Land use and zoning attorney Bill Kominers navigates governmental processes to help companies achieve the best use of their properties in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Bill’s idea of light reading on the weekend is scouring the footnotes of proposed new zoning codes. He is creative in using his exacting knowledge of land use law to shepherd developer and corporate clients through the approval process, crafting zoning solutions akin to selecting the correct rocks to traverse a stream. Trained as an architect, Bill visualizes projects from blueprints to building. He communicates with planners and designers in their own language, translating detail into design with good-natured humor. Legal guide Chambers USA notes: “Clients praise [Bill] for having ‘a business sense that embraces collaboration.’”
For more than 35 years, Bill has represented developers and businesses before administrative agencies, legislative bodies, and courts in proceedings involving rezonings, master plan amendments, subdivisions, adequate public facilities examinations, site plan reviews, special exceptions, variances, and building and occupancy permits. He has particular skill guiding large-scale mixed-use developments through the full range of planning, zoning, and regulatory processes.
Bill also represents large office and industrial parks in general land use and legislative matters, including redevelopment, master planning, text amendments, and zoning and regulatory approvals. He has extensive experience with urban development projects, especially using optional zoning tools for increased densities and negotiation of design and amenities in the regulatory process. He has managed these projects in the central business districts of Bethesda, Silver Spring, Friendship Heights, and the City of Rockville.
When he’s not perusing zoning code, Montgomery County native Bill enjoys studying military history and playing bridge with a group of fellow Walt Whitman High School alums.
Lerch Early client Lee Development Group had owned property in downtown Silver Spring for more than 50 years that was adjacent to two aging buildings owned by a quasi-governmental housing commission. The existing uses on all three properties needed renovation or full redevelopment.
We led negotiations for a joint development strategy to redevelop the entire block as a quality, high-end mixed-use project, with significant affordable housing in the project. “High-end” and “affordable” usually don’t go together in commercial real estate; however, this project shows they can. LDG and the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County together are developing Elizabeth Square, which will include residential housing, including expanding affordable and workforce housing with a large seniors component, along with retail, recreational, health services, and educational facilities.
The project will advance in stages to accommodate the transition of residents from the existing senior living property into a new affordable building with the integrated public services, allowing demolition and replacement of the existing obsolete senior building with another new modern and mixed affordable building. We created a land development agreement allowing the parties to pursue the regulatory approvals, and secured project and subdivision plans for the overall project and site plan approval for the first stage. We developed a condominium structure and air rights lease for the operation of the first new building.
Elizabeth Square gives HOC a revitalized presence in downtown Silver Spring, just blocks from the Metro, keeping seniors in their existing community in a modern, energy-efficient building supported by market rate amenities.