Land Use and Transactional Practice Group

The Land Use and Transactional Practice Group is responsible for advice and representation to many of the departments of county government that are involved in the development of the county’s physical infrastructure, such as the Departments of Air Quality, Environmental Services, Housing Authority, Planning and Development, Public Works, Real Estate, and Solid Waste Management. This Practice Group also represents several boards, committees and commissions including the Board of Adjustment, Facilities Review Committee, Parks and Recreation Commission and Maricopa County Department of Transportation Development Services.

The Land Use and Transactional Group represent County departments on a variety of matters. The following matters are just a few in which the group has played an active role.

Acquiring and protecting the property rights of the County

MCDOT

The office brings condemnation actions against property owners in order to enable the construction of public roads.

Real Estate

The office provides legal services for obtaining and granting easements and for purchasing, selling and leasing real property to meet the county’s needs. This includes overseeing the legal requirements of 59 leases involving over 627,000 square feet. This much acreage is equivalent to more than 13 football fields.

Assisting the County in managing its property

Parks

The office drafts and revises commercial management concessions agreements and provides advice on property matters including easements and purchasing and selling property.

Protecting the public heath safety and welfare through the regulation of land use and other businesses

Environmental Services Department

Bedbugs and Rodent Infestation
An apartment complex had been the subject of numerous tenant complaints for bedbug and rodent infestations. A civil suit was brought against the property manager seeking among other remedies a substantial penalty, repairs to each residential unit and a two year agreement from a licensed pest control operator.

Food Establishments
The office files complaints in superior court against food establishments for operating without a permit or for other health code violations. In those few instances when the establishment does not comply or close down. The Office brings an injunctive action against the party asking the court to order compliance.

Trash and Garbage
The office negotiated the clean-up of vacant property owned by a bank in settlement of imminent litigation.

Extending Food Shelf Life
The office brought a civil action against a party who was extending the shelf life on a food product he was selling to other retail food stores. The party has since ceased making those food products.

Air Quality Department

Asbestos
The office brought a civil suit against an investment company for violating asbestos notice and removal regulations. The company settled the matter for $17,000.

Permit Violations
The office participated with the department to bring an enforcement action against a sand and gravel operation located in south Phoenix. The company settled the first set of violations and paid $150,000. Further the company requested a minor permit revision that was rejected by the department and upon appeal the Air Pollution Hearing Board upheld the rejection. The second set of violations were settled by the company agreeing to pay a $1 million fine.

Dust Violations
The department brings actions against parties for violating county air dust regulations, typical violations include operating without a dust permit, failure to perform dust suppression and not installing track out devices that lead to mud and dirt being deposited on public roads.

Planning and Development
A major auto maker paid a penalty of $225,000 for zoning violations as a result of it performing grading and construction work on its proving ground facility without necessary approvals and permits.