Zoning Administration and Enforcement

As introductory comment, note that municipal zoning codes, ordinances and procedures
vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Some codes are complex, thorough,
complete and accurate. Others may have gaps, omissions, ambiguities and
inconsistencies. Local practice may not always conform to the strict letter of the code or
statute. The zoning regulations often are interpreted and applied by citizen boards or
commissions made up of members who may not be skilled or schooled in the fine points
of land use law theory or practice. Some communities may have large planning staffs to
assist in administering the ordinance; others may have a part-time building inspector who
is the expert on the local zoning ordinance. As a practical matter, then, knowing the law
is not necessarily enough to assure success in dealing with local zoning regulations and


Administration in Wisconsin
Contents of a Comprehensive Plan
Enforcement Scheme from the Building Inspector to Judicial Review


James H. Gormley, Jr.

Foley & Lardner LLP

  • Special counsel, Real Estate Practice Group, Foley & Lardner LLP, Milwaukee
  • More than 30 years of experience in the representation of businesses and municipal authorities in the finance and acquisition of real estate, land use, zoning, conditional use and variance permitting, licensing, and operative municipal law
  • President of the Village of Whitefish Bay and chairman of its Plan Commission for 12 years
  • LEED® accredited professional
  • J.D. degree, Marquette University Law School; M.B.A. degree, Arizona State University; B.S. degree, United States Air Force Academy
  • Can be contacted at 414-297-5702 or [email protected]

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