Tom Baird, the Firm’s Land Use & Governmental Co-Practice Group Leader, is a Florida Bar Board Certified specialist in City, County and Local Government and is certified as a Professional Planner by the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Tom brings a unique depth and scope of knowledge to his practice. His 30 years of legal experience in complex land use, planning, zoning, and municipal law benefit his clients who range from municipalities and public entities to corporate businesses, real estate developers, and individual property owners. Tom handles all aspects of permitting; zoning and code enforcement matters; comprehensive land planning including drafting land use policy; property rights; and constitutional takings. He defends his clients’ interests in state and federal courts in matters involving zoning appeals and disputes, property rights disputes, eminent domain and inverse condemnation actions.
Tom is highly respected by municipal government leaders, working closely with planning and zoning departments since the 1990s to manage large-scale development of regional impact projects (DRIs) and community redevelopment projects. He also counsels municipal staff and agencies on a variety of legal issues, including employment law issues and the enforcement of laws by police and code enforcement officers.
Tom currently serves as the Town Attorney for the Towns of Jupiter and Lake Park, the Deputy Town Attorney for the Towns of Gulf Stream, Jupiter Island, and Palm Beach, and is General Counsel to the Westgate/Belvedere Homes Community Redevelopment Agency. He is retained as special land use counsel for numerous cities, most recently by the Town of Juno Beach & the Village of Golf. He is a Special Magistrate for the municipalities of North Palm Beach and Stuart, and also serves as a Special Master/Mediator in Property Rights cases.
Tom has been an adjunct professor of planning at Florida Institute of Technology and an adjunct professor of law at Florida Atlantic University in the topics of land use, zoning, and administrative law. Prior to his legal career, he worked as a Regional Planner on large-scale development projects (DRIs).