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Brian Connolly

Adjunct Faculty

Professional Biography

Brian Connolly is a shareholder and director with the Denver law firm of Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti, P.C.  There, he represents public- and private-sector clients in zoning, planning, development entitlements, and other complex regulatory matters. His practice encompasses a broad range of land use issues, including planned-unit developments, development agreements, and private covenants and restrictions. He also represents clients in land use and zoning litigation, initiatives and referenda associated with land use approvals, and real estate transactions. Brian has built a national reputation for his work on First Amendment issues related to local government regulation – including signs and outdoor advertising and other free speech issues – as well as fair housing matters in local planning and zoning, particularly in the area of housing for people with disabilities. In addition to representing clients in these areas, Brian’s work has included filing a U.S. Supreme Court amicus curiae brief and serving as an expert witness in cases involving these and other land use topics.

In the land use context, Brian helps clients identify and navigate the complex local, state and federal regulations impacting their projects. Brian handles zoning compliance matters, rezoning requests and appeals, protection of vested rights, subdivisions and site plans, annexations, and variance matters. When necessary, Brian utilizes litigation and alternative dispute resolution channels to negotiate a positive outcome for clients. His clients include landowners and developers, across the commercial, residential and industrial sectors. He also counsels equity investors and lenders as they evaluate investments, and he regularly represents local governments in a variety of matters.

Brian is a frequent writer and speaker on land use law topics at regional and national conferences. He serves on the advisory board of the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute and is the Chair of the American Planning Association’s Planning and Law Division. Brian has served as the editor or co-author of three books addressing land use law topics, including the planning and local zoning issues associated with group homes for people with disabilities, and First Amendment issues associated with signs and advertising.

Brian holds a J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School, and a Master of Regional Planning and Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Studies from Cornell University.