Frank W. Stearns

Practice Focus
Frank Stearns is a real estate lawyer who focuses on planning and zoning matters before the numerous local governments (counties, cities and towns) in Northern Virginia.  He represents property owners, developers and builders before legislative bodies to obtain special exceptions, variances and/or rezonings.  Mr. Stearns also represents various wireless telecommunication companies before local governments to obtain permission to build structures to distribute their services. 

Prior to being in private practice, Mr. Stearns was a former Assistant Corporation Counsel for the District of Columbia and an Assistant County Attorney for Fairfax County, Virginia.  In that time he gained valuable experience regarding how local governments review and analyze land use propositions brought before them by private property owners.  For over 20 years, Mr. Stearns has represented these private property owners before various agencies in Northern Virginia.  He has helped draft sections of local zoning ordinances and comprehensive plans for jurisdictions dealing with his clients’ businesses.  He has the proven capability to design creative solutions to persuade local governments to allow his clients to develop in a fashion they desire.  Mr. Stearns has lectured nationally on land use matters and other related areas of law thereby keeping abreast of new developments in land use law throughout the country.

Representative Clients
Representative clients of Mr. Stearns include: Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, AT&T, Crown Castle Atlantic LLC; Columbia National, Inc.; Restaurant Associates, Inc.; InterAmerican Hotels Corporation; Centex Homes; National Capital Land & Development, Inc.; Ourisman Fairfax Toyota; Red Roof Inns; Combined Properties, Inc.; Bank of New York; RaceTrac Petroleum, Inc./Mountainprize; Legal Sea Foods, Inc.; Walton Street Capital, LLC; Vornado REIT; Realty Development Services, LLC; RealTech; Clark Global Technology Developers, Inc.; Dry Clean Depot; Exxon/Mobil; Massachusetts Mutual/Cornerstone; Equity Homes; and Brandywine Realty Trust.

Significant Matters
Mr. Stearns has been involved in the drafting of zoning ordinances and comprehensive plans for many of the Northern Virginia jurisdictions dealing with the provision of wireless service through the use of existing structures or erection of new towers or monopoles.  He has participated in a number of significant rezoning allowing for development in historic districts.  Mr. Stearns has also participated in the writing of guidelines by the state of Virginia and the Advisory Counsel for Historic Preservation for the opening up of state and federal lands for use by private wireless telecommunications’ companies. 

Listed in the Marquis Who’s Who in American Law, 7th Ed.

Mr. Stearns has been a member of the Economic Development Advisory Commission of Arlington County, a member of the Board of Directors of the Northern Building Industry Association, Treasurer of the Greater Washington Board of Trade Virginia Political Action Committee and past President of the Loudoun Chapter of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association.  He is a member of the Fairfax County Bar Association, the Barristers, and Counsellors. 

Area of Practice
Real Estate, State and Local Government, Communications

Government Experience
Assistant Corporation Counsel, District of Columbia 1975 – 1979, Assistant Fairfax County Attorney, 1979 – 1980

Bar Admissions
Virginia, District of Columbia

George Washington University National Law Center, J.D. with honors, 1974
Washington & Lee University, B.A. 1971

Judicial Clerkships
Law Clerk to the Honorable John R. Hess, Superior Court of the District of Columbia, 1975 – 1979

Barristers, Fairfax County Bar Association, American Bar Association, Virginia Bar Association, Virginia Trial Lawyers Association