Linda is an attorney in the Real Estate and Environmental Law Groups. A recognized practitioner with more than 37 years of experience, Linda’s practice focuses on land use and development, zoning, state and federal environmental review and permitting, and compliance and policy development. Understanding complex and challenging land use and environmental project requirements, responding to them and developing a strategy to protect the client’s interests, is the core of Linda’s practice. Linda regularly advises property owners, national and local real estate developers and energy project proposers. She has special expertise in Clean Water Act and Minnesota public waters permitting and Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act authorizations. She assists private and local governmental clients with wetland permitting and environmental review issues.
- Petroleum Pipeline – Clean Water Act Permits, Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act Exemption Determinations and Federal Environmental Review: Obtained Clean Water Act (CWA) and Rivers and Harbors Act permits from the Army Corps of Engineers for a large petroleum pipeline expansion project in Minnesota and Wisconsin that authorized impacts to 1500 acres of wetlands and four navigable waters of the U.S. Also obtained CWA water quality certifications for the project from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and EPA, as well as utility exemption determinations from multiple local government units under the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act. As part of a multi-disciplinary team, worked on legal issues related to the project’s federal Environmental Impact Statement required under the National Environmental Policy Act.
- LEED-Certified Office Development In Large Suburban Office Park – Zoning And Public Improvements Agreement: Obtained Planned Unit Development zoning and related land use approvals and negotiated a Public Improvements Agreement for an 11-story, 275,000 square foot LEED-certified Class A office building, the fifth building in a large suburban office park. This is a continuation of a multi-year representation of the owners and developers of the park in obtaining municipal zoning, land use and subdivision approvals; watershed district grading and storm water permits; state and federal wetland and air quality permits; and completion of a required Environmental Assessment under the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act.
- Residential Development for National Home Builder – Clean Water Act, Wetland Conservation Act and Stormwater Approvals: Obtained Clean Water Act wetland permit and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency water quality certification that authorized about 17 acres of wetland impacts for a large residential development proposed by a national home builder. Also obtained Rice Creek Watershed District approvals of a wetland replacement plan under the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act and grading, storm water and floodplain authorizations. Required resolution of EPA and US Fish and Wildlife Service objections and conflicts between the watershed district’s adopted comprehensive wetland management plan and the Army Corps of Engineers’ consideration of the plan under the Clean Water Act.
- Retail Commercial Development – Zoning Approvals, Development Contract, Cooperative Road Agreement Between Two Cities and a County and Wetland Delineation Approvals: Obtained zoning and subdivision approvals, negotiated a Development Contract and a cooperative road agreement between two cities and a county, and obtained federal and state wetland delineation approvals, permits and exemptions for a retail commercial project. Involved resolution of a development moratorium and threatened condemnation of the property for a future highway interchange project.
- Industrial Park Planned Development – Building a Local Government Zoning Record to Provide Legal Basis for Settlement Agreement of Lawsuit Filed in State District Court: When a large industrial office park proposal encountered citizen opposition, represented developer before city council in support of rezoning, Planned Unit Development plan approval, and plat and street vacation and prepared legal memorandum to build a record supporting project approval. When project was denied, worked with litigation counsel to obtain city approval of a settlement agreement entered into after filing of lawsuit in state district court.
- Highway Interchange – Federal and State Wetland Permits and Resolving Challenges to Joint Federal-State Environmental Impact Statement: Served as special counsel to a municipality in obtaining federal and state wetland permits for a highway interchange project and in resolving citizen challenges to a joint federal/state environmental impact statement for the project.
- Special Counsel to Municipalities – State Environmental Review Issues Related to Development Proposals: Served as special counsel to two different municipalities on state environmental review issues related to proposed development projects.
- National Big Box Retailer – Zoning Approvals and Code Compliance Issues: Represented national big box retailer in obtaining land use and zoning approvals for stores in two suburban municipalities and in resolving zoning code and permit compliance issues in a central city and in several suburban municipalities.
- Mixed Use Corporate Business Park – Public-Private Partnership for Financing and Construction of Arterial Road, State Environmental Impact Statement, Zoning and Subdivision Approvals, Wetland Permits, and Wetland Bank: As part of multi-disciplinary development team, worked with developer and city, county and state transportation agency on financing and construction of new arterial road for mixed use corporate business park. Also obtained zoning and subdivision approvals, state and federal wetland and stormwater permits and completed mandatory state environmental impact statement. Established wetland bank to allow for sale of excess wetland replacement credits.
- Mixed Use Development – Shoreland Zoning Approvals, and Resolution of State Resource Agency Request for an Environmental Impact Statement: Obtained shoreland zoning approvals for a mixed use development and a negative declaration on the need for a state environmental impact statement originally requested by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Also obtained federal and state wetland permits for the project.
- National Oil Company – Nonconforming Use, Variance and Conditional Use Permit Issues for Nationwide Signage Rebranding and Building Modification Program: Obtained zoning approvals from multiple municipalities for signage and building modifications for a national oil company’s re-branding of its existing facilities. Involved resolution of difficult ordinance interpretation issues related to nonconforming uses, conditional use permits and variances.
- Mixed Use Development – State AUAR, Clean Water Act and Wetland Conservation Act Approvals: As part of a multidisciplinary team, formulated and implemented a strategy for obtaining favorable wetland delineation approvals for a mixed use development, obtained Clean Water Act and Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act wetland authorizations and watershed district storm water management approvals and assisted in satisfactorily completing state Alternative Urban Areawide Review (AUAR).
- 24-Hour Grocery Store in Community Shopping Center – Development Moratorium, Ordinance Amendments, Zoning Approvals and Litigation: Overcame citizen opposition leading to development moratorium through ordinance amendments and modifications to the development proposal that resulted in ultimate approval of necessary land use authorizations. Worked with litigation team to formulate and implement coordinated litigation and land use strategy.
Articles & Presentations
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
- “Kelo v. City of New London: The Shot Heard ‘Round the World’,” Minnesota Shopping Center Association Newsletter, October 2005
- “What Were You Doing 25 Years Ago? A 25-Year Practitioner’s Perspective on Land Use Approvals,” Minnesota Real Estate Journal, 2004
- “The Land Use Approval Log,” Minnesota Real Estate Journal
- “Minnesota Water Management Law and Section 404 Permits: A Practitioner’s Perspective,” Hamline Law Review, Vol. 7, No. 2, June 1984
- “When and How to Consult with a Land Use / Environmental Lawyer in the Land Development Approval Process,” Minnesota Real Estate Journal, Land Development Conference, May 6, 2015
- “Managing Federal and State Wetland Regulations: The Project Proposer’s Perspective,” 2015 Minnesota Wetlands Conference, January 14, 2015
- “Environmental Review and Permitting in the Minnesota Land Development Process: Hot Topics and Practical Strategies,” Minnesota Real Estate Journal, Land Development Conference, May 2014
- “Clean Water Act Section 404 Permit Program: Hot Topics and Practical Implications,” Hamline University School of Law, October 30, 2013
- “Development Agreements in the Approval Process,” Minnesota Real Estate Journal Land Development Conference, May 2013
- “Park Dedication: Critical Legal Issues and Strategies,” Minnesota Real Estate Journal, Land Development Conference, May 2012
- Facilitator, Breakout Session, “Water Policy in Minnesota: Planning the Next Chapter,” Minnesota Environmental Initiative Seminar, November 2010
- “Climate Change and Environmental Review under NEPA and MEPA,” Hennepin County Bar Association Seminar, The Shifting State of Greenhouse Gas Controls and Legal Liabilities, September 2010
- “Fourteen Questions: A Tool for Comparing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act of 1973 in a Project Context,” Lorman Education Services Seminar, Minnesota Environmental Policy Act, July 2010
- “New Developments in Compensatory Wetland Mitigation under the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act and the Clean Water Act,” Second Annual Minnesota Wetland Conference, January 2009
- “Environmental Review and the Minnesota Land Use and Permitting Process: A Project Proposer’s Perspective,” Lorman Education Services Seminar, Minnesota Environmental Policy Act, September 2008
- “Managing Land Use Regulatory Approvals for the Complex Project: Practical Strategies and Legal Issues,” Lorman Education Services Seminar, The Development Approval Process in Minnesota, April 2007
- Redevelopment Perspective on New Minnesota Eminent Domain-Legislation,” Eminent Domain Legislation in Minnesota Seminar, June 2006
- “Wetland and Shoreland Law and Regulation in Minnesota” Clarion Legal, Minnesota Land Development and Wetland Law Seminar, May 2005
- “The City of Lake Elmo v. Metropolitan Council: Lessons for the Development Community,” November 2004
- “Recent Changes in State and Federal Wetlands Law and the Impact on Development,” Real Estate Development II Seminar, Minnesota State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education, March 1997
- “Recent Developments in State and Federal Wetland Regulation,” Real Estate Institute, Minnesota State Bar Association, Continuing Legal Education, November 1996
- “Version 1996-Wetlands Regulation Status,” Sensible Land Use Coalition, March 1996
- “The Local Land Use Approval Process: Selected Topics and Overview of Recent Developments,” Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, Environmental Law Institute, June 1995
- “Federal and State Wetlands Permits Case Study,” Law Seminars International, July 1994
- “I-494/Lake Road Interchange, Woodbury, Minnesota, A Wetland Permitting Case Study,” 1994
- “The Changing Local, State and Federal Regulation of Wetlands and Floodplains,” Land Use Law and Litigation Seminar, Minnesota State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education, March 1993
- “Critical Water Issues,” Environmental Regulation in Minnesota Seminar, Institute of Business Law, November 1993
- “Zoning and Planning by Initiative and Referendum,” Shopping Center Development Seminar, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, April 1990
- “Negotiating Wetlands Developments and Acquisitions,” Wetlands Conference, CLE International, November 1990
Honors & Education
- Albany Law School Union University, J.D., 1975
- New York University School of Law
- Smith College, B.A., 1972, cum laude
- Minnesota, 1976
- U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
- Twin Cities Business Magazine, “100 People to Help You Thrive in 2013: Navigate through Regulatory and Government Requirements”
- Best Lawyers’ Environmental Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Minneapolis, 2021
- The Best Lawyers in America, Environmental Law and Land Use and Zoning Law, 2010-present
- Martindale-Hubbell, AV® Peer Review Rated
- Midwest Real Estate News, “Forty Over Forty” honoree, 2007
- Phi Beta Kappa
- American Bar Association, Section on Environment, Energy and Resources
- American Bar Association, Section on State and Local Government Law
- American Bar Association, Section on Real Property, Probate and Trust Law
- Minnesota State Bar Association
- Hennepin County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section
- Public Policy Committee and Land Use Subcommittee, NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Minnesota Chapter
- Minnesota Shopping Center Association
- Sensible Land Use Coalition
- Member, Caring Tree Board, 2004-2006
- Everybody Wins Reading Program, Hennepin County Bar Association
- Board member, Growth and Justice