Brent O. Denzin
Brent practices in the areas of real estate law, environmental law and urban redevelopment.
Since joining Ancel Glink in 2008, Brent has focused his practice on urban redevelopment, neighborhood stabilization and complex real estate transactions. Brent serves as lead counsel for two regional Land Banks, a regional fiber network, and multiple government agencies, municipalities and organizations. As part of his practice, Brent has led numerous federal and state remediation projects, aided in successfully litigating a series of a multi-million dollar lawsuits; and repurposed hundreds of acres of distressed property.
Prior to joining Ancel Glink, Brent was awarded a two-year Equal Justice Works Fellowship to concentrate on land use and environmental law, with a focus on suburban growth in rural areas across Wisconsin. During his fellowship, Brent represented community groups in impact litigation cases involving annexation proposals, international crude oil pipeline projects, statewide municipal stormwater rules, and more.
Brent has represented both public and private sector clients in zoning litigation, federal environmental lawsuits and state tort claims, among other cases. Additionally, Brent guides municipal clients through environmental due diligence requirements and advises municipal clients on a variety land use and zoning matters.
Brent is a contributing author of the land use law newsletter, In the Zone.
Brent’s recent work includes:
- Drafting intergovernmental agreements, by-laws and operating agreements creating Illinois’ first governmental Land Bank (South Suburban Land Bank and Development Authority); a 60-mile high-speed fiber network serving south Cook County (Chicago Southland Fiber Network); and private-sector intermodal development corporation.
- Guiding legal strategy and managing real estate transactions for Cook County Land Bank Authority—the nation’s largest Land Bank (by area).
- Developing blight reduction and neighborhood stabilization strategies used by Cook County, South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, Metropolitan Planning Council and numerous municipalities across Illinois.
- Leading a large-scale CERCLA (Superfund) remediation project involving a municipal landfill, contaminated groundwater, landfill gas and PCB contamination
- Guiding the multi-million dollar remediation and redevelopment of a contaminated factory site into a public park, municipal center and commercial development
- Ensuring CERCLA Due Diligence compliance for municipal clients and facilitating the purchase of brownfied properties
- Drafting stormater utility and management ordinances for municipal clients
- Litigating federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) suits, including cases involving municipal and construction site stormwater pollution
- Using federal and state laws to compel clean up of contamination on private property
- “Squatters and the City: Municipal Strategies for Deterring Uninvited Guests” South Suburban Housing Collaborative, January 2014
- "Eliminating Waste, Saving Money: Strategic Steps to Reduce Costs of Stormwater Management," Metro West Council of Governments (February 2012)
- "Saving on Stormwater: An Unexpected Guide to Balancing Your Budget," Illinois City/County Managment Association, Starved Rock, IL (May 2012)
- "Streamlining Land Use," American Planning Association-lllinois Chapter, Annual Conference, Champaign, IL (September 2012)
- "Development Agreements," Strafford Webinars (August 2012)
- "All Heller Breaks Loose: A Look at the New Second Amendment," Chicago Bar Association, (September 2012)
- " Best Practices in Performance-Based Rental Regulation Ordinances" Conference. Chicago, IL (October 2015)
- “Land Use Law: Zoning in the 21st Century,” Co-Author, 400+ pages (ALM Press 2014)
- "Turning Vacant Properties into Community Assets Through Land Banking," The Urban Lawyer, 43 Urb. Law. 801 (Summer 2011)
- “Green Transportation: ‘Roadblocks’ and ‘Avenues’ for Promoting Low-Impact Transportation Choices,” Legal Strategies for Greening Local Government (ABA Press, 2012)
- "When All Heller Breaks Loose: Gun Regulation Considerations for Zoning and Planning Officials Under the New Second Amendment" Urb. Lawyer (Summer 2012)
- Local Solutions to Stormwater Pollution (American Rivers, Inc., 2008)
Honors & Awards
- Barbara Crabb Award for Service to Fellow Students, University of Wisconsin Law School (2003)
- Equal Justice Fellowship Award (2005)