Live Seminar

Practical Guide to Zoning and Land Use Law



Wednesday, March 28, 2018


9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Product ID#:



Best Western Helena Great Northern Hotel

835 Great Northern Boulevard

Helena, MT 59601


$339 / Each Additional

Registration Includes Course Book

Credit Information

Continuing Legal Education

  • MT CLE - 6.00


  • AICP - 6.00
  • IACET - 0.60
  • Surveyor - 6.00

Program Description

Navigate the Zoning Process With an In-Depth Understanding of Zoning Regulations

Are you current on your knowledge of zoning laws? Can you confidently solve potential problems and ensure smooth zoning processes? Join us at this seminar where you'll learn to facilitate positive outcomes by understanding key components of the approval process, procedures for challenging a zoning decision, as well as requirements for administrative approach. Recognize constitutional limitations on zoning actions to ensure your actions are within the bounds of the law. Enroll today!

  • Know the necessary steps - on a local, regional and state level - for obtaining a permit.
  • Review the limits on governmental power so you know how takings and exactions must be handled.
  • Fulfill your role in the process when a zoning case is litigated or when a decision is appealed.
  • Stay in the loop in your community with a knowledge of local zoning issues, including economic development.
  • Represent your clients with confidence with an in-depth understanding of key zoning concepts.
  • Understand the constitutional limitations on zoning so you can handle questions of eminent domain with ease.
  • Know the steps you need to take to fight for your client during an appeal of an administrative zoning decision.
  • Take your zoning knowledge to the next level with an in-depth understanding of the process for adopting and amending the zoning ordinances and map.

Who Should Attend

This basic-to-intermediate level course will assist the following in understanding and working with zoning and land use regulations:

  • Attorneys
  • City and Urban Planners
  • Developers
  • Engineers
  • Architects
  • Local Zoning and Land Use Officials
  • Appraisers
  • Surveyors

Course Content

  1. Current Case Law and Legislative Update
  2. Roadmap for Navigating the Approval Process
  3. Constitutional Limitations on Zoning Actions
  4. Challenging or Appealing an Administrative Zoning Decision
  5. Adoption and Amendment of Zoning Ordinance and Map
  6. Conservation Easements as a Local Land Use Planning Tool
  7. Ethics in Zoning and Land Use Law

Continuing Education Credit

American Institute of Certified Planners – AICP: 6.00

Continuing Legal Education – CLE: 6.00 *

International Association for Continuing Education Training – IACET: 0.60

Surveyor – Surveyor: 6.00

* denotes specialty credits

Agenda / Content Covered

    9:00 - 9:30 Written and Presented by Richard DeJana in Helena and Kalispell.
    9:30 - 10:30 Written by David K. W. Wilson Jr. Presented by Richard DeJana and David K. W. Wilson Jr. in Helena and Kalispell.
    • Authority for Land Use Decisions
    • Local, Regional and State Approvals
      • Comprehensive Plan
      • Regional Impact
      • Subdivisions
      • Rezonings: Zoning Changes or Amendments
      • Variances, Special Uses and Conditional Uses
    • The Permitting Process
      • State Building Code
      • Nonconforming Uses
      • Permits and Certificates
      • Environmental Review
    • Vested Rights
    • Estoppel
    • Moratoria
    10:45 - 11:45 Written and Presented by Richard DeJana in Helena and Kalispell.
    • Zoning as a Form of Governmental Power
    • Takings and Exactions
    • Due Process
    • Equal Protection
    • Property Rights and Police Power
    12:45 - 1:45 Written and Presented by David K. W. Wilson Jr. in Helena and Kalispell.
    • Procedural Requirements
    • Standing Issues
    • Trial of an Administrative Appeal
      • Strategies
      • Local Government Perspective
    • Judicial Review of Local Decision
    • Litigating a Zoning Case
      • Declaratory Action
      • Trial Strategies
      • Use of Experts
      • Local Government Perspective
      • Mandamus, Prohibition and Injunction
    • Federal Pre-emption
    1:45 - 2:30 Written and Presented by David K. W. Wilson Jr. in Helena and Kalispell.
    • Source of Zoning Authority (Part One and Part Two Zoning in Montana)
    • Zoning Procedures Law
    • Notice Issues
    • Hearing Issues
    • Standards
    • Local Issues and Impact Fees
    2:45 - 3:30 Written and Presented by David K. W. Wilson Jr. in Helena and Kalispell.
    • Statutory Basis for Conservation Easements
    • How Conservation Easements Work
    • Interplay Between Private Land Conservation Easements and Local Land Use Planning
    • The Helena Example - Public and Private Partnerships to Promote Open Space and Economic Development
    3:30 - 4:30 Written by Abigail J. St. Lawrence. Presented by Abigail J. St. Lawrence in Helena and Richard DeJana and David K. W. Wilson Jr. in Kalispell.
    • Administrative Land Use Matters
    • Legislative Land Use Matters
    • Complying With the Code of Professional Responsibility
    • Identifying and Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
    • From the Standpoint of the Government Lawyer
    • Ex Parte Contacts With Decision Makers

RICHARD DeJANA is a member manager of the law firm of Richard DeJana and Associates PLLC, where his areas of practice include insurance defense, zoning, planning and land use, and business law. Mr. DeJana has frequently lectured on topics such as land use, zoning and boundary law matters. He earned his A.B. degree from Rockhurst College and his J.D. degree from the University of Montana. Mr. DeJana is a member of the Northwest Montana Bar Association, the ABA GPSolo Real Estate Committee and American Bar Association. For the last 30 years, his practice has emphasized real estate and land use issues in both transactional and litigation areas. Mr. DeJana has taught continuing education classes for more than 20 years for both National Business Institute and the State Bar of Montana. In 2017, he earned his certification in mediation training from TWA Enterprises, approved by the State Bar of California. (Helena and Kalispell locations)

ABIGAIL J. ST. LAWRENCE is an attorney in private practice in Helena, Montana, where she represents clients in administrative and regulatory matters, litigation, and government relations. Ms. St. Lawrence’s practice emphasizes water, land use, real estate, natural resources, and environmental law; and she is a frequent invited lecturer on those topics. She earned her B.A. degree, with honors, from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington; and her J.D. degree, with a certificate in natural resources and environmental law, from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Building on her experience clerking with the Office of Counsel in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District and working on Clean Water Act permitting with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Ms. St. Lawrence returned to Montana as an attorney with Doney Crowley Payne Bloomquist PC, in Helena until 2012; and then the Bloomquist Law Firm until 2017. She is admitted to practice in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Federal District Court of Montana, and the Montana Supreme Court. Ms. St. Lawrence also serves on the Policy and Resources Committee of the Montana Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, sits on the Board of Directors for the Helena Symphony and YWCA Helena, and is a member of the President’s Advisory Council for Whitman College. (Helena location)

DAVID K. W. WILSON JR. is a partner with the law firm of Morrison, Sherwood, Wilson & Deola, PLLP, in Helena. His practice focuses on representing the consumer in consumer rights litigation; representing individuals, land owners and organizations in environmental and land use issues; representing individuals and the media in cases involving “sunshine” laws and open government issues. Mr. Wilson has served on the Board of Directors of the Montana Wilderness Association, Helena Food Share, and the Montana Environmental Information Center; and was the executive director of Montana Common Cause. He earned his B.A. degree from Middlebury College and his J.D. degree from the University of Montana. Mr. Wilson is a member of the National Association of Consumer Lawyers and Montana Trial Lawyers Association. He previously served as editor for Public Land Law Review and as a consumer law fellow for the National Consumer Law Center. (Helena and Kalispell locations)

Please refer to Continuing Education Credit FAQ for general information about seeking credit for your participation in one of our continuing education programs.

Additionally, our team of credit specialists are here to answer your specific credit-related questions weekdays 7am - 5pm Central:

Phone: 866-240-1890


Accreditation Details:

American Institute of Certified Planners

N AICP: 6.00
This activity has been approved by American Institute of Certified Planners for 6.0 CM credits, including 1.5 law credits. 100% attendance is required to receive CM credit.

Continuing Legal Education

MT CLE: 6.00 Includes - Ethics: 1.00
Approved for 6.0 hours of CLE credit by the Montana Commission on Continuing Legal Education, including 1.0 hour of ethics.

International Association for Continuing Education Training

N IACET: 0.60
NBI, Inc. is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. NBI, Inc. is authorized by IACET to offer 0.6 CEUs for this program. At the end of the program, participants must complete a self-assessment in order to receive credit. 100% attendance is required. (Provider #1004558)

Upon completion of this course, attendee will be able to: 1. Explain how two court decisions have affected land use regulation. 2. List the steps involved in the land use approval process. 3. Describe the limitations of government in regard to zoning. 4. Recall at least three tips for successfully litigating zoning disputes. 5. List the necessary steps in amending a zoning ordinance. 6. Describe how conservation easements work. 7. Distinguish between ethical and unethical zoning practices.


MT SV: 6.00 Pending Credit Approval
This program has been submitted to the Montana Association of Registered Land Surveyors Continuing Professional Competency Committee for review.

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How To Order

Web: Order Now
Call: 800.930.6182
Fax: 715.835.1405
Mail: NBI
P.O. Box 3067
Eau Claire, WI 54702