Land Use and Zoning / Administrative Law

Abandonment of Rights of Way Appeals of Administration Decisions

O’Malley, Miles, Nylen & Gilmore, P.A. has served as legal counsel to governmental authorities on a variety of issues. Our attorneys represent our clients’ interests before regional, municipal, county and state agencies, in matters including Maryland Occupational Safety and Health issues (MOSHA), health care related processes, and appearances before local licensing boards.

Certification of Nonconforming Use

Certain uses are rendered non-compliant with the Zoning Ordinance as regulations change over time. When this occurs, in order to preserve a project’s grandfathered status, you may be required to obtain a certification of a non-conforming use. This process may proceed administratively or may require public hearings. In either case, we are prepared to assist you in gathering the necessary documentation and pursuing the approvals required to obtain a valid occupancy permit for a non-conforming use. This type of approval is often required by lenders when refinancing projects, or may be required to preserve the ability to rebuild the project in the event of a casualty loss.

Environmental and Wetland Regulations Historic Preservation and Archeology

We have extensive experience in the field of Historic Preservation and Archeology as it relates to the development process. We frequently represent our clients in issues concerning historic resources and historic site designations, delineation of appropriate environmental settings and issues related to preservation of historic cemeteries. We have frequent interaction on behalf of our clients with local historic preservation staff and Historic Preservation Commissions as well as with the Maryland Historical Trust at the State level. We are frequently able to resolve issues concerning Historic Preservation and Archeology in a manner which enables proposed developments to proceed while satisfying the requirements of applicable ordinances and regulations.

Liquor License Matter

The Firm represents clients’ interests in alcoholic beverage licensing matters in numerous jurisdictions throughout the Baltimore/Washington metropolitan area. Areas of representation include obtaining new and renewal licenses, transferring licenses, and monitoring licenses to ensure compliance with applicable regulations. Our attorneys are also experienced in defending our clients who are charged with license regulation violations

Permitting and Bonding

Once a project is fully approved with all necessary entitlements, the development process shifts focus to permit review and issuance. In most cases, extensive involvement by legal counsel is not required at this stage of the project. Specific issues may arise, however, that threaten to delay the progress of construction. Our attorneys are experienced in assisting clients to resolve permit review problems, use classification issues, bond and letter of credit matters, and site inspection and zoning violation issues.

Property Tax Appeal

Our experienced attorneys represent owners of commercial, industrial and multi-family residential properties in the tax assessment appeals process before the Department of Taxation, the Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board, and the Maryland Tax Court for properties located throughout the State of Maryland.

Departure From Design Standard Master Plans Sectional Map Amendment Site Plan

Site Plans may consist of conceptual site plans, detailed site plans, comprehensive design plans, or specific design plans. Typically these plans will address issues including project design, zoning regulations, environmental compliance, parking and circulation, landscaping, and architecture. Whether you are pursuing a small retail center or a major mixed-use, transit-oriented development, we are ready to assist in the preparation, negotiation, and completion of the project site plan process. Through project team meetings to initial staff review and all the way through final appeals, our attorneys are ready to assist you.

Special Exception

Some uses are permitted in various zones, but are subject to approval of a special exception. We have represented many businesses through this process, including sand and gravel operations; rubble fills; and car washes. Each case is unique, and we are prepared to help you evaluate your particular circumstances and to develop and implement the strategy to most effectively and efficiently achieve your goal.

State and Local Regulatory Law Subdivision

The subdivision of land is a necessary component of the development process. In addition to establishing legal boundaries of lots and parcels, this process also deals with other significant issues such as road and open space dedication and compliance with adequate public facilities ordinances. We are prepared to assist you in evaluating issues likely to be raised in your subdivision application and working with you through the approval of the both the preliminary plan and final plat of subdivision.


Occasionally, due to unique site conditions or project requirements, it is not possible to satisfy all regulations within the Zoning Ordinance. Examples include setbacks, buffer yards, parking and loading space requirements. As part of the review process, we will work with your team to determine the necessary variances or departures that may be required for your project, and build the legal arguments to justify the granting of necessary waivers or adjustments.

Zoning Map Amendment Zoning Opinion Letters Zoning Violations