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Managing Government Approval for Community Repairs and Improvements

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Do you live in a community that is planning repairs or improvements? You may not be aware, but it is often the case that in order to legally proceed you must obtain local government approval through the Planning & Zoning Board or City Commission. Whether you live in a single family home or in a high-rise condo, your house/office and community were initially approved by the local governing body via a site plan approval process or master planning process that may have included other applications such as rezonings, plat note amendments, variances, conditional use permits, easements, and Development Agreements. Whether you’re looking to construct a new recreation area and pool, add more parking spots, or even cut down trees to build a canopy, you will most likely need to run it by the City Planning staff and City Attorney’s office for approval. Failure to do so can lead to very expensive daily fines/liens that eventually add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. You must hire the appropriate consultants – including attorneys, architects, and contractors – to ensure your success.

The Land Use, Government and Community Association team at Becker is highly proficient at moving quasi-judicial applications through the local government approval process. We have engaged in analyses of vested rights that have saved our clients hundreds of thousands of dollars by not having to bring their site up to the standards of the current Zoning Code when filing applications. We have been successful at negotiating with local governments and community redevelopment agencies on Development Agreements that protect your rights, obtaining large-sum grants for projects that benefit the community (such as gates and gatehouses), and expediting approval and permitting processes. For communities who prefer to rough it and go it alone (would you buy a house without a realtor, sail a boat without a captain, or prescribe yourself medicine without seeing a doctor?), we are also experienced at significantly reducing fines and removing liens via filing Motions for Mitigation with Special Magistrates. In other words, it is not too late to seek our help.

If you serve on a Board and are uncertain of how to proceed with improvements in your community, reach out to the team at Becker and we will give you reasonable and realistic timelines and cost estimates.

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