Land use law is the intersection between government regulation and real estate. Through zoning, cities, townships, and counties regulate the use of land. Through platting and subdivision regulations, those same governmental bodies regulate how large parcels of land are divided into smaller parcels, and how small parcels are combined. Karen E. Marty has been involved in land development issues for over 25 years -- first as a city attorney, and more recently in private practice represdenting individuals and small businesses who are dealing with cities, townships, and counties.
As one of a small number of attorneys who understand land use law, Ms. Marty can quickly see the issues and ramifications of different situations. She enjoys representing individuals and small businesses in working with cities to obtain approval for rezoning, conditional use permits, variances, continuance of nonconforming uses, sign permits, and building permits. She has extensive experience in negotiating development agreements, including timing payments to cities to coincide with subdivision approvals and phasing of projects. She also has assisted citizens in working to defeat development proposals that were ill-suited for a particular location. When necessary or appropriate, Ms. Marty will not hesitate to bring a lawsuit. Based on her experience as a city attorney, she has prosecuted hundreds of cases, handled several appeals, and is very comfortable in the courtroom.
Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Marty worked successively in two rapidly developing communities. In each city she was the principal attorney involved in all land development issues. She drafted and reviewed all development agreements, checked title on land being dedicated to the city, wrote and reviewed cross-access easements, arranged for dedication of necessary right-of-way, and prepared the documents to vacate streets and alleys. For further examples of the work she has handled, please check out our land use law case examples.