Success is not just a matter of having superior knowledge and experience. Success also comes from knowing how to apply that expertise from a different point of view.
When our private sector clients are involved in land use litigation, it falls into two broad categories. Usually it’s getting some sort of approval that a local government isn’t willing to give. Other times it involves resolving neighborhood opposition — either through consensual discussions or, if necessary, by crushing them.
But in recent litigation, Cameron Artigue applied his experience on behalf of the local government. A private developer in one of Arizona’s outlying counties devised a clever scheme to circumvent local zoning and subdivision laws. In essence, a master planned community was being disguised as a working “ranch.” This permitted the developer to claim that the “ranch” was exempt from local control under Arizona’s zoning enabling act. When the developer sued, Cameron took on the representation of the County. Having represented a variety of private developers over the years, Cameron knew where their vulnerabilities were and how they would approach the case.
The first step to success was removing the case to federal court, which took local politics out of the picture and ensured that the judge would have little appetite for a local zoning dispute. In coordination with his client, Cameron developed a strategy to carve up the case into a series of motions. In the end the county’s land use jurisdiction was completely vindicated. The case resulted in complete victory at minimum expense due to a potent combination of strategy and experience.