Christine Neal Westover

Christine Neal Westover

Associate
Location:
Lexington, Kentucky
Phone:
859-231-8780
Fax:
(859) 253-0706
Email:

Ms. Westover has extensive experience practicing law in both the public and the private sector since her graduation from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1984. She was hired immediately after law school by the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government, a merged urban county government, where she handled a wide variety of legal matters ranging from real estate, bankruptcy, personnel matters, litigation and providing legal advice to myriad governmental divisions, boards and agencies such as the Greenspace Commission and the Police and Fire Pension Board.

The focus of Ms. Westover’s experience and area of practice is land use law since her assignment in 1991 as legal advisor  to the  to the  boards, commissions and divisions of government within  Lexington Fayette County on all matters related to planning, zoning and land use law.  Her responsibilities included attending Planning Commission and   Board of Adjustment  hearings and working with the Division of Planning on land use applications,  zoning ordinance text amendments, comprehensive plan updates and  other land use issues.  She also attended Urban Council meetings and hearings to advise the Council on matters  related to zone changes, zoning regulations  and related  issues.  Ms. Westover handled appeals and other lawsuits arising from Urban County Government land use decisions.  As a consequence of her responsibilities  Ms. Westover developed an extremely  deep and broad expertise  of the  laws governing  land use in Kentucky and the procedural and substantive complexities  that underpin  planning and zoning matters.   She also developed significant experience  dealing with  governmental divisions such as Building Inspection, Code Enforcement and other administrative bodies due to their  regulatory authority  in land use matters. 

Ms. Westover left the Urban County Government  in 2004.  She has been at MMLK since that time,  handling  a wide variety of land use matters for clients in the private sector. The increased understanding of the importance of agriculture to the Bluegrass economy has caused developers and governments to emphasize revitalization and redevelopment of urban property. Ms. Westover has been at the forefront of this movement. She has drafted several zoning ordinance text amendments that facilitate adaptive re-use of warehouse and industrial properties  and to allow  more efficient land use.  In conjunction with the text amendment she has represented developers in the rezoning and development plan process to obtain approval of related projects.  These projects will not only benefit her clients but will contribute to the economic growth and vitality of the  larger community.   Her experience  now includes tax increment financing (TIF) applications due to the close connection between land use  approvals and financing  development projects.

Recent  projects

Represented a regional  developer of student housing to rezone and obtain final development plan approval for a 650 bed apartment community.  The project required drafting and approval of a text amendment to allow greater density on the same lot in the high density residential zone in which it was located.

Drafted a zoning ordinance text amendment to allow adaptive re-use of older warehouse and industrial properties in the urban areas.  The text, which was approved,  has allowed numerous developers to apply for approval to adaptively reuse their properties without having to obtain a zone change.   Ms. Westover represented clients on Manchester Street in the Distillery District, Angliana Avenue and on Jefferson Street to apply for and obtain approval of their adaptive reuse developments. 

Represented The Lex, a residential and commercial mixed use development at the site of a former warehouse in inner Lexington in successfully rezoning the property and obtaining final development plan approval. 

Represented a client in rezoning an unused inner city  building for a new use as a restaurant with a large student following  near the University of Kentucky.

Worked on several tax increment financing applications  in Lexington and elsewhere in the state  to obtain TIF funding from  local and state government.  Projects include one in Oak Grove Kentucky for development of a mixed use project near Fort Campbell and several in Lexington off of South Broadway in an older industrial area. 

In addition to representing clients in front of planning commissions and local legislative bodies, she has appeared before boards of adjustment to obtain conditional use permits, variances and similar relieve form the zoning ordinance. 

Represented wireless communications facility clients to obtain  planning commission approval of site plans and cell facilities.  

 

Ms. Westover is a partner  with her husband raising cattle and sheep on 650 acres in Fayette and Bourbon Counties.  She completed the University of Kentucky Master Cattleman  training program and is Beef Quality Assurance certified.  She tends several bee hives  and is experimenting with making  artisanal cheese.  In her spare time she  takes art classes, rides horses and is an avid long distance hiker.  She is working with her lab to be certified as a therapy dog, in order to visit nursing homes, schools and other places in need of such services. 

 

Areas of Practice

  • Land Use Law, including planning, zoning and all other planning commission, board of adjustment matters
  • Local Government Law
  • Tax Increment Financing
  • Drafting State and Local Legislation
  • Cell Towers and Wireless Communications Facility Regulation

Bar Admissions

  • Kentucky, 1984
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky, 1985
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky, 1989
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1985

Education

  • University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, Kentucky
    • J.D. - 1984
    • Honors: With Distinction
    • Honors: Member, International Moot Court
    • Honors: Member, Order of the Coif
    • Honors: American Jurisprudence Award for Trusts and Estates
    • Honors: American Jurisprudence Award for Administrative Law
  • University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
    • M.S.W., Master of Social Work - 1979
  • University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    • B.A. - 1971
    • Major: French Literature and Art History

Published Works

  • Bourbon's return to Lexington overcame a bureaucratic tangle, Business Lexington, October 12, 2012

Classes/Seminars

  • Kentucky Land Law, HalfMoon Education Inc., November 15, 2012

Honors and Awards

  • Order of the Coif Recipient, 1984
  • American Jurisprudence Award for Trust and Estates and Administrative Law, 1984
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2013

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Kentucky Bar Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Fayette County Bar Association, Member, 1985 - Present
  • Fayette County Bar Foundation, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Lexington Fayette County Urban Government, Corporate Counsel, 1984 - 2004
  • LFUCG Planning Commission and Urban County Council on Planning and Zoning Matters, Chief Attorney, 1991 - 2004

Pro Bono Activities

  • Accepts various types of cases representing indigent people or others in matters of community interest.