Development Agreements with Cities & Counties

Development Agreement Negotiations

Development agreements are an important tool to fund the construction of critical public infrastructure for large projects and to ensure stable, predictable development standards mutually beneficial for both property owners, developers and cities. Given the number of parties involved, the frequently complex zoning and land use issues involved, the financing and the many public hearings required, the assistance of an experienced law firm is vital.

Earl & Curley represents developers, property owners, banks and capital groups in negotiating development agreements with cities and counties. Our attorneys evaluate development plans, process zoning entitlements, present cases at required public hearings, and negotiate these agreements with the jurisdiction involved. Our responsibility includes meeting in advance with council members to facilitate the zoning process before the hearing.

Types of Development Agreements

The firm works with all types of development agreements with cities and counties. Cities and counties frequently enter into agreements with developers to build streets, water and sewer lines and treatment plants, open spaces and parks. In return, the city or county agrees to maintain existing zoning entitlements and the regulatory framework in place for the duration of the project. Future zoning regulation changes that would negatively affect approved land uses typically would not apply to such developments.

Cities and counties also enter into agreements with developers to incentivize the development of regional retail commercial centers and shopping malls. The developer usually agrees to build such required infrastructures as off-ramps, arterial roadways, and upgrades to water and sewer facilities, and in return the city agrees to reimburse the developers a percentage of net new sales tax revenues generated by the project for a certain number of years.

When a city or county wants to attract a large employer, such as a manufacturing company, they are usually competing with other cities. The development agreement is an effective way to make a given city more attractive to the company. In exchange for choosing the city for a plant, the city can offer various infrastructure and other cost-saving benefits.

Finally, Earl & Curley also handles agreements and property tax abatements in redevelopment areas. Our lawyers know the zoning ordinances and all the various city and county planning officials and decision makers. Working with our firm can reduce the time and expense of negotiating development agreements and help to ensure you achieve your desired project objectives. Please call our Phoenix office at 602-903-3077 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.