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Dennis D. Mele


Dennis D. Mele is a partner and Chair of the Land Use & Zoning practice group. He is widely recognized for his work in land use, zoning, environmental and governmental law. Having experience as a land planner and a city manager, Mr. Mele has a unique understanding of the myriad issues developers, property owners and local governments face; and, is able to advise clients on a wide range of complex matters.

Mr. Mele represents clients before federal, state, regional and local government agencies. He has extensive experience in land use, construction and budgeting issues pertaining to real estate development projects. In addition, he represents developers in obtaining approvals for Developments of Regional Impact (DRI’s), land use plan amendments, dredge and fill/environmental resource permitting and other development projects. Mr. Mele also has experience in representing clients with regard to wetlands jurisdictional determinations.

Utilizing his extensive experience with local government, Mr. Mele represents clients in the annexation of large land areas into municipalities, including the preparation of annexation agreements and special acts to protect property owners’ rights. He also represents local government, developers and property owners seeking development entitlements and works closely with real estate attorneys on land use and environmental issues affecting real estate transactions.

Mr. Mele frequently lectures on land use issues including environmental permitting and comprehensive planning.

Bar Admissions

  • Florida


  • J.D., University of Miami School of Law, summa cum laude, 1988
  • M.U.P., University of Michigan, 1979
  • A.M., University of Michigan, 1978
  • A.B., University of Michigan, 1976

Professional and Community Involvement

  • City of Coconut Creek, City Manager
  • South Florida Regional Planning Council, Broward County and City of Coconut Creek, Land Planner
  • American Institute of Certified Planners, Member
  • American Planning Association, Member

Speaking Engagements



  • U.S. News & World Report, Best Lawyers in America “Lawyer of the Year,” Land Use & Zoning Law, 2010, 2018, 2020, 2024
  • U.S. News & World Report, “Best Lawyers in America,” Land Use & Zoning, 2007-2024
  • U.S. News & World Report, “Best Lawyers in America,” Environmental Law, 1997-2024
  • Chambers USA, “Top Ranked Lawyer – Florida: Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use,” 2004-2023
  • Fort Lauderdale Illustrated, “Top Lawyers” 2021 & 2022
  • Martindale-Hubbell, Rated AV Preeminent®
  • Super Lawyers magazine, “Florida Super Lawyers,” Land Use/Zoning, 2007-2019
  • South Florida Legal Guide, “Top Lawyers,” Land Use and Zoning, 2006-2016
  • South Florida Business & Wealth magazine, “Attorney of the Year, Leaders in Law,” Environmental Law, 2015
  • The American Lawyer magazine, “Top Rated Lawyers,” 2012
  • The Legal 500, U.S. Edition, Land Use & Zoning – Real Estate and Construction, 2009

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