Zoning and Land Use

The Zoning and Land Use Subgroup at Klehr Harrison has been recognized as one of the premier practices in the region, providing counsel and representation to clients across all industry types and before a wide range of government agencies, legislative bodies and courts.  The group is part of the larger Real Estate and Finance Practice Group of the firm and coordinates its efforts in a seamless fashion with our transactional and environmental lawyers in offering a complete range of professional services necessary to navigate successfully through the ever-changing local, state and federal regulatory environment. 

The Zoning and Land Use Subgroup is co-chaired by Carl S. Primavera, acknowledged for almost 30 years as one of the “go to” lawyers for complex and challenging land use matters.  Co-Chair Ronald Patterson has both an engineering and law degree and has developed a strong reputation for successfully combining sophisticated know-how with practical advice.  The Zoning and Land Use Subgroup includes attorneys previously in practice with governmental agencies and legislative bodies, and the combined talents and efforts of the attorneys in the Zoning and Land Use Subgroup have earned them a reputation for strong and effective advocacy throughout the business community. 

Areas of Expertise

The Zoning and Land Use Subgroup has proven experience in all areas of real estate development and municipal law, including the following:  

  • accessibility;
  • campus redevelopment;
  • code compliance and enforcement proceedings;
  • condemnation and urban renewal;
  • environmental and regulatory;
  • fair housing and civil rights;
  • historic rehabilitation and restoration;
  • master planning and community development;
  • plan review and permit application;
  • real estate taxes, including assessments, abatements and appeals;
  • waterfront redevelopment; and
  • zoning and subdivision.

Industries Represented

Members of the Zoning and Land Use Subgroup have represented clients in virtually every sector of the economy and with regard to every asset class.  Although not exhaustive, the following is a representative list of those industries where we have developed a strong profile and reputation:   

  • gaming and hospitality (including restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues);
  • home building and multi-family housing;
  • light and heavy industrial facilities;
  • outdoor advertising;
  • railroads and utilities;
  • retail;
  • schools, universities, healthcare institutions and other non-profit entities; and
  • structured parking.

Representative Agencies

Members of the Zoning and Land Use Subgroup regularly appear before all of the administrative agencies, legislative bodies and courts throughout the region.  The following is a representative list of those Philadelphia City Agencies, suburban municipalities and courts where our members regularly appear:    

  • City of Philadelphia 
    • Air Management Services
    • Art Commission
    • Board of Building Standards
    • Board of Licenses and Review
    • Board of Revision of Taxes
    • City Surveyor Department
    • Department of Licenses and Inspections
    • Fire Department
    • Fire Safety Board
    • Health Department
    • Historical Commission
    • Planning Commission
    • Streets Department
    • Tax Review Board
    • Water Department 
    • Zoning Board of Adjustment 
  • Suburban Municipalities.  Attorneys in our Zoning and Land Use Subgroup appear before all pertinent local zoning offices, planning boards and zoning hearing boards as well as governing bodies. 
  • State and Federal Agencies.  In many instances, our attorneys must coordinate between and among various regulatory bodies having jurisdiction for a particular project.  These include:  
    • Army Corps of Engineers;
    • Handicapped Accessibilities Board of the Department of Labor and Industry;
    • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection;
    • Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; and
    • United States Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Courts.  Our large and diverse practice requires that we be effective advocates for our clients in the courts.  These include:  
    • Philadelphia Municipal Court and suburban magistrates’ courts for code violation appeals;
    • courts of common pleas that have jurisdiction over appeals from administrative agencies and equitable jurisdiction for injunction actions;
    • appellate courts in Pennsylvania (including the Commonwealth Court and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court); and
    • federal courts at all levels. 


The members of our Zoning and Land Use Subgroup are active in numerous bar associations, industry groups and civic and charitable endeavors.  Our efforts in these areas help us to be more effective advocates for our clients by understanding their business needs and by giving us credibility with civic groups, elected officials, appointed boards and the courts.  These include the Philadelphia Bar Association, the Building Industry Association of Philadelphia, the Urban Land Institute and other organizations identified in the individual profiles of our attorneys.