Land Use and Zoning / Administrative Law
Zoning and land use regulations can have a massive impact on how you use your property, and it is important to work with an attorney who understands how zoning and land use will affect your property use. Some of the most common matters in which we assist clients involve site plans and subdivisions. Site plans can vary in their level of detail, but they usually cover not only the architectural and landscaping features of a site but also matters such as zoning and environmental compliance. We can help you develop and review site plans, as well as pursue approval for them or appeal a denial of a proposed site plan. Meanwhile, subdivisions involve setting boundaries between parcels or lots, and they must meet the requirements of local ordinances. If you are planning to file a subdivision application, we can advise you on the issues that you are likely to encounter. Our attorneys can help you seek approval for a preliminary plan or a final plat.
In other situations, sometimes a desired use is rendered non-compliant with a zoning ordinance because regulations have changed, and you may need to get a certification of non-conforming use to preserve the grandfathered status. Often, this process requires an administrative hearing that has significant consequences. When land is being developed, certain regulations must be followed, and the development process will necessitate permitting and bonding. Sometimes zoning and classification issues arise that may delay construction, and it becomes necessary to retain counsel to resolve these issues. When unique site conditions make it impossible or unduly difficult to satisfy the requirements of the zoning ordinance, it may be necessary to request specific variances or departures.
We have substantial experience in issues related to historic resources and historic site designations, including efforts to address historic features in the context of proposed development. Our land use attorneys are often able to resolve issues related to Historic Preservation and Archeology in a way that allows proposed developments to proceed while satisfying the requirements of applicable regulations and ordinances.Real Estate and Banking
We advise and counsel property owners and builders on real estate transactions. We have represented clients in all aspects of the acquisition, sale, and development of real property. We also represent interests in financing transactions and the leasing of properties of all kinds. A title defect can render a property unsuitable for sale, since banks will not issue loans to buyers to buy real property that has a cloud on title. Title defects include unreleased liens, situations in which the seller does not actually own the property, or erroneous or missing property information. We can review title defects and curative requirements, and we have the title insurance underwriting skills to protect the value of real estate.
The development process includes the subdivision of land. The subdivision process establishes legal boundaries of parcels and lots and addresses issues like road and open space dedication and compliance with ordinances related to public facilities. Our firm has experience working with developers in seeking the approval of a preliminary plan and final plat.Commercial Litigation
We have handled commercial litigation, arbitration disputes, condemnation, construction litigation, foreclosures, contract litigation, lender remedies, mechanics’ liens, loan workouts, receiverships, and the interests of creditors in a bankruptcy. Complex laws apply to these areas. For example, legal issues arising from credit are governed by provisions of Title 12 of Maryland’s Commercial Law Article. These set interest rates, charges, fees, and other limits on credit. Additionally, depending on which type of credit it is extending, a creditor may need to be licensed under provisions of Title 11 of Maryland’s Financial Institutions Article.
Our Maryland business litigation lawyers are familiar with the issues that can arise from construction projects. In Maryland, any party that provides materials or work for a construction project and is not paid for the materials or work can file a mechanic’s lien. There are no parties that are too distant to file, including certified interior designers and surveyors, but certain conditions must be met. The deadline to file a mechanic’s lien in Maryland is 180 days from the date that materials or work were provided for a project.Estate Planning and Administration
We are seasoned estate planning professionals who have represented estates of different sizes and individuals ranging from young to elderly. We can handle tax matters and estate administration. Our clients have unique and diverse needs, and we develop plans tailored to their situations, using wealth preservation strategies. Among other things, we have assisted in planning business interest transfers, family farm transfers, the creation of irrevocable and revocable trusts, and the implementation of gifting programs.
There are many different kinds of trusts in Maryland, including testamentary trusts, revocable trusts, and irrevocable trusts, and each type has different benefits in estate planning. Testamentary trusts are created within a testator’s will and go into effect upon their death. Sometimes people with substantial assets use multiple trusts to accomplish a variety of goals. There are situations in which they serve as a trustee for those trusts. Trustees are fiduciaries who are nominated in a trust agreement to manage trust assets on behalf of the beneficiaries of the trust in the way that is set forth in the trust agreement. Trust beneficiaries can include children, a spouse, grandchildren, and institutions, depending on the wishes of the maker of the trust. Trustees have the powers defined in the document and often added duties specified under state law.Government Relations
We handle legal issues that arise in government relations as well as government procurement, campaign finance and ethics, lobbying, legislative monitoring, legislative drafting, and legislative research. Our business litigation lawyers represent Maryland clients in proceedings before governmental agencies, city councils, county councils, the Maryland General Assembly, and the U.S. Congress. We have a strong, established reputation among officials and administrative decision makers.
Our strong reputation and ability to introduce clients to executive and legislative decision makers allow us to serve as lobbyists. Our lobbyists are registered with the Maryland State Ethics Commission and have extensive lobbying experience. They stay current on legislative activity, reporting for corporations, trade groups, real estate developers, coalitions, and local governments. Relevant legislation is tracked from the time that a bill is introduced and followed from drafting through floor action to the Governor’s approval or rejection.Retain Our Skillful Attorneys to Handle Sophisticated Legal Needs
Whether you are concerned about a land use issue or a business dispute, it is vital to consult an experienced attorney with a strong reputation. At O’Malley, Miles, Nylen & Gilmore, we have served our community for more than 50 years. We represent clients in Prince George's County, Annapolis, Charles County, and the surrounding areas. Call us at 301.572.7900 or contact us via our online form to set up a consultation with a Maryland business litigation attorney or discuss an issue related to one of our other practice areas.