Untitled---2023-11-10T160531.151.jpgReal estate development involves a variety of complex legal and financial concerns. From finding the right property to securing financing, there are many factors that developers must consider. Because zoning laws are a crucial factor in real estate development, it is important to understand the role that entitlements will play when requesting approval from a local government to develop a property. When addressing issues related to zoning, entitlements, licensing, and variances, developers can work with an experienced attorney to make sure these matters will be handled properly.

What Are Entitlements?

In the context of real estate, entitlements refer to the legal rights granted by government agencies that allow developers to use their property for specific purposes. These rights typically include zoning approvals, building permits, environmental clearances, and other necessary permissions.

Obtaining entitlements is an essential step in the development process as they determine what can be built on a particular piece of land and how a building and property can be used. Without proper entitlements, developers may face legal challenges or restrictions on their projects.

Understanding Legal Concerns Related to Entitlements

For real estate developers, having a thorough understanding of entitlement processes and regulations is crucial for several reasons, including:

  • Zoning compliance: Zoning laws dictate how land can be used within specific areas. A developer needs to ensure that a proposed project complies with local zoning ordinances before proceeding with construction or using property for certain purposes.

  • Economic feasibility: Understanding entitlement requirements helps developers assess whether a project is economically viable. It allows them to evaluate potential costs associated with obtaining necessary permits and approvals.

  • Risk mitigation: Failing to obtain proper entitlements can lead to costly delays or even complete project shutdowns. By understanding the process upfront, developers can mitigate risks associated with non-compliance or unexpected regulatory hurdles.

  • Negotiation power: Knowledge about entitlement processes gives developers an advantage when negotiating with local authorities or community stakeholders. It allows them to present well-informed proposals and address concerns effectively.

The Entitlement Process

The entitlement process can vary depending on the location and type of development. However, it generally involves several key steps:

  1. Research: Developers should thoroughly research local zoning regulations, land use plans, and other relevant policies before initiating a project. Researching helps ensure that their proposed development projects align with existing guidelines.

  2. Pre-application meeting: Connecting and consulting with local planning officials or government agencies early in the process can provide valuable insights into specific requirements and potential challenges.

  3. Application submission: A developer must submit a comprehensive application that includes detailed plans, environmental impact assessments, traffic studies, and any other required documentation.

  4. Review process: The submitted application undergoes a thorough review by various departments or agencies involved in the approval process. This may include planning departments, environmental agencies, transportation authorities, etc.

  5. Negotiation and modification: During the review process, a developer may need to negotiate certain aspects of their proposal or make modifications based on feedback from regulatory bodies or community members.

  6. Fees and permits: Once all necessary approvals are obtained, a developer must pay any required fees and obtain permits before commencing construction.

Contact an Experienced Milwaukee, WI Real Estate Lawyer

Navigating through the entitlement process can be complex and time-consuming. Hiring an experienced real estate attorney is highly recommended to ensure compliance with all legal requirements and maximize your chances of success as a developer in the Milwaukee area.

If you have questions about entitlements or need assistance with your real estate development project, Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can provide the legal help you need. Our knowledgeable are here to help you navigate the complexities of the entitlement process and provide guidance tailored to your specific needs. Contact us today at 414-271-1440 to schedule a consultation.