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Structuring Real Estate Development Agreements With Municipalities

Leveraging Agreements for Long-Term Development Projects and Addressing Land Use and Infrastructure Issues

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Monday, June 13, 2022

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide practical guidance for land use and real estate counsel to structure and negotiate development agreements with municipalities for property development or redevelopment. The panel will discuss terms to ensure implementation and protect against challenges to the deal.


Development agreements offer certainty for local governments and developers. Development agreements can provide for the certainty of governing regulations, predictability, and more accessible financing.

Benefits for developers and property owners often include flexibility for long-term multi-phased development projects, greater vested rights assurances for developers, incentives to address gap financing issues, and infrastructure management and other developer obligations.

For municipalities, development agreements provide a vehicle for facilitating a municipality's comprehensive planning goals and commitments for public facilities and off-site infrastructure, and opportunities to seek greater developer fees and exactions beyond standard conditions of approval.

Counsel negotiating development agreements should include terms to ensure implementation and protect against claims, including allegations of illegal contract zoning and violations of constitutional nexus limitations. The panel will address ways to incorporate community benefits into development agreements to optimize the likelihood of approval on the one hand while minimizing unlimited development costs that can compromise project feasibility and complicate development agreements.

Listen as our authoritative panel of land use and real estate counsel examines the benefits of development agreements and how to structure and negotiate terms for the owner/developer. The panel will offer practical guidance on ways to avoid or handle challenges to the arrangements.



  1. Value of development agreements
  2. Challenges
    1. Illegal contract zoning
    2. Spot zoning
  3. Statutes providing for agreements
    1. Aim
    2. Limits
  4. Terms to protect against challenges and ensure implementation
  5. Community benefits agreements
  6. Alternatives to statutory development agreements


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What terms should be included in development agreements to avoid or respond to potential challenges to the arrangements?
  • Financial or other agreements to address incentives
  • How can development agreements provide benefits to owners/developers?
  • How can community benefits agreements enhance or complicate development agreements?


Guerra, Alicia
Alicia Guerra


Ms. Guerra's practice focuses on local, state and federal land use entitlement, permitting and environmental review...  |  Read More

Lee, Rebecca
Rebecca A. Lee

Member; Chair, Real Estate Development Practice
Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo

Ms. Lee is a preeminent commercial real estate lawyer who skillfully steers developers, lenders, companies and...  |  Read More

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