Unparalleled expertise in solving land use and
regulatory problems in the Gulf Coast region.

Land Use

Without zoning in Houston, few law firms in the Texas and the Gulf Coast region fully understand and practice Land Use Law. Wilson Cribbs + Goren is considered the preeminent land use law firm for private landowners and developers in the area. Our Land Use attorneys continually handle land use law issues relating to acquisition, development, modernization and expansion of real estate improvements of all types.

Reid Wilson is an acknowledged expert in Texas Land Use Law and is a frequent speaker on related topics. Mr. Wilson chaired the Houston Bar Association Zoning Study Group, which critiqued the unsuccessful 1993 Houston Zoning Ordinance. He has chaired the University of Texas Law Land Use Planning Conference on two different occasions.

Omar Izfar, who worked for the City of Houston’s Legal Department for nearly a decade before joining the firm in 2016, assists clients with complex land use and zoning issues in connection with commercial, industrial, and large-scale residential development projects. Numerous cities in the metro-Houston area and along the Texas Gulf Coast have zoning laws. Although Houston lacks formal zoning laws, it has a sophisticated set of land use controls that affect subdivision platting, permitting, and other regulation of real estate development. In addition to assistance with navigation of complex governmental limitations on land use and development, Omar assists clients with collaboration with governmental entities in the formation of public private partnerships and other governmental incentives in development projects.

We have experience not only with the City of Houston (an un-zoned home rule city), but also all Houston area suburban cities (virtually all zoned) as well as all other major Texas metropolitan areas.

 

Experience

Represented a developer in the acquisition of property in Houston, Texas that was subject to residential deed restrictions. The property was on the opposite side of a commercial road of the residential neighborhood. Successfully led a deed restriction amendment campaign which removed the property from the residential restrictions so that it could be developed as commercial use. The property will be developed as a Class A shopping center.
Represented a Fortune 500 company in the disposition of its property in La Porte, Texas. The closing of the transaction was contingent on rezoning the tract from Business Industrial and General Commercial to a Planned Unit Development (PUD) which included single family residential. Successfully negotiated with the City and Buyer to obtain such rezoning and coordinated the closing of the transaction. The intended use of the tract is for a single family residential subdivision.
Represented major national developer as land use counsel securing land entitlements and other regulatory compliance in acquisition and development of multi-phased, long-term, mixed-used urban infill project.
Represented Fortune 500 retailer as local land use counsel in development of a 1,000,000+ square foot regional distribution hub.
Represented multiple commercial property owners in litigation over high-profile annexation of private land into corporate limits of municipality.
Represented owners and developers of numerous multi-family, hotel, office, industrial, and other commercial properties against governmental entities in disputes over regulatory takings claim resulting from disproportionate application of land use and zoning regulations.

Represented owner of industrial high-pile storage facility in compliance with hazardous waste regulation.

Represented major national hotel developer in negotiation of development agreement securing economic incentives and other entitlements from governmental entity.
Represented governmental entities both in litigation against individuals and other governments, in corporate governance and a variety of public law issues pertaining to the operation of governmental entities.
Represented numerous private developers generally in compliance with local zoning and land use regulations; the securing of land entitlements, variances, special exceptions, special use and conditional use permits, vested rights, the regulation of subdivision plats, historic preservation regulation, international building code compliance, and a variety of public law issues.
Served as land use counsel for owner in sale of approximately 600 acres to national developer for master planned community (containing up to 2,500 homes) including creation of nature preserve and tourism center on adjacent property.
Represented developer of new 5-star downtown hotel including substantial economic development incentives.
Represented national developer in new grocery anchored retail center, including zoning issues and significant incentive package.
Two-year project in which Firm handled rezoning/municipal regulation to permit new drilling. Well was successful.
Represented industrial marine company in the resolution of private restrictive covenant/county permitting dispute which halted significant new barge terminal.
Representing a bank in ongoing zoning and vested rights disputes regarding proposed mixed use marina project focused on dry boat storage facility.
Served as Texas land use counsel on various new projects for the largest US travel center operator, including multiple public street abandonment for panhandle site, negotiations for developing over, across and around pipelines and other significant easements, and fighting unreasonable local regulation.
Handled rezoning (PUD) to permit new campus and mixed use development on excess land; One year project in which we represented a community church.
Facilitated several new facilities of various types addressing both public and private land use issues and conflicts for a Catholic Archdiocese.
Facilitated columbarium on behalf of a non-profit religious organization.
Represented shipyard and marina in the only permanent state easement to a private island in Texas.
Private restrictive covenant dispute and public land use regulation including gaining adoption of new state plat regulation for Golf Course Subdivisions.
Nuisance dispute with neighbors, public land use regulation dispute with City of Houston.
Revision of private restrictive covenants of historic neighborhood after gaining passage of new Tex. Prop. Code Ch. 208.
Handled disputes over grandfathered commercial use in residentially zoned area.
Brownfield redevelopment; Obtained elimination of Houston Heights alleys by replat rather than purchase through the Joint Referral Committee.
Public land use regulation of industrial property and heavy truck traffic.
High traffic retail pads; Exaction disputes regarding dedication of excessive right of way as part of plat approvals.
Handled several public land use regulations disputes on behalf of a self storage operator.

Handled public land use incentives including HUD 108 loan, façade incentive, HOT rebate, County tax abatement on behalf of a leading hotel chain.

Representation of residential neighborhoods, often high end, on private restrictive covenant (deed restriction) matters, including interpretation, enforcement and updating to address new development pressure.
Represented various developers in Platting, Zoning and other public land use regulation, private land use regulations including drafting Declarations of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions.
Negotiated aerial ground lease for hotel on top of government building and related development and incentive agreements for a convention center hotel.