Land Use, Zoning & Development

Land Use, Zoning & Development

Hellmuth & Johnson’s land use, zoning, and development attorneys routinely advise clients regarding municipal zoning ordinances and land use regulations, assist clients with obtaining governmental approvals and permits, and negotiate agreements related to subdivision and development of real estate. Their experience working with industry professionals and government staff enables them to anticipate issues and requirements and efficiently guide their clients from the preliminary planning stage through project completion.

Our land use, zoning, and development practice is complimented by our related work in the areas of business and corporate law, real estate purchases and sales, leasing, financing, construction law, and homeowner associations.



  • Represent developer regarding land acquisition, development, financing, and construction of multiple apartment buildings in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.
  • Represented developer regarding land acquisition, development, financing, and construction of multiple apartment buildings in Uptown area of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Represented developer regarding $25 million HUD loan for construction and ownership of apartment building in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


  • Assisted developer of industrial property with appeal of conditional use permit for outdoor storage, resulting in removal of excessive conditions requiring installation of trees for off-site screening and pavement of entire property.

Assisted Living/Memory Care

  • Represent developer regarding subdivision, land acquisition, development, financing, and construction of assisted living facilities in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
  • Represented developer of multiple assisted living facilities in the Twin Cities area regarding land acquisition, development, financing, and construction.

Campgrounds and Resorts

  • Represented campground owner/operator in simultaneous acquisition of three recreational vehicle campgrounds in Minnesota to expand national membership camping program. Coordinated acquisition or transfer of zoning and land use approvals, licenses, and permits from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Department of Health, cities, counties, and townships.

Conditional Use Permits

  • Assisted developer to obtain conditional use permit for construction and operation of a restaurant with a drive-through in connection with reverse build-to-suit lease with national restaurant chain.

Conservation Easements

  • Represented developer regarding conservation easement over wetland area in connection with subdivision and residential development project.
  • Advised client regarding State of Minnesota conservation easement in connection with potential acquisition of approximately 50-acre island.


  • Advised automobile collision repair company regarding zoning and land use regulations in connection with acquisition of land for construction of new facility.
  • Represented transportation company regarding zoning and land use regulations in connection with purchase and development of land in industrial park.


  • Represented developer regarding land acquisition, redevelopment and financing of medical buildings and facilities.
  • Represented non-profit dental clinic in connection with real estate acquisition, financing and construction of multiple offices to serve low-income patients.


  • Representation of one of largest owners and developers of office and other commercial properties in Minnesota for more than 20 years.
  • Land acquisition, development, governmental approvals, financing, and construction of Hellmuth & Johnson building in Edina, Minnesota.

Planned Unit Developments

  • Represented national developer in negotiating planned unit development agreement for multi-tenant commercial project including a restaurant and a bank.
  • Represented homebuilder in negotiating planned unit development agreement for twin-homes development project.

Residential Development/Common Interest Communities

  • Represent multiple local builders regarding development of condominiums, townhome communities, and single-family home communities, including obtaining zoning and land use approvals, negotiating development agreements, and drafting association governing documents.
  • Represented large local land developer in development of a master community consisting of multiple commercial parcels and 1,000+ residential dwellings, as well as multi-family parcels, including drafting of master association governing documents and governing documents for sub-associations (CICs and single family home communities).
  • Represented developer of a championship golf course and residential community in connection with a master association and neighborhood associations.


  • Represent national retailer regarding multiple land acquisitions and ground leases for development of retail centers in the automotive sector.
  • Represent developer of mixed-use project including restaurant, retail, and office uses based on ground lease with Metropolitan Airports Commission.
  • Represent national real estate development company in connection with acquisition of gas station properties and other under-utilized sites, financing, redevelopment, and sale of build-to-suit projects for tenants in banking, retail and restaurant sectors.

Subdivision and Platting

  • Represented numerous property owners and developers regarding subdivision and platting for residential and commercial developments, including negotiation of development agreements regarding grading, storm water management, public or private streets, utilities, easements, park dedication, municipal fees and charges, payment and performance bonds, letters of credit, warranties, and similar matters.

Tax Increment Financing

  • Represented developer regarding tax increment financing for environmental remediation in connection with land acquisition and development of mixed-use project including approximately 170 apartment units and a restaurant.


  • Assisted homeowners with obtaining a variance from building setback requirements to construct a wrap-around deck on a house that was built near the property line prior to adoption of current zoning and land use regulations.


  • Frequently assist real estate purchasers, developers, lenders, and tenants with due diligence regarding zoning and land use matters, including obtaining zoning letters from cities, counties, and townships, reviewing ordinances, advising clients regarding issues and alternatives, and assisting clients with obtaining governmental approvals.

News Items

Thought Leadership

Past Seminars