mbanzhaf@reedsmith.com

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Michael’s practice encompasses obtaining and defending land-use entitlements for private and public clients. He has secured a wide variety of complex and sometimes politically charged land-use application approvals, such as conversion of a prominent and historic 2,000-acre equestrian estate into a 350 estate lot golf course community; conversion of a 1,000-acre environmentally sensitive plantation into a 225 estate lot championship golf course community; conversion of a 900-acre farm adjacent to an historically significant and covenant-protected Civil War estate into a multi-phase sand and gravel extraction facility; defense of a lighted outdoor athletic facility in the midst of large-lot estate homes; and approval and defense in all state courts of a gold strip mining operation in the environmentally sensitive California Sierra Nevada foothills. He has litigation experience concerning unique land-use matters and has frequently appeared before local and superior courts, zoning appeal boards, boards of supervisors, planning commissions, town councils, and boards of architectural review.

Awards & Recognition

  • Recognized in Chambers USA as one of America's leading real estate lawyers (2014 & 2016)
  • Routinely recognized in Virginia Business Magazine and other trade publications as one of Virginia's preferred land-use and real estate attorneys

Notable Quotes

Credentials

  • Villanova University School of Law, 1971, J.D.
  • Ohio Wesleyan University, 1968, B.A.

  • California
  • Virginia
  • Maryland

  • Virginia Bar Association - Chairman of Environmental Law Section (1990-1993)
  • Building Industry Association - Long-standing member and participant in OCBIA and NVBIA proceedings