Land Use

Is Our Territory

Land Use2020-08-18T23:27:08+00:00


The Ball Janik LLP Land Use practice has assisted clients with some of the most important land use projects in Oregon, sustaining both the region’s economic vitality and natural environment. We represent clients in a wide variety of local, state, and federal matters in all phases of urban, suburban and rural project development. Our broad experience encompasses entitlements for downtown office buildings, residential planned unit developments, ski areas, destination resorts, industrial parks, retail centers, university campuses, medical and research campuses, and energy facilities. Our attorneys regularly appear in local land use hearings, at Oregon’s Land Use Board of Appeals, in the appellate courts and the Oregon Supreme Court. We work closely with the firm’s other practice groups to address land use, environmental, and natural resource issues as they arise for clients in real estate and corporate transactions and litigation, and bankruptcy matters.



We have broad experience negotiating with, and obtaining permits from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), counties and cities to gain and maintain access to local and state roads, which is critical to the success of commercial development. When an existing access is closed, we represent clients in condemnation litigation.


Sometimes annexation is a prerequisite of urban development. We have successfully annexed property into cities across the state, including those that require voter-approval of annexation. As part of annexation, we have negotiated annexation agreements and waivers of annexation remonstrance, and have been involved with pre-annexation concept planning. We have also successfully challenged annexations for property owners.

Campus Development

Institutional uses, such as medical, research and educational facilities, need long term certainty about the physical development of their campuses, but also require flexibility so that they can adapt to market demands. Our Land Use attorneys have significant experience assisting clients with challenges involving traffic mitigation, neighborhood compatibility, natural resource protection and design review.

Conditional Use Permits

Conditional uses are frequently challenged because of neighborhood compatibility concerns, such as traffic and parking impacts, noise and aesthetics. Ball Janik LLP is adept at navigating the regulatory and public outreach processes that are integral to getting conditional uses approved.

Design Review and Historic Review

Design Review and Historic Review processes are highly subjective, and frequently involve the transfer of development rights (Floor Area Ratio or FAR) to facilitate increased building height and density. Our Land Use attorneys have served on project teams with leading developers and architects on numerous signature buildings around the region.

Destination Resorts

Ball Janik LLP has experience in every aspect of destination resort entitlement, having obtained permits for the majority of the destination resorts in Oregon. These include Brasada Ranch, Caldera Springs, Pronghorn, the Running Y Ranch and Tetherow. Our lawyers have assisted clients in every aspect of destination resort development, including obtaining destination resort overlay zoning for land; complying with all aspects of the Oregon destination resort statutes; obtaining all required local land use approvals and permits; assisting in documenting bonding for required improvements so that the resort may proceed before all construction is complete; satisfying all required mitigation obligations, including wildlife, transportation and water; setting up master associations and sub-associations, including declarations of covenants, conditions and restrictions, that comply with the Oregon Planned Community Act; and preparing timeshare and condominium documents that are approved by the Oregon Department of Real Estate.

Development Agreements and Public-Private Partnerships

Ball Janik LLP is well known for its knowledge in public-private partnerships and development agreements on a wide range of projects, including stadiums, commercial real estate developments, infrastructure improvements and mixed-use urban redevelopments. Our Land Use attorneys regularly represent both private and public parties with respect to land use matters. Our clients include private developers, cities, state agencies, universities, development authorities, school districts, special services districts and port authorities.

Energy Facility and Transmission Line Siting

Our Land Use attorneys have assisted clients across Oregon in the siting and permitting of generating facilities and related transmission lines and pipelines. Our representation has included successful advocacy for our clients in state and local legislative proceedings, administrative rulemakings, administrative contested case hearings, and an appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court.

Land Division

Ball Janik LLP has extensive experience in urban, suburban and rural land divisions for residential, commercial and industrial clients. Land divisions include subdivisions, partitions, planned unit developments, condominiums and lot segregations.


Sometimes our clients’ innovative projects require amendments to statutes or codes, and we work closely with governmental bodies to craft legislative solutions that meet our clients’ development objectives. Real property development is highly regulated in Oregon, and clients frequently request our guidance deciphering proposed regulatory changes.

Liquor Licensing

For our clients seeking liquor licenses for the wholesale or retail (on-premises or off-premises) sale of alcohol, we are able to manage the entire licensing process and provide strategic advice to assist our clients in navigating what can seem at times to be an inescapable bureaucratic maze.


The Land Use practice represents a number of sand, gravel and aggregate mine operators, helping them secure all land use and regulatory mining approvals. We have also helped clients negotiate lease agreements, obtain conditional use permits and negotiate easement agreements for railroad rights of way. Our work involves mining operations on private, federal and Indian lands in Oregon and Washington.

Mixed-Use Developments and New Urbanism Communities

We have particular skill in helping clients build complete communities, including both vertical and horizontal mixed-use developments. We assist clients with a wide range of challenges, including transferring development rights and density, significant infrastructure improvements, design compatibility, and natural resource protection.

Ski Areas

Our Land Use attorneys have broad experience assisting clients with environmental permitting. We represented a major Northwest ski area in the development of new facilities and the approval and defense of a new ski area master plan. We also represent clients in contested cases before state and federal agencies and in the federal courts.

Telecommunication Facility Siting

Our Land Use attorneys have represented a wide variety of communications companies, tower owners and landowners in connection with all aspects of telecommunication facility siting. We have negotiated tower lease agreements, secured conditional and special use permits and defended many decisions before the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals. We have also advised tower owners and communication companies in connection with their obligations under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Transportation and Infrastructure Planning and Finance

The Land Use practice has extensive experience in infrastructure planning and financing, which is a critical component of concept planning and growth management. We have helped implement transportation financing plans by negotiating development agreements between developers and municipalities that include infrastructure construction. We also have helped clients negotiate agreements for transportation and infrastructure cost sharing, local improvement districts, system development charge credit agreements, and reimbursement agreements.

Urban Growth Management

Our Land Use attorneys have special knowledge in multi-jurisdictional long-range planning efforts, such as Urban Reserve Area (URA) designations and Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) expansions, and have successfully assisted clients with these processes in the Portland Metro region and across the state. We have successfully represented residential developers and employment land developers in navigating the complex and often contentious UGB expansion process. In addition, we have provided strategic guidance to Oregon cities on URA designations and assisted them with UGB expansions.