Ordinances: Best Practices to Follow, Pitfalls to Avoid

NPC17 attendee
APA member
List Price
Group viewing

Certification Maintenance

CM | 1.50
L | 1.50

You'll learn about: 

  • Legal issues in drafting regulations that are often overlooked, and how to recognize them: vagueness and over breadth, delegation of authority, constitutional issues.

  • Identifying unclear language, and thinking ordinances through to avoid unintended consequences; How to better organize regulations.

  • Writing in plain English; avoiding legalese and plannerese. Remember your audience.

On a daily basis, planners at all levels and in all jobs are called upon to draft, use, and interpret many types of documents. All of these documents and actions have legal implications that can land an issue before a Board of Adjustment, another internal appeals or hearing board, or a judge.

Little time in a planner's education is often spent on the nuances of good writing, and the importnace of clarity. In the day-to-day rush of getting work done, writing may end up rushed as well.  The presenters will cover important issues in language usage, legislative drafting, and discuss specific legal issues that come up in the rgulatory context, like delegation of authority, and vaguness, definitions, and the importance of findings and legislative history.

The presenters will use examples from their practices in three states to discuss how planners and lawyers approach ordinance drafting differently, and how to achieve clear, enforceable, and defensible regulations.

Attendees will leave with practice tips on how to identify the legal issues, how to evaluate their documents for clarity and logical organization, and how to avoid the most common pitfalls int he drafting process.  

About the Speakers

Kimberley Mickelson
No Bio Available

David Silverman
David S. Silverman is a partner with Ancel Glink in Chicago, specializing in local government, land use, and economic development matters. Prior to his career as an attorney, David was an urban planning and economic development consultant David is a frequent writer and speaker on a wide variety of land use and economic development issues David is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, and the honorary society for advancement of land economics, Lambda Alpha International (Ely Chapter) and is a member of the Urban Land Institute. David is co-chair of Ancel Glink’s Zoning and Land Use Group and co-editor of the group’s e-newsletter, In the Zone. David also serves as moderator for the Zoning and Land Use Group’s Twitter site, @AncelGlinkLand (https://twitter.com/#!/AncelGlinkLand).

Susan Trevarthen
SUSAN L. TREVARTHEN, ESQ., FAICP chairs the Municipal Land Use and Zoning practice and is a Member of the law firm of Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman, P.L. in Fort Lauderdale. She handles land use, planning and zoning matters for governments, and is Town Attorney for two small coastal communities in South Florida. Her work includes reviewing and negotiating development agreements and approvals, drafting municipal codes and plans, advising municipal staffs, managers and attorneys, defending challenges to municipal regulations and decisions, handling public hearings, and counseling elected officials, as well as advocating for municipalities on legislative issues in her field. Her practice also includes constitutional law issues (such as regulation of First Amendment-protected land uses including signs, places of worship and adult uses, and takings and Harris Act issues); hot topics in zoning law such as medical marijuana, sober houses and vacation rentals; and public school facilities. Ms. Trevarthen is board certified in City, County and Local Government Law by the Florida Bar, has been recognized as one of the top land use attorneys in the state in publications such as Florida Trend Magazine and SuperLawyers, and is AV rated. Ms. Trevarthen has held leadership positions in the Florida Bar’s Section for Environmental and Land Use Law and Section for City, County and Local Government Law. Susan grew up in Boca Raton, Florida. She was graduated from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a joint degree in law and planning (M.R.P. and J.D., 1991) and from Duke University (A.B., 1986).