N land use and zoning attorney, Karen Cohen, with legendary engineer, Sid Dewberry, PE, LS, Chairman Emeritus, Dewberry, Kat Grimsley, Director of the MS Real Estate Development program at George Mason University, and the team of book contributors, celebrating the publication of the third in a series of land development books by industry-leading design firm, Dewberry.
the Built Environment: From Site Acquisition to Project Completion is a textbook that explores the entire development process from
an applied perspective to provide architects, civil engineers, and other team
members with an understanding of the context in which real estate development
occurs. Karen, fellow alumnae of the Mason Masters of Real Estate
Development (MRED) program, and others, were contributors and advisors.
The commercial real estate and property sector in Northern Virginia and Prince William County has experienced fluctuations in recent years which resulted in vacant buildings. For the owners of these properties, they’re left with a tough decision – let the property stay vacant or repurpose the property.
Repurposing property is
using a building differently than the original intent. As a property owner, you
are looking for cost-effective ways to keep your investment profitable. For example, If you turn an old factory into
loft apartments, or a barn into an event center, the building sees new life,
you continue to make money, and all without building on existing green space.
But it isn’t always that easy to change land use of an existing property.
Land use considerations
Land use laws regulate
how businesses can operate on certain lands. The most common form of land use
regulation is zoning. Cities use this legal process all across the country to
help regulate their local development. Zoning laws prevent you from coming home
to your well-established housing neighborhood and finding a big box store has
set up shop next door.
While it’s not likely for
a big box store to pop up next to houses, it is possible as in our earlier
example, for a factory to become loft apartments. The zoning for that land must
change to account for residents living on the property instead of people coming
to work. Without making this change, it puts both the business operator and
you, the property owner, in legal peril. It’s up to you to make sure the city
allows the land use modification.
Special use permit (SUP)
A special use permit
allows a local government to take a look at one particular development and to
impose conditions needed to mitigate any impacts on the community. It is
available only if the zoning ordinance provides for it.
To obtain a special use permit, you must get approval from the governing body in your community. You need to file an application, submit the filing fee, provide documentation supporting your request, and submit to questioning at a public hearing. See the steps outlined below:
Michael Vanderpool, Esq., founder of Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C. (VF&N) and a highly regarded community leader, will receive the 2019 Leadership Prince William Vision Award. This award honors an individual in Prince William County whose innovative, strategic or bold leadership has had a positive and significant impact on the community. Past award recipients have included Virginia Senator Charles J. Colgan and Dr. Gary L. Jones, CEO of Youth for Tomorrow.
Mr. Vanderpool’s commitment to service and passion for
developing future leaders is best showcased through his legacy at VF&N. Founded on these very principles, Mr.
Vanderpool encouraged a company culture rich in civic duty and leadership. The
firm, located in Manassas and recently named one of Virginia’s largest law
firms, has produced a highly active group of leaders that have, and will continue
to make, significant contributions to their community.
VF&N boasts several industry and community leaders,
including Kristina Spitler, Prince William County Bar Association’s President; Brett
Callahan, President-Elect of the Center of the Arts of Greater Manassas; Karen
Cohen, Chair, NAIOP Government Relations Prince William Subcommittee; three past
chairmen of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce; and several graduates of
the Leadership Prince William program.
Leading by example, Michael Vanderpool has been a
community advocate since he moved to Manassas in 1975. He has contributed to the community in
several areas, including his work to initiate construction of the Route 234
Bypass and the Freedom Center. He was the
founding Chairman of the Manassas Education Foundation and the Hylton
Performing Arts Center for several years and represented the local community while
serving on the Board of the United Way of the National Capital Area. He served
as a Trustee of the George Mason University Foundation and as Trustee and Vice-Chairman
of the Prince William Health System. Most recently, he served as President of
the Manassas Rotary Club and is the current President of the Manassas Rotary Foundation.
Mr. Michael Vanderpool is a leader in business, a
leader in the community and a leader of people.
The government directs 23% of its procurement to small businesses from local, state & federal agencies, large primes and military installations. But some contracts are just too large for many to handle alone. When this is the case, small businesses can team up with one or more other businesses to collectively perform the contract. Learn from a panel of experts, to include VF&N attorney Kris Spitler and attorney Chris Collins, on how teaming is a great way for small businesses to build credibility and demonstrate proficiency to the government and other contractors.
Highlights will include how to raise the bar and maintain your business’ reputation; strategically vet external/internal partners before you win the contract; ask the pre-questions that matter to long-term collaborations; and address some of the common legal concerns regarding teaming.
Presented by the Government Contracting Council of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce.
Thursday, May 2, 2019 from 8:00-10:00 a.m.
9720 Capital Ct., Ste. 203; Manassas VA 20110
$35/Non chamber members. Register today: Click Here
As attorneys and self-proclaimed Proffer Professors, we were concerned by what we were hearing from the industry on the recent proffer reform. Blanket statements like, “oh, it’s just a repeal of the 2016 law” or “proffer schedules are legal now”. In this post, we clear the air of misconceptions.
Myth: The 2019 law repealed the 2016 law
Fact: To debunk the
first myth, we’ll just note that the 2019 law leaves large parts of the 2016 law
intact. For example, the law still forbids a local government from denying a
rezoning application for residential development “where such denial is based in
whole or in part on an applicant’s failure or refusal to submit an unreasonable
proffer.” For another, the law still exempts qualified “small area
comprehensive plans.” There are some significant changes, though, and we will
comment on them in future blog posts.
schedules are now legally OK
Fact: As for the
second myth, the 2019 law doesn’t clear the constitutional hurdle for proffer
schedules. Under federal case law, a proffer first must be connected to the development impacts (that is, it has to have a
“nexus”) and second, there must be “rough proportionality,” which refers to the
degree of connection between the
proffer and the development’s projected impact.
So, just how “rough” can the degree of connection be and
still pass muster under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? The U.S. Supreme Court (in a case called Dolan) answered that question this
way: “No precise mathematical
calculation is required, but the [locality] must make some sort of
individualized determination that the required dedication is related both in
nature and extent to the proposed development.”
A locality can still provide information about how much it costs to build a school, police station, or park, but because a “one size fits all” proffer schedule lacks the required individualized determination, it is subject to attack on constitutional grounds.
Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C. (VF&N) welcomes Robert Zelnick, Esq. to the firm’s civil litigation practice group. Mr. Zelnick is a highly respected litigator with over 43 years of experience in Northern Virginia.
Robert (Zel) joins VF&N as Of Counsel departing his private practice, Zelnick & Associates, P.C. located in Lakeridge, VA. He was the recipient of the Arthur W. Sinclair Professionalism award in 2017, is a former president of the Prince William County Bar Association and serves as a Commissioner in Chancery for the Prince William County Circuit Court.
Known for his integrity, quality of work, and community leadership, attorney Robert Zelnick is a notable addition to the Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C. team.
About Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C.
Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C. is a law firm located in Manassas, VA. Established in 1986, we have served clients for over 30 years in business law, commercial real estate, litigation, lending, IP, employment law, land use and zoning, and municipal law.
To learn more about Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C., visit our about us page.