Martin P. Sullivan

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Martin P. Sullivan

Direct: Direct: (202) 503-1704
Main: Main: (202) 503-1700

Marty began his DC Zoning Law career at zoning and real estate law powerhouse Wilkes Artis, in 1998. He joined a group of zoning attorneys that left Wilkes Artis in 2000 for Shaw Pittman, later Pillsbury (a group that has since moved to Goulston Storrs) and practiced there until 2005. After a brief stint in-house for a Maryland homebuilder, Marty opened his own zoning practice in 2008, and, with former Wilkes Artis colleague Tony Barros, formed Sullivan & Barros, LLP, in 2010.

Marty now heads the Zoning practice at Sullivan & Barros, LLP, which includes Associate Alexandra Wilson, Associate Andrew Justus, and Legal Assistants Anna Fraser and Leisha Mahajan. Marty’s practice is focused exclusively on District of Columbia zoning matters. He represents a variety of clients, including developers, investors, homeowners, and institutions. For over 22 years, he has worked closely with clients to create innovative solutions to maximize the return and enjoyment of their properties. He handles everything in DC zoning from the initial due diligence to Board of Zoning Adjustment (“BZA”) and Zoning Commission requests and appeals. Marty also works with the Zoning Administrator and the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (“DCRA”) to secure favorable interpretations. Marty is known for his extensive knowledge of DC Zoning and uses this, along with the relationships he’s developed over the years, to help analyze and craft the best possible development plan under the challenging DC zoning scheme, regardless of project size.

Marty evaluates properties and potential development projects and explains the options in plain English. Sometimes a client has no viable options, but they appreciate getting the bad news up-front before committing significant time and money to a losing effort. More often than not, they do have viable options, and Marty helps them navigate the zoning process with as little friction as possible, always keeping the client’s objectives in the forefront. The success of a project, and a zoning engagement, is not just about getting an approval; it is about getting the right approval, without spending unnecessary time and money.

In addition to winning hundreds of BZA cases, Marty has also successfully represented clients before the Zoning Commission, the D.C. Court of Appeals, and the Office of Administrative Hearings.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Marty was a CPA and worked for real estate developer Potomac Investment Associates/Natelli Communities, developers of the Avenel Community and many other TPC-related residential development projects across the country.

Description of Typical Matters

  • BZA cases of all kinds, including numerous U-320 conversions, use variances, RA-1 approvals, and appeals (typically helping the Zoning Administrator in upholding a client’s approval).
  • Zoning due diligence, from 10-minute phone calls consulting with a client about a possible purchase, to Zoning Opinions and detailed analyses for large-scale mixed-use and hotel projects, including the full analysis on the Inclusionary Zoning requirements.
  • Zoning Commission applications, including a 200-room hotel/residential project, and several successful zoning map amendments.
  • Numerous PDRM meetings and determination letters securing favorable interpretations from the Zoning Administrator, or “turning around” an unfavorable ruling or comment from a zoning reviewer.
  • Numerous engagements providing critical assistance in completing Inclusionary Zoning forms.

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland

Education

  • B.A., University of Pittsburgh
  • J.D., Duquesne University

Practice Areas