Steven A. Robins

Land Use and Zoning Attorney

Lerch Early Board Chair and Managing Partner

sarobins@lerchearly.com
7600 Wisconsin AvenueSuite 700Bethesda, MD 20814

Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., 1986) Editor, American Criminal Law Review
  • University of Michigan (A.B. in Political Science, with distinction, 1983)

Admissions

  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
Overview

Steve Robins is a land use attorney who represents prominent national and regional developers and property owners in high-visibility projects predominantly throughout Montgomery County, Maryland.

“Steve Robins is the Montgomery County zoning guru,” says one of his developer clients. He has earned the trust and respect of decision-makers and their staffs by thinking creatively and always working to achieve his clients’ goals, while carefully considering the views of other stakeholders involved with the project. When an obstacle appears, Steve considers not only how to address it, but how to work with others to clear the way for success.  One community activist began a project fighting Steve and his client, but by the end, recommended him for a substantial redevelopment opportunity. Steve is a true advocate for his clients, available to them 24/7, even emailing with clients while on a recent trip to Antarctica.

Specializing in "smart growth" development, Steve has secured approvals for many mixed-use projects near transportation hubs, including Wisconsin Place in Friendship Heights, Grosvenor Village, The Exchange in Wheaton, North Bethesda Market in White Flint, and Glenmont MetroCenter in Silver Spring. He currently is active in development and redevelopment ventures in downtown Bethesda, Rock Spring Centre, and Chevy Chase Lake.

Steve advises clients on complex development, zoning map and text amendments, sketch plan and optional method of development applications, master plan amendments, comprehensive land use planning and zoning analyses, special exception and variance applications, sector plans, preliminary and final plans of subdivisions, site plan review, condemnation matters, historic preservation and urban renewal issues, and on all aspects of the regulatory, permitting, and licensing process. He also has real estate transactional experience and is involved in lobbying efforts at the state and local levels.

Steve serves as Lerch Early's board chair and managing partner. A dedicated sports fan, he has a particular passion for his alma mater, the University of Michigan Wolverines, as well as for the Washington Redskins, Nationals, and Capitals.

Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., 1986) Editor, American Criminal Law Review
  • University of Michigan (A.B. in Political Science, with distinction, 1983)

Admissions

  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
Education & Admissions

Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., 1986) Editor, American Criminal Law Review
  • University of Michigan (A.B. in Political Science, with distinction, 1983)

Admissions

  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
Honors & Awards
  • Received Maryland Daily Record's Influential Marylander Award (2018)
  • Listed in Chambers USA in Real Estate: Land Use (2015-present)
  • Listed in Maryland and DC Super Lawyers (2011-present)
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America, Land Use & Zoning Law (2007-present)
  • Listed in Washingtonian Top Attorneys for Real Estate (2015, 2017)
  • Received Washington Business Journal's "Top Washington Lawyer" Award, Zoning and Land Use category (2009); Finalist (2006)
  • Received Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce's Chairman's Award (2015, 2002, 1995)
  • Received Maryland Daily Record's Leadership in Law Award (2012)
  • Received Washington Hebrew Congregation's Avodah Honors Awards, given to congregants who represent the true meaning of “avodah” — good deeds in the form of service and work — both within the Temple and the greater Washington community (2011)
  • Named to SmartCEO's Legal Elite list (2007)
  • Ranked AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings
Community Involvement
  • Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (Chair, Public Safety Awards, 2001-present)
  • Washington Hebrew Congregation (Board of Directors, 2016-present)
  • Hebrew Home of Washington (Life Board of Directors)
  • Leadership Montgomery (Class of 1991)
Professional Memberships
  • Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (Life Board member; Chair, 2003-2004)
  • Urban Land Institute
  • Maryland Building Industry Association (Board of Directors, 2011-2015)
  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Virginia State Bar Association
  • Bar Foundation of Montgomery County, Maryland
Insights

News

Success Stories
Representative Matters
  • Chevy Chase Lake (Chevy Chase): Serving as lead land use counsel for The Chevy Chase Land Company and The Bozzuto Development Group in the redevelopment of more than 1 million SF in Chevy Chase Lake. The first phase is the redevelopment of the Chevy Chase Lake East Shopping Center. The Land Company, together with Bozzuto, submitted plans for the first redevelopment in the area, which is significant because this will set design and development patterns for a station on the Purple Line. Phase One will include predominantly residential development (approximately 550-600 dwelling units) and retail/commercial uses.
  • Rock Spring Centre (North Bethesda): Representing the Camalier and Davis families in development of the 54-acre Camalier/Davis tract located in North Bethesda (better known as the Rock Spring Centre). Represented the owners in obtaining rezoning for mixed-use development for the North Bethesda town center and thereafter all of the regulatory land use approvals.  Currently representing the client in the Rock Spring Sector Planning Process.
  • Glenmont MetroCentre (Silver Spring): Representing Layhill Investment Associates in redevelopment of an aged garden apartment complex.  Have served as lead land use counsel for this property since 1986; there have been several developers with plans over time. Glenmont Metrocenter is a transit-oriented development containing 1,325 multi-family units, 225 townhouses and 90,000 SF of commercial use. The project was first envisioned more than 15 years ago, but it remained in limbo due to the economy and complex land use entitlement processes. Secured the project’s zoning and subdivision approvals for the entire project and the first phases of site plan. Also represented the client in the Glenmont Sector Plan process. The County Executive, County Council, and Montgomery County Planning Board have targeted Glenmont as an extremely high priority for redevelopment.
  • St. Elmo Apartments (Bethesda): Serving as lead land use counsel for The Lenkin Companies’ redevelopment of its headquarters property in Bethesda into a 16-story, 210 unit apartment building. This is one of the first projects in Bethesda to be developed under the Commercial/Residential zone applying the County’s new Zoning Ordinance.
  • Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan (Silver Spring): Represented Federal Realty Investment Trust and EYA’s interests in the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan, which focuses on the commercial/industrial area along Brookville Road and two proposed Purple Line stations.
  • North Bethesda Market I & II (North Bethesda): Represented The JBG Companies in development of mixed-use projects across from White Flint Metro. NOBE I, featuring Montgomery County’s tallest building, consists of 200,000 SF of retail and 397 apartments. NoBe II approved plans include an additional 740,500 SF of residential, retail, and office uses.
  • Wisconsin Place (Friendship Heights): Served as lead land use counsel for New England Development, Boston Properties, and Archstone from conception to completion for one of Montgomery County’s largest mixed-use transit-oriented developments in an urban area of the county known for being difficult to develop. This development contains approximately 1.1 million SF of retail, office, and residential uses.

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