JULIE FORT
Partner

PRACTICE AREAS

Municipal Law
Economic Development
Land Use

PRACTICE DESCRIPTION

Julie’s practice focuses exclusively on providing a range of legal services to cities and economic development corporations, both large and small. With over eighteen years of experience, Julie has represented municipalities, economic, community and industrial development corporations, community colleges, housing authorities, counties and other governmental entities on a wide range of matters, such as:

  • Economic incentives
  • Zoning, planning and land use
  • Open meetings and public information
  • PIDs and TIRZs
  • Negotiations with special districts
  • City charter adoption and amendment
  • Easement and right-of-way acquisition
  • Annexation and boundary disputes
  • Employment issues and civil service
  • Purchasing and bidding
  • Conflicts of interest and nepotism
  • Elections
  • Municipal court prosecution
  • Development agreements
  • Ordinance and contract drafting
  • Constitutional issues, including signs and SOBs
  • Code Enforcement
  • Utility issues
  • Agenda review and attendance at posted meetings

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Negotiated with the developer of a 2,900 acre tract for a development agreement on annexation, sales tax incentives, zoning and financial issues for the City of Van Alstyne
  • Provided legal advise in creating PIDs and TIRZs for Celina, Denison, Fate and Frisco
  • Regularly drafts performance agreements between economic development corporations and entities receiving incentives
  • Drafted documents to create a Neighborhood Empowerment Zone for the Town of Prosper
  • Regularly draft ordinances covering a variety of subject matters
  • Regularly assist with open meetings issues and public information requests
  • Assisted with negotiating and drafting agreements and leases for a baseball stadium, soccer stadium and hockey arena for the City of Frisco
  • Assists with negotiating and drafting plans and ordinances for public improvement districts

PROFESSIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND

  • Southern Methodist University, J.D., May 1995
  • University of North Texas, B.A. (cum laude), December 1991
  • Named among Best Lawyers in Dallas in Land Use Law by D Magazine, 2009 and 2011
  • Chair of the Government Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, 2011-2012
  • Merit Certification in Municipal Law from Texas City Attorneys Association
  • Member of Supreme Court Task Force to Expand Legal Services Delivery, 2010-2012
  • McKinney Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors, 2012- Present
  • Named Top 50 Women in Business in McKinney Living Magazine, 2010
  • Member of the Board of the McKinney Chamber of Commerce, 2008-2011
  • Chair of the Advocacy Sector of the McKinney Chamber of Commerce, 2010-2011
  • Planning and Zoning Commissioner, City of Frisco, 1999-2000

LICENSURE & MEMBERSHIPS

  • State Bar of Texas

SPEAKING AND WRITING ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Texas Municipal League Economic Development Handbook, Texas Municipal League, January 2015

Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) Agreements, UTCLE Land Use Conference, March 2014

Who are you and what do You do? The Public Interplay og the Roles of the City Manager, Planning Director and Developer, 2013 Land Use Fundamentals, March 2013

Zoning & Platting 101: Basic Concepts, Key Issues and Vocabulary, UTCLE Land Use Planning, March 2012

Annexation Development Agreements, UTCLE Land Use Planning, March 2010

MUDs, SUDs and Other Water Critters, UTCLE Land Use Planning, March 2009

Special Districts, Zoning, Subdivision and Land Development Law Seminar, November 2008

Options for Financing Special Districts, Texas City Managers Association Annual Conference, June 2008

Land Use, Texas City Attorney Association 9th Annual Riley Fletcher Basic Municipal Law Seminar, February 2008

Annexation: Prior Continuous Uses, Texas City Attorney Association Annual Meeting at the TML Conference, November 2007

Chapter 176 Conflict Disclosure Statements, Texas Municipal Clerks Association, Lone Star Chapter, November 2007

Government Approvals for Platting and Zoning, Lorman CLE Conference, Dallas, October 2006

The Freeze Law, Chapter 245, Land Use Planning Law Conference, UTCLE Conference, Austin, April 2006

Recent State Cases of Interest to Cities, Texas City Attorney Association Annual Meeting at the TML Conference, October 2005

Local Option Elections, Planning & Zoning for Public Officials and Attorneys CLE Conference, Dallas, June 2003

Local Option Elections & Recent SOB Cases, Land Use Law, CLE Conference, Austin, November 2002

Open Meetings & Conflicts of Interest, City of Wylie In-Service, Annual Presentation, 2002-2007

Basic Zoning Law and Conflicts of Interest, City of Frisco Training Seminar for Planning and Zoning Commissioners and/or Board of Adjustment members, Annual Presentation 2002-2006