White & Smith, LLC offers a wide variety of products and services for our clients. Our multi-disciplinary skills allow us to manage a variety of legal and planning projects for our clients. These range from land use litigation, to development of planning policies and strategies, to implementation tools that help to bring a comprehensive plan or development proposal to life. These services are listed and more fully described below:
Development codes, including zoning, subdivision, growth management, and innovative design regulations. The principals in our firm are nationally renowned for their work in this area. Our development codes have won awards, and are cited in several national publications as examples of the state of the art in code development. Unlike a typical law firm, our skills extend far beyond the ability to draft legally enforceable regulations. Our codes feature user-friendly language, graphics, matrices and other techniques to make ordinances more readable, and graphics. Our ability to produce graphics in-house distinguishes our firm from many law firms and planning firms alike.
White & Smith develops practical solutions to potential conflicts between base operations and local government property interests. An overlay we prepared on behalf of the "Homestead Air Reserve Base" recently was adopted by the City of Homestead by a unanimous vote of the City Council. That overlay implemented the community's Air Installation Compatible Use Zone (AICUZ) and Joint Land Use studies (JLUS), as well as laws passed by the Florida Legislature in 2004 and 2010 to protect base operations. We also have advised clients on taking avoidance, transferable development rights, noise, accident, and air obstruction avoidance techniques that protect base operations while also protecting private property rights.
Many communities struggle to find financial resources to keep pace with new growth and development. Our principals have been extensively been involved in both calculating impact fees, and preparing ordinances to collect the fees. In addition to impact fees, the firm can address other techniques to finance the costs of new growth, including special assessments, development agreements, and excise taxes. Our principals have published and spoken extensively on these issues at a national level.
We provide land use litigation, including trial practice, briefing before both trial and appellate courts, and expert witness testimony. Because we are certified planners as well as attorneys, we have the capability to provide expert witness testimony. Most attorneys cannot provide this service.
Our principals are widely published and have extensive experience in specialized issues such as transportation, affordable housing, and urban design. Our principals have promoted affordable housing in both the public and private sectors. S. Mark White is the former president of a local nonprofit community development corporation (Westside Housing Organization), and has published extensively on of affordable housing and transportation issues. These issues are always at the forefront of any local government's efforts to revise its comprehensive planning and zoning regulations. We can provide specific advice on how to address these issues, as well as regulations that are effective and enforceable.