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Aaron C. Dunlap

Aaron C. Dunlap

Of Counsel

Overview

Aaron Dunlap brings a multifaceted perspective to his work on behalf of land use clients, including private developers and governmental bodies. Prior to joining Carlton Fields, Aaron worked for a Florida municipality, the Florida state land planning agency, and in private practice focused on land use and zoning issues. His insider’s understanding of each party’s priorities helps him find common ground and collaborate to craft solutions that benefit his clients.

Aaron is experienced in representing clients on land use and zoning matters before elected officials and local governmental boards and commissions concerning real estate development matters, drafting zoning code and comprehensive plan amendments, and navigating the public hearing process in municipalities throughout Florida. Additionally, his local government experience also encompasses ordinance drafting, implementation of new legislation, Florida Sunshine Law and Public Records Act matters, as well as assisting clients with code enforcement compliance and other quasi-judicial matters.

His previous experience with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity gives him special insight into large-scale state land planning and real estate development issues such as sector plans, developments of regional Impact (DRIs), the requirements and challenges to developing property in areas of critical state concern (ACSC), as well as handling the complexities of state and local agencies in obtaining real estate development entitlements and approvals.

Aaron began his legal career in private practice in Miami, handling land use and real estate litigation and appellate issues as varied as disputes between developers and municipalities, primary and mezzanine lender litigation, personal guarantee litigation, large-scale commercial foreclosure, large-scale land use and zoning litigation, and Public Records Act requests and related litigation.

Aaron is board certified in City, County, and Local Government Law by The Florida Bar.

Featured Insights

Experience

Land Use and Development

  • ‚ÄčRepresented state agency as lead counsel in a Chapter 120 DOAH administrative hearing. Hearing involved a comprehensive plan consistency challenge to a development approval in an environmentally sensitive area of critical state concern.
  • Represented local government in complete rewrite of local land development regulations, zoning code, and additional comprehensive plan amendments.
  • Represented clients in matters ranging from local government enforcement of reuse water agreements, property owner cross-access and parking agreement disputes, and property owner disputes with local governments over demarcations of environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Advise clients on land use regulations related to their property and options available for their project plans.
  • Assist clients with variances, special approvals, administrative determinations, property, code enforcement, and other local approvals.
  • Assist clients with legislative and state statutory interpretation and applicability. 
  • Routinely provide land use counsel related to large-scale development projects throughout Florida for due diligence purposes and feasibility investigations.

Public Records and Sunshine Law

  • Represented state agency in public records litigation and successful appeal to overturn attorney fee award against agency.
  • Assist clients in determining scope and applicability of public records laws for government submissions, including exemptions and exclusions.

Professional & Community Involvement

  • The Florida Bar
  • The State Bar of California
  • California Lawyers Association
  • Palm Beach County Bar Association

Speaking Engagements

  • “Avoiding Public Hearing Pitfalls: Preparation, Presentation, and Legal Challenges,” Florida Environmental Network's 33rd Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School, Marco Island, FL (July 19, 2019)
  • "Strategizing, Handling, and Defending Clients' Interests at Local Quasi-Judicial Proceedings," Florida Environmental Network's 32nd Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School, Marco Island, FL (July 20, 2018)
  • “Planning for Sector Plans,” The Florida Bar’s City, County, and Local Government Law Section Land Use Seminar, Orlando, FL (May 5, 2016)

Credentials

Education
  • University of Miami School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2007)
  • University of Miami (B.A., cum laude, 2004)
Bar Admissions
  • California
  • Florida
Board Certifications
  • City, County, and Local Government Law
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida

Background

  • Assistant Village Attorney, Village of Wellington, Wellington, FL (2015–2017)
  • Assistant General Counsel, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Tallahassee, FL (2014–2015)
  • Litigation Associate, Shubin & Bass, P.A., Miami, FL (2007–2011)

Disclaimer

The information on this website is presented as a service for our clients and Internet users and is not intended to be legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. Although we welcome your inquiries, please keep in mind that merely contacting us will not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Consequently, you should not convey any confidential information to us until a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Please remember that electronic correspondence on the internet is not secure and that you should not include sensitive or confidential information in messages. With that in mind, we look forward to hearing from you.